How do we track a Missing AirPod?
It’s always a joy to see a product deliver on edge cases.
Yesterday, while walking down a street, I realized I was missing an AirPod – it had fallen down without me noticing. That presented me an excellent opportunity to test the ‘find my AirPods’ feature.
I turned on the search and discovered I had to walk back a hundred feet. As soon as I came within pairing distance. a buzzing started. And then when I got really close, the AirPods started emitting a sound helping me to identify it easily. I checked the pod for damage, there was none.
The whole effect was like a treasure hunt. Good stuff.
Can it become better? Well maybe a floroscent, dancing AirPod would be even easier to locate than a white one emitting sound. But that said, I am pretty impressed with how seamlessly this feature works and how robust the product is.
But how do you track a missing AirPod – since it does not have its own GPS?
The airpod is too small to have its own GPS chip. It can track only at blue-tooth distances.
So if we are listening to a song at the airport and misplace it, how can the airpod reveal its location?
The Apple guys have created an interesting workaround to work “usually” in situations like:
- We lose the airpod in the living room
- We are listening to music at the workplace and leave it there by mistake
- It falls down during a walk or a run
The workaround is this. When you use your airpod, it’s Location data is uploaded to the cloud using your iphone or iPad GPS system. The coordinates then get over-laid on Maps to get you to Bluetooth distance, at which time real time tracking starts.
True, there are limitations (it can’t track the pods when they are in the box or track if the pods are moved when not synced). But, on the whole, This workaround dressed up as a solution delivers.
More than anything, I like the thought of having a solution designed to work in the face of tech limitations! Cool right?