GPS trackers are used in all kinds of areas. Tracking vehicles, pets and even people has dominated the market for many years, so it was inevitable that Apple, with its reputation for top tech, should jump on the bandwagon. But how does the newcomer stack up against traditional GPS trackers provided by reputable suppliers such as Trackershop in terms of usability and price, and is there any danger of the AirTag upsetting the established order?
What is the Apple AirTag and how does it work?
Apple markets its baby as a ‘super-easy’ way to keep track of your possessions such as keys, wallet, and devices and on the face of it seems just that. You attach the AirTag, which looks just like a keyring, to whatever you want to keep track of then download the app, called Find My, onto your smartphone or another device. In order to find your misplaced item, you simply play a sound on your device’s speaker or ask Siri to ‘find my….’ Then you follow the sound and locate your item.
The AirTag works off a Bluetooth signal to be detected by your nearby devices, which will be stored in the Find My network and which sends the location of your AirTag to iCloud. The Find My app allows you to see where your missing item is on a map. Apple promises that the whole process is anonymous and encrypted to protect privacy.
A downside is that an AirTag relies on iPhones to show their location, so if there is no iPhone nearby, you’re stuck.
Price-wise, the Apple AirTag initially looks like a bargain, with prices starting at £35 for a single AirTag and no monthly subscription fees. However, with Apple, the add-ons can range from £14 up to a whopping £359 plus you will, of course, need an iPhone to set up your AirTag, and these are far from cheap.
How does a GPS tracker work?
A GPS tracker has a massive advantage over the Apple AirTag in that it doesn’t rely on Bluetooth to work but instead utilises the much larger network of satellites, so you don’t have to rely on other people’s phones. GPS trackers are also constantly updating their location to give real-time data on where your property – usually a vehicle, of course – is located. Bluetooth doesn’t have the capacity for rapid long range locator updates, so in this respect, a GPS tracker offers a far more useful performance.
A GPS tracker uses secure satellite signals over a much larger range than the relatively insecure Bluetooth-enabled AirTag. This is invaluable to customers who, for example, run a fleet of vehicles and who need to know where each vehicle is at all times and the status of any emergency issue which may arise.
Additional benefits of GPS trackers
Real-time location tracking ensures that you know exactly where your vehicle is at any given time and that the driver is safe and on schedule in the case of a commercial vehicle. A tracker allows you to monitor your driver’s behaviour and gives valuable insight into route planning.
For the private vehicle owner, a GPS tracker provides security in knowing that their vehicle is protected from theft, but if it does get taken, then an alert instantly monitors its position, ensuring the speedy recovery of the vehicle.
Insurance companies usually offer reduced premiums when a GPS tracker is installed.
There’s a wide range of GPS trackers to suit all budgets and requirements, which is why they have been the go-to options for many years by companies and individuals alike. To find the best option for you, it may be worth speaking to a specialist dealer, who can help you determine which is right for your needs.