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How to Use Apple AirTag on Android to Track Your Dogs and Cats

Updated by Amy Granger on Jun 9, 2021

Did you know that you can use an Apple AirTag on Android devices to track your pets? The small, robust tag can be easily clipped onto your dog or cat's collar so that you can keep track of their whereabouts from your phone.

Although the AirTag works by linking to the 'Find My' app on Apple devices, it's also possible to find lost items [and animals!] on Android devices. In this post, we will introduce you to everything you need to know about the Apple AirTag, so you can track your pets and have peace of mind, regardless of the device you're using.

connect airtag to android

Before we investigate how to use Apple AirTag on Android, we will first examine exactly what the tag is.

Launched to help customers keep track of their most prized possessions, the Apple AirTag is a small, puck-shaped smart device that uses ultra-wideband technology to monitor important items.

If you lose an item that has been fitted with an AirTag, you can place it into 'lost mode.' The AirTag uses the 'Find My' app on iOS to identify the exact location of a missing, AirTag-equipped item. The missing device sends out a secure Bluetooth signal, which you can then locate on your iCloud.

The process is encrypted to protect your privacy, and only you can see where your AirTag actually is. Devices that relay the location of your AirTag remain anonymous, so even Apple doesn't know the location of your missing item.

You can attach an AirTag to your luggage, wallet, or even pets, depending on what you need to keep an eye on.

But what happens if you want to connect an AirTag to an Android device?

Although AirTag is an Apple product, it can also be tracked in certain instances by Android devices. Be aware that you won't be able to use it as a tracker, but you will be able to help locate an item when it's in lost mode to help return it to its owner.

Here's how it works.

An AirTag is equipped with an ultra-wideband that enables users to track their items down to within half an inch. Within the tracker is also Near Field Communication [NFC], which is the only part of the AirTag that is actually compatible with Android.

If you find an item with an AirTag inserted, tap and hold the top of your Android device to the white side of the tag. A notification will then appear on the screen, which you will need to tap to follow to go through to the next step.

If the item has been placed in 'lost mode' by the owner, you will then see how to contact the owner and return the item safely. One of the most impressive components of the AirTag is that you can view a lost mode message on any NFC-capable smartphone, as well as iOS devices.

use-android-to-track-pets

Although the Apple AirTag wasn't designed as a pet tracker, many dog and cat owners utilize this latest tech to keep an eye on their pets. And it's undoubtedly effective.

Here's how to track your pets with an AirTag and then see their location on Android:

1. Set up your AirTag and attach it to your pet's collar. You will need to make sure it's tightly affixed and won't easily fall off when they're moving.

2. On your Apple device, set the AirTag you've attached to your pet as 'lost.' It will then send out its location to your device.

3. Approach your dog's collar and hold your Android device to the white side of the tag. You will see information about your dog on the screen, as well as any details you have set to tell people how to contact you.

You will have to bear in mind that the AirTag tracker only works on your pet if it's charged and within a set range. You will also need to ensure the tag is protected from the elements, as it might not work when it's exposed to excessive water.

This is one potential drawback to attaching it to your pet while they're out in the open.

Q1. What's the difference between AirTag and other GPS trackers?

The main thing that distinguishes the AirTag from other GPS trackers is its use of ultra-wideband to locate your items or pets. While NFC is present within the AirTag, it only allows for connectivity to Android devices when the item is in lost mode. To enjoy the full range of benefits and functionality of the AirTag, you will need to connect it to an Apple device.

Q2. How do pet GPS trackers work?

Many pet trackers on the market feature a module that includes a GPS chip and SIM card. You attach the module to your pet's collar, which contains a GPS chip. When your pet goes missing, you receive coordinates of your pet's location via GPS satellites that you then follow to find your pet. You can download a map to show your pet's location on a map rather than as coordinates.

Q3. Can you recommend any GPS trackers other than AirTag? And are these better for Android users?

The great news for Android users is that there are many alternatives on the market to the AirTag. If you're an Android user, it's much better to opt for one of the following three devices, as it will be much easier to track your pets:

  • Samsung Galaxy SmartTag+ - This is perhaps the closest Android alternative to the AirTag, but it's only available on a select number of phones [Galaxy S21 series].
  • Tile – Compatible on Android, iOS, and Windows, Tile is the most popular alternative to AirTag, and is enjoyed by millions of users worldwide.
  • Tracki – This is a cost-effective alternative to the AirTag and uses lithium-ion battery technology to retain its charge. It's also hard-wearing, making it an ideal choice for tracking your pets.

Conclusion

The Apple AirTag is undoubtedly one of [if not the] best tracking tools available on the market right now. While it's possible to find a lost item equipped with an AirTag from an Android device thanks to NFC, if you're an Android user, we would recommend opting for an alternative device compatible with other operating systems.

This will ensure you can enjoy the full functionality of the tracking app, so you can locate your pets wherever they find themselves when they disappear from home.

Amy Granger
Amy is an editor from iPetor, owns a 4-year experience in writing tips and tutorial for users. As a pet owner, she will share more pets care methods and recommend more useful products for all pet owners.
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