tech tips for writers

Tech Tips for Writers #174: Track Your Stuff

tech tips for writersTech Tips for Writers is an occasional post on overcoming Tech Dread. I’ll cover issues that friends, both real-time and virtual, have shared. Feel free to post a comment about a question you have. I’ll cover it in a future tip.

If you follow me on Instagram, you already saw this tip!

This is a very cool tip: Track anything with Apple Air Tags. I hid one in my husband’s car, labeled it ‘Dad’s Car’. Now, when it’s away from me, it sends a message to my phone like this:

Though the Air Tags might be best suited to finding a car lost in a parking lot, it also works if someone steals the car by setting the Air Tag to ‘lost’. Because the Air Tag itself only tracks within Bluetooth distance, ‘lost’ engages the assistance of the 1 billion users with Apple devices to notify you if they pass the Air Tag’s location. Let me stipulate: The effectiveness depends heavily on having Apple devices close enough to catch the Air Tag’s Bluetooth tracking signal.

Here’s a longish video I became addicted to watching. A YouTube influencer techie sort of guy tested the findability of lost Air Tags vs. Squares. It’s pretty interesting. He starts with a discussion of both items. If you’re looking for the test, it’s in the second half:

Anyone else use Air Tags for clever reasons?

Note: Award-winning author and blogging buddy Jacquie Biggar made a good comment over on Instagram: Thieves drop Air Tags into purses and pockets of unsuspecting people so they can follow them home. The iPhone–besides tracking your personal Air Tags–lets you know if unknown Air Tags are traveling with you, such as a thief’s. Thanks, Jacquie, for bringing that up!

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Nature which explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. She is also the author of the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, reviews as an Amazon Vine Voice, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Natural Selection, Spring 2022.


73 thoughts on “Tech Tips for Writers #174: Track Your Stuff

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  4. this is a fun gadget and I know this is where we are at with tech – but this is a little too “Big Brother” for me
    and I know things are safe and all
    but this “ngages the assistance of the 1 billion users with Apple devices” is what puzzles me about safety and privacy – hmmmm

    Liked by 1 person

    • And you aren’t wrong! I was shocked when I read that Ring Doorbells can talk to each other, be used as a network. I don’t have one, but when I replaced my thermostat, I opted for one that wouldn’t have an app on my phone!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well I love your tech tips and all the stuff you bring up for discussion –
        And because of all the Ring doorbells and cameras – I can no longer go to the mailbox in my pjs! Hahaha
        And I actually like a lot of this video stuff and feel there are perhaps more pros than cons, hmmm
        And side note – did not know a thermostat could now have an app – but I guess most things can! My son’s friend has a smoker that has an app and he said it is really helpful as they have the grill and smoker on the roof! So rather needed

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Tech Tips for Writers #174: Track Your Stuff – Amazing

  6. I’m glad Apple thought to produce a security system to protect people from creeps. Otherwise, this is a handy tool. I like the Find My iPhone app. It basically works the same, allowing me to track my loved ones if they have their phones and have agreed to being added to My People list.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Scrivener and Aeon Timeline are like Air Tags for writers. With these apps, writers can “tag” and track anything essential to your novel.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve not tried air tags and am not likely to. The few things that I have that I’d want to track – like my car or phone – already have this function built in. Still, it’s nice to use the “find my car” function on my car phone app when I can’t remember which parking lot I parked in.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think they’re well-suited for keys (as Jan mentioned) because those are usually lost within your house. My son did have occasion to leave his wallet in a store and the air tag notified him where that was–that was good.


  9. My husband’s daughter (I am the trophy wife) sent him airtags for Christmas last year. He could not figure out how to use them. I didn’t know. Another techie thing to get more confused with. Are we depending on to much techie stuff to rescue us from our busy lives? We don’t use Alexa either.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I haven’t heard of or used air tags. Maybe it’s just an apple thing. But my SIL lost his apple phone in a park one night and used the find my phone thingy (I’m not sure what) on his laptop (I think) to find it. He wouldn’t have found it in the dark otherwise. Pretty lucky!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is interesting. I’m not up to date on the AirTags, but I do get a message on my watch when I put my phone on the charger and move away from it. Actually, this kind of gives me the creeps…lol! 🙂 Thanks for sharing, Jacqui!

    Liked by 1 person

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