AirPods Totally Need Built-In AirTags

Sofa, so good

Key Takeaways

  • AirTags aren’t just for tracking lost items—they’re good for finding misplaced ones. 
  • AirPods are the most obvious candidate for building in AirTags tech.
  • Tents, parked cars, strollers? Aimless searches are over.
Closeup of a hand tossing AirPods in the air.

Alejandro Luengo / Unsplash

Q: What single item do you lose more than any other? A: AirPods.

Apple’s AirPods and Apple’s new AirTags are the most obvious hookup since sofa-cushion-gaps and TV remotes. It would be extraordinary if Apple didn’t offer the pairing in the next version of its wireless earbuds. But it shouldn’t stop there. AirTag tech could be built into all kinds of gear.

"I personally would have loved AirTag functionality for my AirPods Pro case when I misplaced it," technology review analyzer Tavis Lochhead told Lifewire via email. "I ended up buying a new case, only to find the original case under my couch several months later."

Perfectly Executed

AirTags have been rumored for at least the past couple of years. In that time, you’d think that Apple would have some kind of big coordinated rollout, bringing the object-tracking tech to more of its products. As it stands, AirTags are only available as tiny standalone disks, which are impossible to attach to anything without buying accessory attachments.

They emit a constant Bluetooth blip, which can be picked up—anonymously and securely—by any passing iOS device. You can then use Apple’s Find My app to track them.

Apple AirTags.


"The product is great; the concept is not new, but by the looks of things, it has been perfectly executed, and solves a problem that almost everyone has: losing things," Scott Hickman, founder of The Detechtor, told Lifewire via email.

But what kinds of things does one lose, exactly?

Lost and Found

Find My already covers iPhones, iPads, and Macs, so we can forget those for now. The most mentioned use case for AirTags is your keys, but who loses their house keys?

A more sensible case would be a store manager or someone similar who carries a big bunch of keys that won’t fit in a pocket. Or maybe some hippie Berkley gas station could hitch its bathroom key to an AirTag instead of an old hubcap.

Really, though, the most likely scenario is to find objects that aren’t lost, but that you have misplaced around the home or the workplace: remote controls and AirPods. The remote will obviously be down the back of the sofa, but your AirPods could be in any pants or jacket pocket or just hidden under a book or cushion.


Another oft-suggested use is the bicycle. It probably won’t help you if someone steals the bike, but if you regularly lock up at a crowded bike-parking spot, then being able to track your ride down to the inch makes it a lot easier to find. 

An AirTag and an iPhone, with the AirTag connection shown on the iPhone screen.


"I’ve already seen ads for bikes like the VanMoof S3 integrating it," said Hickman. "So many objects can benefit from the network, like glasses, [and] third-party earphones."

And how about strollers? Again, you may park these up among lots of other strollers, especially if you’re at Disney World, where you have to leave your strollers in designated (and crowded) areas.

Cars, also, could be good candidates for AirTags. Don’t think about AirTags as a way to find lost items. Think of them more as "finding enablers."

You know your car is in the parking lot, for example, but not exactly where you left it. Having an arrow on your iPhone’s screen point at it, and tell you exactly how far away it is, saves a bunch of hassle.

Finding Enablers

Let’s come up with some more uses for AirTags. If you attach one to your dog’s collar, you can track it if it gets lost, although, in the countryside, a lack of iPhones will make tracking more difficult. And cats, which wander the neighborhood getting into trouble, are usually in range of iPhones.

How about your tent? At a campsite or a music festival, it’s always a pain to find your tent. AirTags can help with that.

Luggage, too, is a good candidate. If you lose it, you can find it again. But how about just tracking it from the plane to the airport carousel? Once close enough, you’d see its progress towards the conveyor.

An Apple AirTag on a suitcase handle.


AirTags are cheap enough that you can buy them to use with anything that you have trouble finding. But if they prove popular, more manufacturers might start building AirTag tech into their own goods.

Some of these will surely be pointless, but others will not. So, come on, Apple. Put an AirTag chip inside the AirPods case. You know you want to.

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