AirTags vs. GPS Trackers

Corey Davis2 comments

Apple AirTags Vs. GPS Trackers

Introduction

The use cases for tracking devices are on the rise and there is one product that has been turning heads in the market, Apple AirTags. From locating your lost keys, keeping tabs on your children, or making sure no one walks off with your luggage at the airport, Apple boasts that their product has a wide range of utility. In this Article, we discuss just how reliable AirTags are and how the differ from the current consumer GPS trackers on the market, and which one is best for you.

Optimus 3.0 Portable GPS Tracker

Optimus 2.0 Portable GPS Tracker

How Do GPS Trackers Work?

When researching GPS tracking devices, you will find out quickly that there are a variety of models out there that can suit your needs. However, not all function the same. Let’s look at one of the most popular models on the market – Portable trackers.

Consumer friendly trackers such as the Optimus 2.0 & 3.0 use a combination of GPS satellite signal and Cellular signal. These devices are equipped with a GPS Antenna that picks up coordinates from satellites and triangulates its location. This location data is then sent to their respective servers via cell signal to be processed by the company’s software and presented to You, the consumer. Since these Devices use cell signal to communicate with servers, they have preinstalled SIM cards like your phone such as ATT & Verizon. Most trackers on the market, whether battery operated or hard-wired, utilize this GPS antenna and Cellular data combo.

An alternative to trackers that require sim cards, are devices that strictly use satellite signal to not only calculate its location but to communicate that data with private servers. The reason the aforementioned portable trackers need a SIM card is due to the satellite signal the are retrieving. Just like your cell phone, your common tracker uses government satellite signal which is a one-way street. A consumer device can receive GPS signal, but it cannot send data to back to the satellites, therefore they use Cell signal to communicate.

That being said, a device such as the GS1, communicates with private satellites, removing the need for cell signal.

GS1 – Global Coverage Satellite GPS Tracker

Now that you have a better sense of how GPS trackers work, just know that each has its pros and cons that we’ll go over in a later section. In the next section, you’ll learn what makes Apple AirTags unique when compared to today’s traditional GPS trackers.

How Do AirTags Work?

Apple AirTags are indeed an interesting product, but are they all what they are cut out to be? To answer that question, you need to understand exactly how they function.

Apple AirTag

Unlike GPS trackers, AirTags have no antennas or SIM cards. Inside this coin sized device is a speaker and a chip that enables Bluetooth. These devices are made to only work with iPhones via Bluetooth and do not calculate their location but rather ping nearby iPhones, making your phone aware of its presence which is then relayed to the Find My app and broadcasted to the Network of iPhones which are typically connected to this network by default.

The speaker inside the device can be helpful when searching for misplaced keys for example. Just set your device to beep and you will easily locate your AirTag that may have simply fell through the couch cushions. The built-in speaker can also alert you of other AirTags that are nearby, allowing you to be a good Samaritan by returning a lost wallet to its owner or making you aware of someone who may be stalking you.

AirTags also have an impressive battery life. Apple boasts that the coin shaped device can last up to a year, mitigating the burden of having to recharge it every so often, which can be very appealing to consumers. The AirTag’s size gives it versatility. From Wallets to luggage and even pets, on the surface it seems that the AirTag has no limits on what you can track. But there is a caveat.

The Attributes mentioned in this section may all sound appealing but there are risks, tradeoffs, and shortcomings of the Apple AirTag. We recommend you read the next section carefully, as we go over the Pros and Cons of GPS trackers and products like The AirTag, with the goal of guiding you to the tracker that suits your needs.

Pros & Cons: Which Tracker Is Best for You?

There is more to a tracker aside from how it tracks its location. A reliable tracker is backed by a feature rich service capable of providing a user experience tailored to your needs. Here are the Pros & Cons of using Optimus GPS Tracking vs. Apple AirTags.

Apple AirTag

Pros:

  • Small and can be placed virtually anywhere
  • Extended Battery Life
  • Affordable: Currently Priced at $29.00 USD
  • Built in Speaker to assist with locating
  • Works Indoors

Cons:

  • Must have an iPhone & Apple ID to activate and start using
  • Will alert nearby iPhones, tipping off thieves and enabling them to locate it.
  • Limited to the network of iPhones in the vicinity, making it ineffective in less densely populated areas
  • No motion sensor
  • No real-time tracking
  • Ineffective at tracking precise routes due to lack of GPS antenna
  • Limited-service features

The Apple AirTag can come in real handy for keeping tabs on your personal items. Where it really shines is once you are in the general location, your iPhone can use Near Field Communication along with the speaker to lead you to its precise location. Unfortunately, if you are an owner of an Android phone, the AirTag is useless. Furthermore, Airtags albeit can be hidden very well thanks to their size, are not low profile due to the way they operate. Tracking stolen property with an AirTag will not fair well when the thieves are immediately notified of its presence on their iPhones. For small personal items that can easily be misplaced, the AirTag is well suited. For everything else, the risks that come with AirTags may be too much to bear.

Optimus GPS Trackers

Pros:

  • Real-time tracking
  • Not limited by Bluetooth
  • Undetectable by cell phones
  • Engine cut-off
  • Affordable
  • Motion sensor & Accelerometer
  • SOS button
  • Detailed Historical Reports
  • Dedicated Tech Support
  • Customizable Alerts (Geofencing, Low battery, Speeding, Power off, Movement, & More)
  • Fleet Management
  • iPhone, Android, and Desktop friendly (Only email address is needed)
  • Portable & Hard-Wired devices

Cons:

  • Shorter battery life (Portable)
  • Bigger size
  • Do not work well indoors
  • Need to be connected to power source (Hard-wired)

For asset monitoring or tracking elderly parents or making sure your kids are safe, its wiser to invest in a reliable tracking unit with all the tools & functionality needed to assist you. GPS trackers can’t really help you find your wallet. What they can do is enhance your business operations with Optimus fleet managing and alerting systems, you can access your vehicles' driving patterns and tracking history with precise accuracy. With the SOS button on the Optimus 2.0 Tracker, your children can alert you when they are in trouble and can’t access their phone. The real-time tracking provides accurate routes to help you navigate to your device. Should someone steal your car, take advantage of the GV50's and GV75's ignition detection and engine cutoff capabilities.

Conclusion

There is no one size fits all when it comes to tracking devices. We all have our reasons as to why we may need a tracker. With the information provided, you can now make a sound decision on what device fits your needs. The AirTag is a great accessory for specific use cases and would work well in tandem with GPS trackers doing the heavy lifting. When considering a GPS tracker, the most important thing is the service & features. Optimus Tracking not only offers a variety of reliable trackers, but we also offer a sophisticated application with dedicated customer & tech support that will enhance your Business and help protect your Assets and most importantly your Family.

 

Check us out at Optimustracker.com or give us a call at 855-893-0707

2 comments

Ana Zornitta
Ana Zornitta
I purchased an AirTag for my mother’s car. But after reading this, now I think I will be using it for my keys instead and get a GPS Tracker for the car.
Heisenberg
Heisenberg
Great Article!

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