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Forums Other Destination advice The AirTag / generic-non-AirTag luggage tracking device thread

  • Froggee 986 posts

    I’m having too much fun seeing @JDB argue that AirTags are a waste of time and money to let it die in yesterday’s chat thread.

    Therefore I hereby nominate this as being a happy place to ask questions and report successes with luggage tracking.

    I’ll start by saying how much my boys like seeing a map with a penguin, a puppy and a poop emoji on it showing where our cases are when we travel.

    I’m not sure that Freddo believed me when I said the poop emoji was always with us because it detects that he needs to go to the toilet but worth the money for that alone. In case you’re not familiar with the technology, the poop emoji AirTag lives in my hand carry where our passports are and then gets moved over to the rental car at our destination. No more wondering which colour car park the rental car is in for me – just follow the 💩💩💩.

    The Savage Squirrel 598 posts

    Yes Froggee, I think they’re a great example of something that works well and simply and has quite a number of real-world practical usages. Nobody is suggesting they’re perfect but they do tell you when they were last “seen” so you can judge whether your bag is definitely in your location, somewhere else, or is just not “seen” for the last few hours and then can act accordingly; and that does give you a better chance of a swifter resolution than having zero information. As for cost – spending £100 on a few is a lot more bang for buck than a typical biannual phone upgrades for 99% of users (of whatever sort of phone) at this point in the phone technology cycle.

    yonasl 976 posts

    A big 👍 to AirTags. Used them for many flights and always display the position of the luggage in almost real time (£99 for 4).

    At least when waiting for our luggage we do not stress if it made it to the final destination. We can see it is at the correct airport. Sometimes you can even track how luggage moves from a plane to another during transfers.

    Just like Mr Frogge ours are 🐱🐶🐮🐵

    strickers 719 posts

    Having read this I realise I need to up my AirTag emoji game, far too vanilla.

    Lady London 2,141 posts

    Good idea Froggee. I will be looking out for tips on Android devices.

    Btw ISTR I saw a report about 6 weeks ago that Lufthansa has banned the use of these devices in passengers’ luggage? Apparently they were very concerned due to the tags having lithium batteries, or something…

    strickers 719 posts

    Lufthansa did briefly in 2022 but then backtracked. For the nerds out there here is the ICAO technical instructions that allows them.

    https://www.icao.int/safety/DangerousGoods/AddendumCorrigendum%20to%20the%20Technical%20Instructions/Doc.9284.Addendum1.en.pdf

    MF176 200 posts

    This thread prompted me to check mine, and turns out my keys stopped communicating on 02/08/23 due to a flat battery- should I have had an alert to notify of an impending low battery, did I miss it?

    Cranzle 279 posts

    I’m not an Android user. But I’m unsure how useful any non-Apple offering can be given that AirTags use Apple devices as a network. I don’t think the same principle applies with Android devices

    ChrisBCN 293 posts

    The problem with Android equivalents is that the different handset makers can’t hijack others handsets. This would need a solution to be made and mandated by Google to work.

    Apple works because you, (yes you) are allowing a connection from somebody else through YOUR handset to their airtag. Whether Apple users should be happy with their phones resources and security protocols being used like this is a different question…

    ChrisBCN 293 posts

    This would need a solution to be made and mandated by Google to work.

    Forgot to add, they are talking about having this ready by the end of this year.

    Gavin454 177 posts

    I’m not an Android user. But I’m unsure how useful any non-Apple offering can be given that AirTags use Apple devices as a network. I don’t think the same principle applies with Android devices

    The Samsung Galaxy Smart Tags use all other Galaxy devices as a network, the same way as AirTags work. I’ve only had a chance to use them on one trip, but they worked perfectly at Heathrow and Geneva.

    I paid £22.50 for a pack of 4 on Amazon Prime day, significantly cheaper than AirTags so I thought it was worth a punt.

    Samsung have a ~20% market share worldwide so they are likely to work well.

    I don’t think there’s any similar generic Android device available for non-Samsung phones.

    SBIre 170 posts

    Tile is comparable to Apple Airtags and their networks is expanding beyond just phones – their tech is being built into Sennheiser headphones, Fitbits, HP Lapto0ps and Amazon Sidewalk (so Echos and Ring cameras can find your tile)

    Of course, if you want to bypass all those Apple v Android questions, why not pay a modest subscriptions for a tracker with GPS like Tracki? It will need to be charged a lot more, but Apple, Samsung or Tile can’t compete with that coverage

    Reney 791 posts

    This thread prompted me to check mine, and turns out my keys stopped communicating on 02/08/23 due to a flat battery- should I have had an alert to notify of an impending low battery, did I miss it?

    I had an alert for one of my airtags being low on battery so I would say you missed it. The alert wasn’t around for long.

    Tracey 218 posts

    As well as using AirTags in our luggage, we have been known to tag elderly parent when at crowded venues. He doesn’t have a phone, is hard of hearing and has a tendency to wander off. Although we haven’t needed it to find him when lost, it has proved useful in aiding the nominated driver to find the rest of us after parking the car.

    BBbetter 773 posts

    Of course, if you want to bypass all those Apple v Android questions, why not pay a modest subscriptions for a tracker with GPS like Tracki? It will need to be charged a lot more, but Apple, Samsung or Tile can’t compete with that coverage

    The only use case for that is if you are visiting a place where there are no humans and none of your group have any Apple products. In all other cases AirTags will be superior.

    Matt 352 posts

    I bought a couple of Tile trackers a year or so back to go in our cases. I’m not hugely impressed so far – they work as they are supposed to, but the number of devices with the app on is just too small for them to actually function well.


    @ChrisBCN
    – any link with details for that?

    Reney 791 posts

    As well as using AirTags in our luggage, we have been known to tag elderly parent when at crowded venues. He doesn’t have a phone, is hard of hearing and has a tendency to wander off. Although we haven’t needed it to find him when lost, it has proved useful in aiding the nominated driver to find the rest of us after parking the car.

    I have also given it to elderly parent, we don’t really let him wonder off but offers a level of additional reassurance as he doesn’t know how to use smart phones.

    ChrisBCN 293 posts

    @ChrisBCN – any link with details for that?

    From the VP of engineering – https://blog.google/products/android/unknown-tracker-alert-google-android/

    It’s at the bottom of that article (‘find my device’ network). There are several news articles out there as well if you search. I expect the first devices to support this to be ready pretty instantly after the launch.

    chrism20 89 posts

    I got mine for £65 for the four during an Amazon Prime day a couple of years ago and have found them incredibly useful.

    I had an issue with one where it didn’t seem very responsive but once I changed the battery it’s been as right as rain.

    Matt 352 posts

    From the VP of engineering – https://blog.google/products/android/unknown-tracker-alert-google-android/

    It’s at the bottom of that article (‘find my device’ network). There are several news articles out there as well if you search. I expect the first devices to support this to be ready pretty instantly after the launch.

    Thanks – I’d missed that entirely. Should make Tile etc much more useful when it comes in.

    SBIre 170 posts

    Of course, if you want to bypass all those Apple v Android questions, why not pay a modest subscriptions for a tracker with GPS like Tracki? It will need to be charged a lot more, but Apple, Samsung or Tile can’t compete with that coverage

    The only use case for that is if you are visiting a place where there are no humans and none of your group have any Apple products. In all other cases AirTags will be superior.

    I don’t think you understand how concentrated Apple user base is. The top ten counties make up the majority (+85%). If you are going to be anywhere off the beaten track in most non-western countries then the odds of an Apple product passing within ten meters of your airtag is much lower. Tile penetration will be nearly as bad

    Matt 352 posts

    @ChrisBCN – any link with details for that?

    From the VP of engineering – https://blog.google/products/android/unknown-tracker-alert-google-android/

    It’s at the bottom of that article (‘find my device’ network). There are several news articles out there as well if you search. I expect the first devices to support this to be ready pretty instantly after the launch.

    Thanks, that’s great – I’d missed it entirely. Should make Tile etc much more useful when it comes in.

    davefl 1,413 posts

    From the VP of engineering – https://blog.google/products/android/unknown-tracker-alert-google-android/

    It’s at the bottom of that article (‘find my device’ network). There are several news articles out there as well if you search. I expect the first devices to support this to be ready pretty instantly after the launch.

    Thanks – I’d missed that entirely. Should make Tile etc much more useful when it comes in.

    My Tile actually worked today. I could see it airside at MAN last night after drop off, and sitting overwing today I had a ping from it in the hold. Then at SKG I got another ping about a minute before it appeared on the belt. Only used it twice so far, one utter fail, one success.

    BBbetter 773 posts

    I don’t think you understand how concentrated Apple user base is. The top ten counties make up the majority (+85%). If you are going to be anywhere off the beaten track in most non-western countries then the odds of an Apple product passing within ten meters of your airtag is much lower. Tile penetration will be nearly as bad

    It’s a fair argument to say Apple devices may not be present when you go hiking or visit remote places.
    But the topic is about luggage retrieval and the forum is about travel, so I’d say number of airports with no Apple devices will be very low.
    I used to have a western view of Apple devices, but I later realised how aspirational the products are (right or wrong) in developing countries and even used Apple devices have a huge market in such places.

    Carlos 758 posts

    I had a tile (circle red one) but the app stopped being supported – annoyingly

    However, I now have an apple airtag, it is useful, perhaps a bit laggy…however it does not show history or the last 24 hours of movement..

    Is there a tracker which can do that?

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