One of the most essential features of the AirTag is Lost Mode, which aids in locating items attached to an AirTag. To activate this mode, you'll need your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.
Upon enabling Lost Mode for an AirTag, you have the option to add a phone number, email address, and a brief message, as well as to activate alerts. Apple then marks the AirTag as missing and its system initiates a search. When a compatible iPhone comes within range of your lost AirTag, the phone detects it and sends a notification to Apple. At this point, one of two things can occur:
- If you activated notifications when you enabled Lost Mode, your iPhone will alert you that your AirTag has been found and will show its location on a map.
- If an individual with an iPhone or an Android phone equipped with an NFC reader encounters your tag, they will receive a notification. If you provided a phone number or message when you activated Lost Mode, they will see this information on their phone.
Key Points about AirTag's Lost Mode
- Privacy and Security: The entire process is encrypted and anonymous, so no one else, not even Apple, knows the identity of any reporting device or the location of your AirTag. The AirTag also doesn't store any location data or history.
- Pairing Lock: When you put your AirTag in Lost Mode, it locks to your Apple ID, preventing anyone else from pairing with it. This feature makes it less attractive to potential thieves.
- NFC Tap: AirTags have a built-in NFC chip. If someone finds your lost item, they can tap the AirTag using their iPhone or any NFC-capable device, and they will be directed to a website that will display your contact information, if you have provided it.
- Sound Alerts: If the AirTag is nearby, you can use the Find My app to play a sound from the AirTag to help locate it.
- Precision Finding: For iPhone 11/12/13/14/15 users, they can use Precision Finding, which combines input from the camera, ARKit, accelerometer, and gyroscope to provide a more precise, directionally aware finding experience.
Please note that the effectiveness of Lost Mode and the Find My network depends on the number of Apple devices in the area, and it might not work as effectively in rural or remote areas with fewer devices.