An Apple AirTag is a low-cost tracking device designed to help people keep track of their misplaced stuff. If you’re new to AirTags, one of the questions you might be wondering is, can AirTags track speed?
AirTags cannot track speed. Unlike GPS trackers, AirTags are not connected to a series of satellites to determine location. AirTags rely on any nearby devices in the Find My network for their location, and therefore cannot calculate speed.
In this article, I dig into topics like, how do AirTags work, does an AirTag use GPS and much more.
How Does an AirTag Work?
An AirTag works by sending a signal to any nearby Apple devices on the Apple Find My network. Those devices then send the AirTag’s location data to iCloud so it can be seen on the Find My map, all while happening anonymously and encrypted to protect your privacy.
If your AirTag is close to you, your iPhone, using Precision Finding, will lead you straight to it. This technology makes AirTags perfect for tracking misplaced keys, bags, and wallets. Precision Finding uses Ultra-Wideband technology to provide spacial and directional information on your supported Apple iPhone.
If your AirTag is not near, your AirTag can also be put into Lost Mode, just like other Apple products. When your AirTag is in Lost Mode, when it’s detected by a nearby Apple device on the Find My network, you’ll automatically receive a notification on your iPhone.
Does An AirTag Use GPS?
An AirTag does not use the Global Positioning System (GPS). AirTags do not have any GPS receiver components and cannot decode and compute the precise location of the GPS satellites.
Rather than using GPS satellites for location points, an AirTag relies on using other nearby Apple devices to determine its location points. While this works perfectly for determining the location, it doesn’t allow for calculating speed, and to this end, it’s a limiting factor in preventing AirTags from tracking speed.
How Do GPS Trackers Calculate Speed?
GPS trackers use GPS receivers to establish the distance and time between two locations. GPS trackers use a mathematical formula of speed equals distance, divided by the time taken (x = d/t) to calculate the speed between the two locations.
GPS trackers use a series of satellites to determine location. A tracker uses the position of three or more satellites from the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and its distance from them to determine latitude, longitude, elevation, and time data points.
If considering GPS tracker speed, generally speaking, the longer the journey and the more data points collected, the more accurate the speed reading will be. Lastly, while some will argue that the speed calculated by a GPS receiver is higher than the speedometer of the vehicle itself, most modern GPS receivers can validate speedometer readings from the car’s onboard data too.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully, I have answered all of your questions related to, can AirTags track speed. You may still have other questions surrounding Apple AirTags. If you do, below I answer some common frequently asked questions.
Can Apple AirTags track speed?
Can AirTags be used to track vehicles?
Does AirTags use GPS?
Final Thoughts On Can AirTags Track Speed
So, in conclusion, can AirTags track speed? No, AirTags cannot track speed. Unlike GPS trackers, AirTags do not rely on the Global Positioning System to establish distance and time between two locations. Because AirTags rely on other potential nearby Apple devices on the Find My network for location, this limits an AirTags ability to calculate and track speed.
Lastly, if you’re looking for more information on unwanted AirTag tracking alerts, head over to Apple’s support page for more details.