Home / iPhone / Apple didn’t talk about it, but iOS 17 adds AirTag and Find My device sharing

Apple didn’t talk about it, but iOS 17 adds AirTag and Find My device sharing

apple-software-updates-ios

Apple/Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

Did you happen to catch Apple’s WWDC 23 keynote? At times it felt as if the company speed-read through a ton of information and announcements in order to make room for spending 40 minutes on the announcement and demonstrations of its augmented reality Vision Pro headset

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For example, when covering the iPhone’s next major software update in iOS 17, we saw Apple walk through changes to the Phone app, Messages, FaceTime, a new Journal app and some other improvements. It felt as if the update was a little light on meaningful features. 

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Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

Thankfully, however, Apple published an iOS 17 preview page where the company walks through all of the new features coming in the update. There’s all of the stuff that was covered in the keynote, of course, but then there’s also other nuggets of information like the fact you can mark shared images as sensitive content and apply what amounts to be a NSFW blur to them that the recipient will have to acknowledge before viewing the photo. 

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Or you can take a picture of your plate of food and find similar recipes. Maps can now be downloaded for offline access, and Apple is adding EV charging stations to your route. 

As I was browsing through all of the features Apple didn’t mention during the keynote, I found one that should definitely have made the announcement. (To be fair, if you look at the image at the top of this post, Apple did include it on a slide shown during the keynote.)

Starting with iOS 17, you can share AirTags and other Find My network accessories with up to five other people. That’s huge news and a feature that AirTag users have asked for since the launch of the small tracking devices. 

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Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

For those who don’t understand or know, here’s why: Apple’s anti-stalking features will alert you whenever a Find My device or AirTag that is registered to someone else is traveling with you. That means every time you borrow your partners’ car keys that have an AirTag on the keyring, you’re constantly getting notifications on your iPhone that there’s an unknown AirTag with you. 

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By making it possible to share AirTags, you not only eliminate those pesky and annoying alerts, but you also make it possible for those you share the AirTag with to track down the lost item. 

I assume you will be able to share the tags with anyone you have added to Apple Family Sharing, but I could be wrong. From a privacy standpoint, it’s what makes the most sense.


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