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Apple AirTag 2 Rumored for 2025 With Better Location Tracking

The rumored upgrade would be coming four years after the first AirTags went on sale.

Ian Sherr Contributor and Former Editor at Large / News
Ian Sherr (he/him/his) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he's always had a connection to the tech world. As an editor at large at CNET, he wrote about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer -- the kind with swords -- and began woodworking during the pandemic.
Ian Sherr
2 min read
four round apple airtags with different engravings, including the initials AP and a happy face emoji

AirTags may be getting a revamp.

Sarah Tew/CNET

When Apple announced its $29 AirTag item trackers in 2021, the company promised to bring its growing Find My technology to keys, wallets, bags, pets and anything else you could attach them to. Now, Apple is reportedly working on an upgrade. The iPhone-maker is testing an upgraded AirTag that would likely make finding items easier, according to a report in Bloomberg. The upgrade, which is reportedly already in testing, will not arrive until the middle of next year, the site reports. 

Apple representatives didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. If Apple keeps to its schedule, the upgraded AirTag hardware would be the first major change since the device's launch. Though it's not expected to arrive at Apple's upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference.

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Possible plans to upgrade the AirTag mark another way in which Apple is continuing to nurture key technologies that help its popular iPhones, iPads and Mac computers stand out. 

Apple launched its Find My network as a way for people to more easily locate lost iPhones and iPads. The way it works is through an anonymous listening network of other people's Apple devices, designed to pick up device information and share it with the device's owner in a privacy-protecting way. When it launched the AirTag, Apple touted that more than 1 billion active iPhone owners would effectively help users find lost items.

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While the AirTags have become popular as devices to help track items including bicycles, surf boards and even kids, advocates have criticized the devices as potential tools for stalkers. Soon after AirTags launched, privacy advocates raised concerns that the company's built-in identity protection tools may not be enough to protect unwitting victims. 

Apple responded with changes to how often AirTags make sounds when traveling with someone who isn't their registered owner. It also released an Android app to help people identify unexpected AirTags traveling with them. Apple further worked with Google to integrate support for "unwanted tracking alerts" in iOS and Android earlier this month.

Read more: Apple Launches AirTags and Find My Detector App for Android, in Effort to Boost Privacy

Other than the reported improved tracking capabilities, it's not known what other changes could be coming for AirTags. Some consumers have asked for physical changes to the device, such as a built-in key ring hole, colorful AirTags or a flatter design for use in a wallet.

Apple has also struggled with broad battery compatibility. The AirTag battery lasts about a year, and then needs to be replaced with a common CR2032 3-volt coin battery, available at most stores. But some companies have had to mark their batteries as "Compatible with Apple AirTag" because the device doesn't work with some bitterant coatings meant to discourage kids from ingesting them.

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