With Apple’s AirTag, you’ll never lose anything again. Simply affix the tag to a device (either using an adhesive or keychain), link your Apple ID, and boom! You can locate items using the “Find My” app. However, while this is pretty impressive, it comes with some limitations—such as not being able to share your location.
You can’t share your AirTag location with your family primarily because Apple wants to ensure your privacy. AirTag is meant to find lost items––not lost people. If you wanted to share your AirTag location with your family, they would have to be logged into your Apple ID.
If your family is logged into your Apple ID, they’ll be able to view all your information, including your purchases, phone calls, and messages. Continue reading to learn more about using AirTag and what other devices could meet your needs for sharing your location.
Why Can’t You Use AirTag to Share Your Location?
AirTag uses Bluetooth, Near-field communication, and Ultra-wide band location services to find lost items. Using other nearby Apple devices, it can help pinpoint an item’s exact location and even give you directions on where to look. However, this has raised a host of concerns, primarily about safety.
Here’s what you need to know:
Apple Wants to Ensure Users’ Privacy
On the surface level, AirTag helps you find your missing stuff. On a more nefarious level, stalkers, hackers, and busybodies can use it to track your location. This is why in 2021, Apple released an update where the AirTag would chime within eight to 24 hours of being on your person.
That way, if someone slipped an AirTag in your jacket pocket, you would know within that timeframe.
Apple Devices Aren’t “Unhackable”
Apple devices, just like any other piece of hardware, can contract viruses. Some concerning virus is something called “spyware.” It’s exactly what it sounds like. These viruses spy on your activities, including your transactions, location, and other identifying information.
Apple feared that hackers would crack codes and track iOS users. In turn, it made sharing locations using AirTags close to impossible.
Alternative Ways to Share Your Location with Family
If you’re like most people, you likely have your phone with you at all times. To share your location, you don’t need to purchase an AirTag. Instead, you can use the “Find My” app on your phone. It comes pre-downloaded on Apple devices, and a similar version of the software also exists on Android devices—although the interfaces vary slightly.
Keep in mind that for others to view your location, you must have your phone on your person. Otherwise, they’ll view your phone’s location and not your own.
How to Share Your Location with an iPhone
To share your location with your family using your iPhone:
- Select the “Find My” app from the home screen.
- Choose “Me” located on the bottom tab.
- Enable “Share My Location.”
- Choose “People” on the bottom left-hand side.
- Tap “+ Share My Location.”
By entering your family member’s phone number, they can view your location from the “Find My” app. They must also have the app on their device.
How to Share Your Location with an Android Phone
To share your location using an Android phone:
- Add your loved one’s Gmail information to your Google Contacts.
- Open the Google Maps app and sign in.
- Tap your profile picture.
- Select “Location Sharing,” then “New Share.”
- Enter how long you want to display your location.
- Select the profile of whom you want to share your location.
- Choose “Share.”
If your loved one doesn’t have a Google Account, this slightly complicates things. For convenience’s sake, setting up an account is free and easy. However, you can always reference this article from Google to learn about sharing your location with a non-Gmail user.
Devices that Allow You to Track Location
Whether you moved to a sketchy part of town or want to keep tabs on your teenager, you have options. These options don’t require you to have your phone on your person, either.
One of those options includes the Geozilla Location Tracker. Here, for $19.99 a month, you can share your location (or view another’s) anytime, anyplace. It remains charged for five days and works with both Android and iOS devices.
Similar devices on today’s market include:
A Final Word
Unless you want to share your Apple ID information with your family, you cannot share your AirTag location. However, you can use the “Find My” app on your smartphone and enable its tracking feature. Alternatively, you may consider purchasing another tracking device to share your location with others.