Apple AirTags: How do old iPhones work with trackers?

With the purchase of Apple AirTags can you finally say goodbye to the annoying search for keys at home? Not quite, since the iPhone needs the U1 chip for this feature. So if you’re using a generation prior to the iPhone 11, we explain what the limitations of object finder are.

  • Apple AirTag Review: What New Trackers Can Do

The precise search for objects is certainly one of the coolest features of the new AirTags. This is because item trackers allow you to locate keychain, wallets, or other connected items with exact accuracy. To do this, Apple combines camera information, motion sensor and ultrawide band, among other things.

iPhones with U1 chip

These iPhone models can accurately track AirTags
Apple iPhone 11
Apple iPhone 11 Pro
Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max
Apple iPhone 12
Apple iPhone 12 Pro
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple iPhone 12 mini

To use ultra-wide band communication (UWB), you need a smartphone with a U1 chip, and Apple only uses the component from the iPhone 11. So if your phone isn’t listed in the table above this paragraph, AirTags are a little less practical. Still, they may be worth buying, and that’s exactly why I summing up the feature set without a new iPhone for you.

How AirTags work with old iPhones

Tracking through the “Find” network

As Fabien wrote in his AirTag review, the other big advantage of trackers is that you can find lost items. To do this, Apple has integrated the new gadget into the “Find” network, which is constantly looking for contact with other iPhones or other Apple devices.