Apple’s AirTag item trackers are about to get more useful — with iOS 17, you’ll be able to share them and other Find My objects with up to five other people, the company has quietly revealed.
That means you can begin tracking communal property, not just wholly personal items. Where are the household car keys? What about the Apple TV remote we duct-taped an AirTag to because it unfortunately still does not come with a UWB locator of its own? It’s my turn to play Zelda — where’d the Switch go?
Frankly, it’s the excuse I needed to buy more than one single AirTag because the only personal property I lose is my wallet and Apple’s tracker makes a bit too much of a bulge. Other communal property, like a Find My-equipped coffee mug, might make a little more sense, too.
Please do note that this change might not be welcome to those worried about stalkers and domestic abusers — trackers are fundamentally dangerous tech in the wrong hands. If someone adds you to an AirTag, don’t blindly accept: they could then place that AirTag on your person or in your vehicle and theoretically stalk you that way.
iPhones are designed to alert you if an unknown AirTag is found traveling with you; previously, you could “borrow” an AirTag-equipped item by turning off its alerts or find and deactivate it via the alert. (Things have been harder on Android, but Google and Apple have begun working together.) But if you’ve agreed to accept someone’s shared AirTag, that AirTag won’t alert you.