How to Share Airtag With Family

Apple designed AirTags to resemble small coin-shaped devices that can be hung on items such as luggage tags, keys, etc., and users can find them through the "Find My" app on Apple devices.

Originally designed to help individuals keep track of their personal belongings, AirTags has expanded into the home environment. In this discussion, we will look at how AirTags can be shared with friends and family and the benefits and issues that come with sharing AirTags.


Benefits of AirTag Sharing

One of the most important benefits of sharing AirTags in the home is enhanced security. AirTags can be attached to a family member's personal belongings, such as a child's book bag or a teenager's bicycle, providing real-time location updates. 

From an economic perspective, sharing AirTags is cost-effective. There is no need to purchase individual trackers for each family member's belongings. The only additional expense required is replacement batteries.

AirTags can simplify the search process for families who often lose shared items such as remotes, tools, and even family cars in large parking lots.

When you lose an item your AirTag will automatically start making a sound. For more information: Why is my Airtag beeping?

Problems with AirTag Sharing

Initially, Apple did not allow AirTags to be shared, not only for privacy reasons but also possibly due to concerns about such abuses of control and surveillance. Apple has been proactive in implementing anti-tracking measures into its tracking technology, making it the first manufacturer to do so.

And note that the ability to share AirTags is only available on iOS 17 and later.

For those curious about how Airtag's item finder works, you can click here.

How to Share AirTag with Others in iOS 17

Make sure your iPhone or iPad is running iOS 17 or iPadOS 17. This update is required to access the new sharing features:

  1. Find My Apps on your Apple device and turn it on. This app is usually located on your Home screen or in your App Library.
  2. Once in the Find My app, select the Items tab. This section lists all the AirTags and other items you have registered in the Find My network.
  3. Click on the AirTag you want to share. If you have more than one AirTag, make sure you select the correct one.
  4. Tap Add People, enter the Apple ID of the person you want to add, tap the name of the person you want to share with, then tap their Apple ID, and tap Continue.
  5. Find the contact with whom you want to share an AirTag from your Contacts list, then tap Send to share the location. Make sure the person you're sharing with is trusted, as they will have access to the tagged item's location data.

If you need to stop sharing AirTag locations, you can easily manage it. Simply tap the person's name under "Share this AirTag" in the app and select "Delete" to revoke access.

How to Share AirTag with Others in iOS 17

Other Tips and Cautions

  • Consider privacy issues when sharing your AirTag. Discuss and agree on the scope of use with the person you are sharing the information with.
  • Please note that location updates are not real-time. They depend on the network and the proximity of other Apple devices to the AirTag.
  • Check AirTag battery life regularly. Shared and frequent location updates may drain the battery faster than usual.

How to Share an AirTag or Other Items in Find on a Mac

If you'd like to share an AirTag or other item compatible with the Find My network, here's an easy-to-understand guide on how to do so with your Mac. This will allow others to find the shared item and play the sound if necessary.

Sharing your AirTag 

  1. Open Find My Apps: First, open Find My Apps on your Mac. You can find the app in the Applications folder or search for it using Spotlight.
  2. Navigate to a project: Click the Projects tab in the Find My app. This tab will display all the projects you have linked to the app, including AirTags and third-party projects that are compatible with the Find My network.
  3. Select items to share: In the list of items, select the items you want to share. Then click the "i" icon on the map for more options (this stands for "information").
  4. Initiate sharing: Under the section labeled "Share this AirTag" or "Share this item," click Add People, enter the other person's Apple ID, and then click Continue. "Continue" to continue sharing.

Send an Invitation

  1. In the Invite field, you can enter a name, email address, or phone number. As you type, the Find My app suggests contacts in your Address Book.
  2. Alternatively, click the plus (+) button next to the Invite field to display the entire list of contacts. Click on a contact and select their email address or phone number.
  3. Share and confirm: Click Share in the upper right corner of the window. This will send an invitation to the people you selected.
  4. Manage invitations: Each person you invite will be listed under "Who you share with" as well as their invitation status. You can manage these invitations from this section at any time.

Important Notes

  • The contacts you share an item with will not receive constant tracking notifications when the item is moved. This is designed to respect privacy and reduce potential abuse.
  • Only people with an Apple ID can be invited to share an AirTag. Sharing with child accounts is not supported.

Accept or Decline Sharing Invitations

You'll be notified when you're invited to share access to AirTag. Here's how you can respond to this invitation using the Find My App on your Mac:

  1. Open Find My Apps: Launch Find My Apps on your Mac. 
  2. Go to the Projects tab: Click the Projects tab in the app to see all linked projects.
  3. Accept: Click Add. The AirTag will then appear under "Items by [Sharer Name]" in your list of items. Once you accept, you will no longer receive notifications about the item being tracked.
  4. Decline: If you do not wish to share access to AirTag, click "Do not add".

Stop Sharing an AirTag

If you decide to stop sharing an AirTag that is currently shared with others, follow these steps:

  1. Access Find My: Open the Find Me app on your Mac.
  2. Select an item: Navigate to the Items tab and select the item you want to stop sharing. Click the "i" icon (information button) on the map.
  3. Click on the name of the person with whom you shared the item.
  4. Click Stop Sharing and then click Stop Sharing again to confirm.

Other Notes

  • Once you stop sharing, previously shared contacts will no longer see the location of the AirTag. However, they may still receive notifications if AirTag moves.
  • Please note that the Location Sharing and Find Items features are not available in all countries or regions. Check for local availability and compliance.

Google Map Sharing

Google Maps location sharing is indeed a viable option for those who don't have an AirTag and want to share their location with others either temporarily or permanently. Below is a detailed and clearer guide on how to share your location using Google Maps:

  1. Before you begin, make sure that the person you want to share your location with and their Gmail address have been added to your Google Contacts.
  2. Launch the Google Maps app on your smartphone. Make sure you are signed in with your Google account.
  3. Tap on your profile picture or acronym in the top right corner of the screen to open the menu.
  4. Select Location Sharing from the list of options.
  5. Tap the plus icon (+) at the top of the Location Sharing screen, which indicates New Sharing.
  6. Select how long you want to share your location with the selected contacts. You can choose to share temporarily or indefinitely until you manually stop.
  7. Make sure Google Maps has access to your contacts so you can easily select who you want to share with.
  8. Once you've selected your contacts and duration, click Share. This sends a notification to the selected contacts with a link to view your current location in real-time on their own Google Maps app.

Location sharing using Google Maps is a simple and effective way to let others know where you are without the need for additional hardware. 

However, the accuracy of location sharing depends on your device's GPS signal and network conditions. This feature is especially useful in situations such as meeting up with friends, keeping your family safe while traveling, or even in an emergency.

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