Apple has, seemingly accidentally, confirmed the AirTags item tracking hardware in a new support video posted online on Tuesday.
The widely expected Tile rival, which has been rumoured for months and appeared within the code for recent iOS betas, is referenced directly within a new video designed to help iPhone users erase their devices.
To erase a phone, users must turn off the Find My iPhone tool within the Find My app. That much we already knew. However, the change comes in the text pertaining to the Enable Offline Finding toggle, which enables the device to be detected – even if it isn’t connected to Wi-Fi or cellular.
The text in the video now reads: “Offline finding enables this device and AirTags to be found when not connected to Wi-Fi or cellular.”
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You can see the reference, first spotted by Appleosophy (via MacRumors) at the 1:45 mark in the video below. It’s the first time Apple has officially acknowledged the existence of the forthcoming product.
UPDATE: Apple has just pulled it and set the video to private. Here’s a screenshot instead:
AirTags are expected to launch sometime this year and will enable users to track the GPS location of any item they’re attached to. In the case of Tile, people attach those Bluetooth-based tags to other tech items, house keys, wallets and other valuables. In turn, pressing a button on the Tile tag enabled users to find their iPhone.
Apple’s interpretation isn’t expected to deviate too far from the established brand, although it may integrate the H1 chip that enables super-fast connectivity and a more stable connection.
We expect Apple to announce AirTags officially, in the coming months. It was thought the company might debut the tech alongside the iPhone 9, which was originally scheduled for a launch this month, according to reports.
Maybe that’s the reason for this accidental confirmation? Apple figured AirTags would be in the public domain when making and planning to publish this video?