Apple accidentally leaked AirTags in its own support video
Apple has inadvertently revealed AirTags trackers in a support video that walk-through steps detailing how to use the Find My features on an unreleased version of iOS. The video was first spotted by Appleosophy on Apple's YouTube channel, which has now been removed after the company seemingly realized its mistake.
The revelation came in a video tutorial about how Find My iPhone could be used to remotely erase an iPhone. In the footage, a screen can be seen which makes reference to AirTags under an Enable Offline Finding heading.
While the tutorial made no direct reference to the AirTags hardware, in the latter half of the video a setting description that refers to them is clear for all to see. As reported by Appleosophy, the Enable Offline Finding setting has the description: "Offline finding enables this device and AirTags to be found when not connected to Wi-Fi or cellular".
Apple's upcoming AirTags are the company's take on tracking items, such as keys, similar to offerings from competitors like Tile. Once attached to any item, much like Tiles, they would transmit a Bluetooth signal that can be picked up by other devices to help track the item down.
The AirTags are expected to be circular discs that will feature U1 chips and work with iPhones and iPads to offer an augmented reality interface to help find missing items, according to code found in previous iOS beta builds.
Tile has recently testified that Apple has exhibited anti-competitive behavior with recent moves such as no longer selling the tracker in its stores, and hiring an engineer, with AirTags no doubt putting a further strain on the relationship.
The AirTag name has come up before in previous leaks, but today's news marks the clearest confirmation of the branding. Other leaks have speculated that the trackers might be called Apple Tags, which appears to not be the case.
Since the coronavirus has muddied up many release schedules, there is no timeframe for when Apple would put these AirTags up for sale. However, the fact that they are appearing in videos implies that their release is not too far off. There is also a possibility for Apple to announce AirTags alongside the 2020 iPhone SE. If not, we would perhaps be waiting until WWDC, set to take place digitally sometime in June.