Apple AirTags: First Battery Change

In August 2021, I ordered four Apple AirTags. At the time, they were competitively priced against Tile and offered full integration into their ecosystem. I also ordered a few Belkin holders with straps and keyrings to attach the AirTags to the objects I wanted to track. In the end, I attached one to my key holder, the backpack I use to carry my laptop around, and I put one into my wallet. The fourth tag I use as a floater that I put into my hiking backpack or into my luggage, depending on where I need it.

I have had these tags for 21 months now. In that time, the one in my laptop backpack actually saved me some trouble. I went with a friend for dinner after work. We were in a rather dark restaurant and chatted away. When it was time to go, I forgot my black backpack under the dark table and left. Five minutes after walking away, my watch and phone started vibrating. I checked if somebody sent me a message, and it was actually a “Find My” notification telling me I left my backpack behind. I hurried back to the restaurant and got it safe and sound.

What I’m quite surprised about is how energy efficient the AirTags are. I expected to swap the batteries every year or so, but they actually managed to run almost two years with the ones they came with. The only thing to keep in mind when getting new batteries: Don’t buy the ones with anti-swallow coating. It’s a child safety feature that should deter children from swallowing the batteries by making them taste awful. For some reason this makes them unsuitable for AirTags. Apple warns about this on their support page:

CR2032 batteries with bitterant coatings might not work with AirTag or other battery-powered products, depending on the alignment of the coating in relation to the battery contacts.

(Nintendo also made their Switch cartridges taste bitter 😝)