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Apple AirTags features have been hiding in plain sight -- here's why

airtags
(Image credit: MacRumors)

There’s been a lot of speculation about AirTags, Apple’s upcoming tracking device that will let you hunt down your lost stuff. We’ve seen lots of evidence they’re coming but it seems AirTags may have been hiding in plain site this whole time.

MacRumors reader David Chu discovered that there’s a hidden “Items” tab in Apple’s Find My app, which can be enabled in the Safari browser. Further proof that AirTags must be almost ready to go.

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The tab can be enabled by typing “findmy://items” into Safari on any devices running iOS 14.3, iPadOS 14.3, or later. Once done, a prompt will appear directing you to a hidden tab within the existing Find my app. Mac users can do the same with their version of the app, provided they’re running macOS 11.1 or later.

Apple developers can also access the tab by heading into Settings > Developer > Display Items tab. Again you need to run iOS 14.3 or later for it to be visible.

Despite many rumors and loads of speculation, Apple still hasn’t officially revealed anything about AirTags. Of course the leaked information has already told us that they’ll use ultra-wideband signals to communicate with your iPhone, rather than Bluetooth, which offers more range and more accurate location information.

AirTags themselves seem to come in a small, rounded design, similar to the Tile sticker. From the looks of the images they will be stuck onto whatever object you want to track, though you could just as easily stick it inside. The AirTags themselves don’t have any sort of hole to clip them onto your keys, though patent images suggest there will be accessories you can buy to make that possible.

Of course the “Items” tab isn’t just for AirTags. While integration with Apple’s trackers is going to be a big part of the Find My app’s future, Apple also announced that third party products would be supported back at WWC 2020. And earlier this week we saw the Belkin Soundform Earbuds that makes good on that promise, and includes Find My app support. 

Those are due to launch in the spring, and gives us a rough idea of when the new Items tab should be open for business.

As for the AirTags themselves, there are no clues on when Apple will release them upon the world. We’ve known they exist since last April, when Apple accidentally referenced them in a video, though every Apple event that happened since then has been suspiciously AirTag free. So we don’t know when they’re going to arrive.

The next Apple launch we know about involves the next wave of iPad Pros, and that’s supposed to be happening in March. AirTags could arrive then, which would tie in nicely with the Belkin Soundform launch window and the (presumed) expansion of the Find My app. Or that might be wishful thinking, it’s difficult to tell with Apple.

We’ll bring you more on the AirTags as we hear it.