Podcast Transcript, Mosen At Large Episode 118, Apple changes the game for blind people locating lost stuff, with their stunningly accessible AirTags

This transcript is made possible thanks to funding from InternetNZ.

 

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[music]

Jonathan: I’m Jonathan Mosen. This is Mosen At Large. The show that’s got the blind community talking. On the show today, they’ve been leaked about and speculated about but now we can talk about them from firsthand experience. We’ll, un-box, set up, and use Apple’s new AirTag products.

[music]

Thank you for joining me today, for what I know is a much-anticipated episode. We’ve been covering AirTags on Mosen At Large, almost since the beginning of Mosen At Large.

There have been consistent leaks that AirTags were coming both through the supply chain and thanks to people looking at iOS code but now we can stop speculating because they are actually here and thanks to time zones, New Zealand gets them first. Before we unbox and demonstrate them and despite having covered them extensively, as a word has leaked out. Let’s get everything in one place and explain what AirTags are and why you might use one. AirTags are designed to help you track personal possessions, like wallets and keys.

They’re waterproof with an IP 67 rating and powered by a CR two zero three, two battery, which Apple says should last a year and is user-replaceable. Apple is a new entrant into the tracker market. The most famous player in this space is Tile. Tiles come in a range of sizes and shapes, including small stickers that can be fixed to small devices. Apple currently produces just the one kind of AirTag.

You can buy them individually, or you can buy them in packs of four for a small discount. There is no loop on the device itself. So you may also need to purchase accessories for things like attaching an AirTag to a key chain. Absurdly, some of the official accessories cost more than an AirTag but cheaper, third-party accessories are already becoming available. There are three ways of finding a lost thing that you’re tracking with an AirTag.

The best way is with the U1 ultra wideband chip. These are in every AirTag and there’s one in every iPhone 11 and higher. Although you should note that the current iPhone SE 2020 model does not have this chip. If you use AirTags with an iPhone SE 2020, you will not be able to take advantage of the precision finding experience and this is one of the caveats that we discussed on Mosen At Large when that phone came out.

The U1 support where available gives AirTags a huge advantage over Tile because, with these newer iPhones, you have access to a feature called precision finding. As well as the U1 ship, it uses the accelerometer, camera, and gyroscope to guide you to the item exactly. When we unbox and setup AirTags in a moment, we’ll find out just how good it really is and what accessibility mechanisms Apple has put in place to help a blind person find something.

In theory, it should allow you to locate something that’s close to you with extreme precision. This is handy for small items you might lose such as keys, which can fall under a couch cushion, or if it works well enough for finding a suitcase on a busy luggage carousel at an airport. If you don’t have one of the newer iPhones, you can use your AirTag as a standard Bluetooth tracker, much like a Tile and the range should be similar.

This will help you locate something close by but not with the precision accuracy you can if you have a newer iPhone. If you report an item as lost, you can take advantage of the fact that any iPhone running iOS 14.5 or higher, that hasn’t opted out and I’m sure most will not opt out, is part of the Find My network. With so many iPhones in service around the world, if you report your item as lost chances are its location will be found quickly by an iPhone user. All this happens for iPhone users in the background, they are not told when they find a lost item, the data is simply passed on to you and all of this data is encrypted. The equivalent feature for Tile only works on devices where the Tile app is installed.

Although they can take advantage of running on Android, which is the world’s most popular mobile operating system, as well as iOS, the number of devices that are tracking your item is in reality, much smaller because not everyone has the Tile app installed. If you’re deep in the Apple ecosystem already and you want peace of mind for stuff you might lose, there are some real advantages in going with AirTags. Advantages that have the Tile people crying antitrust.

If your item is lost for three days or more, it will start playing a sound. If this draws someone’s attention to your lost item and they happened to be an Android user, the AirTag does store basic NFC near-field communication information. So it works like a tag and you can provide contact information, if you wish that tells the owner of an NFC capable device, how to return the item to you.

All the owner of any NFC capable device has to do is tap the AirTag against the NFC reader on their smartphone. Apple has taken care to ensure AirTags can’t be used for stalking. If Apple notices after a while that you are traveling with an AirTag that doesn’t belong to you, in other words, it’s not registered with your iCloud account, you’ll be warned of the fact. So as you can tell and as is typical of Apple, a lot of care has been put into the user interface and the product design but how well does it all work in practice? We’re about to find out as AirTags finally arrive at Mosen towers.

Speaker 2: Be the first to know what’s coming in the next episode of Mosen At Large. Opt into the Mosen media list and receive a brief email on what’s coming so you can get your contribution in ahead of the show. You can stop receiving emails anytime. To join, send a blank email to media-subscribe@mosen.org, that media-subscribe@mosen.org. Stay in the know with Mosen At Large.

[music]

Jonathan: Coincidentally enough, they are here now. The Apple AirTags have arrived and also, so has another box containing one of these accessory loops and who better to accompany us through this exciting journey of new Apple stuff than the highly appreciated, HeidiTaylor, the artist formerly known as Heidi Mosen. Welcome.

Heidi: Hello.

Jonathan: Are you glad to be back for another Apple installment?

Heidi: I am. It’s always fun doing this.

Jonathan: It is fun, isn’t it? What have we got?

Heidi: Two cardboard boxes.

Jonathan: That’s really exciting, isn’t it?

Heidi: [chuckles] Yes.

Jonathan: One’s quite long. Describe the other one.

Heidi: The other one just looks like a little box. One is like a long skinny one, reminds me of like an Apple watch box, and the other one’s just like a regular rectangular box like an Apple TV.

Jonathan: Let’s open the regular rectangular one, shall we, and see what we have in there. We are armed with all the implements like scissors.

Heidi: Yes, there’s so much tape on here.

Jonathan: Yes, it is an occupational hazard.

Heidi: [laughs] An occupational hazard?

Jonathan: Yes, you just want to get in and use your new stuff. It’s always so difficult to get into these boxes. I think someone somewhere takes this masochistic pleasure in knowing that it’s difficult to get into these things.

Heidi: Yes. Oh, inside the big rectangular box, is a very considerably smaller also rectangular box. Here you go, it says, AirTag four-pack.

Jonathan: Okay, this looks very classic Applely. It feels like the same box that you might get with the lightning to 3.5 adapter but it’s bigger because there’s a four-pack and I’m now going to give it back to you.

Heidi: Oh, okay because I have all the opening instruments?

Jonathan: You do.

Heidi: This one’s easier. It has like a little pull tag on the tape.

Jonathan: Oh, there you go. All the secrets. We’re finally going to get our hands on an AirTag.

Heidi: There you go, you can pull it out.

Jonathan: Okay, I am now extracting an AirTag.

Heidi: Yes, that’s the little like slide out bit.

Jonathan: Oh, okay. It slides out and it’s packaged and we’ve got this thing here.

Heidi: Like warranty and safety and handling.

Jonathan: Then we have the four-pack and they sit in this recessed packaging designed specifically for the AirTags. Each tag is snugly in its place and I guess we pull it off. It’s just stuck there. Now, how would you describe this? It’s a bit thinner than the Tile sticker for those who are familiar with the sticker product from Tile. Less chunky than the sticker, don’t you think?

Heidi: Yes, less chunky, but I think it’s a bigger like circle.

Jonathan: Is it?

Heidi: I think so.

Jonathan: We’ll have to compare. Obviously no adhesive. I take it that we just pull the tab off this thing, the sticky base.

Heidi: Yes, that’s like the plastic protecting it.

Jonathan: Okay, now what we have is this shiny Tile. There’s another that’s stuck on to it.

Heidi: That was the plastic between the battery terminals?

iPhone: X button.

Jonathan: Oh.

iPhone: Possibly close.

Jonathan: Now the iPhone, without me doing anything, has woken up. Now I’ll flip right.

iPhone: AirTag. Pairing. Connect button.

Jonathan: There it is. It just says, “AirTag and connect button.”

iPhone: AirTag. Pairing.

Jonathan: What I might do, Heidi, is turn the Screen Curtain off.

iPhone: Screen Curtain off.

Jonathan: Then we’ll say set screen brightness to 50%.

Siri: Okay. I made the screen brighter.

Jonathan: All right.

iPhone: Messages.

Jonathan: Oh. Now it’s gone.

Heidi: You made it go away.

Jonathan: I made it go away by trying to be smart and having a look at the screen.

[chuckles]

Jonathan: I guess we’ll just go back into the Find My App. [Siri sound] Launch find me.

iPhone: Map. Mark Ave. Park.

Jonathan: We’ll go to the bottom of the screen with a four-finger single tap.

iPhone: Tab bar. Me. Tab. Four of four.

Jonathan: Flick left.

iPhone: “Items” tab. Three of four.

Jonathan: There’s the “Items” tab, which is new in iOS 14.5. I’ll double tap.

iPhone: Selected items tab. Three of four.

Jonathan: I’ll go to the top of the screen.

iPhone: Map. Mark Ave. Park.

Jonathan: Oh, I won’t then. I’ll go to the bottom of the screen.

iPhone: Tab R. Me. Tab–

Jonathan: Flick left.

iPhone: Selected devices. People. Add item. Button.

Jonathan: Double-tap add item.

iPhone: Add new item.

Jonathan: I’ll flick right-

iPhone: Close button. Add AirTag button.

Jonathan: -and double-tap.

iPhone: Searching AirTags. Pull tab on AirTag and bring it near this iPhone to start. Alert. Dismiss button. AirTag. Pairing. Connect button.

Jonathan: It’s just a connect button on the screen. What’s visually on the screen?

Heidi: A little picture of an AirTag floating in space, spinning around.

Jonathan: Okay. The final frontier.

Heidi: Yes. [chuckles].

Jonathan: I’ll double tap connect.

iPhone: Dismiss button.

Jonathan: Flick right.

iPhone: New AirTag. Pairing. Backpack. Pick her item. Adjustable. 1 in 11.

Jonathan: You can choose from 11 things that you can name this AirTag. I’ll flick up through the list.

iPhone: Bike. 1 of 11. Camera. 1 of 11. Handbag. 1 of 11. Headphones. 1 of 11. Jacket. 1 of 11. Keys. 1 of 11.

Jonathan: It’s obviously not incrementing the index number correctly because everything’s 1 of 11.

iPhone: Luggage. 1 of 11. Umbrella. 1 of 11. Wallet. 1 of 11. Custom name. 1 of 11.

Jonathan: Custom name is the last item. I’ll set this one up for my wallet, I think.

iPhone: Wallet. 11 of 11.

Jonathan: Flick right.

iPhone: Continue button.

Jonathan: I’ll double-tap.

iPhone: Close button.

Jonathan: I’ll flick right.

iPhone: Continue button. Close button. This will be associated with a personal infor–

Jonathan: We’ll get to the top of the screen.

iPhone: Register AirTag to your Apple ID.

Jonathan: It gave my email address and my phone number, which I have edited out of the recording.

iPhone: This will be associated with a personal information you have provided to Apple. Close button. Continue button.

Jonathan: I’ll double tap continue.

iPhone: Dismiss button.

Jonathan: We’ll get back to the top of the screen.

iPhone: Dismiss. Jonathan’s wallet. Pairing in progress. Map.

Jonathan: I’ll flick right.

iPhone: Dismiss button. Jonathan’s wallet. Pairing. Current location with you. Precision finding when AirTag is nearby and I will point to its precise location. Play sound. Find your AirTag by playing a sound from your iPhone. Directions in Maps. View this AirTag on the map and use the Maps app to navigate to it. View and Find My app button. Done button.

Jonathan: I’ll double tap done.

iPhone: Find My map. Mark Ave. Park.

Jonathan: Now we’re back into the main Find My app, right?

Heidi: Yes.

Jonathan: I presume we now have the–

iPhone: Tab. Selected items.

Jonathan: We’re on the items tab.

iPhone: Devices. People.

Jonathan: I’m flicking left to go backwards through the screen.

iPhone: Identify found item button. Add new item button. Jonathan’s wallet.

[chuckles]

Jonathan: It’s giving my address there. I will double-tap.

iPhone: Jonathan’s wallet. Map. Mark Avenue Avenue Park.

Jonathan: Flick right.

iPhone: Mark Ave. Park.

Jonathan: We have the map on the screen. I’ll see if I can navigate to a heading.

iPhone: Heading not found.

Jonathan: Okay. I’m going to hold the little tag up to the microphone and we’ll play the sound.

iPhone: Play sound. Connecting. Stop sound. Play button.

[sound plays]

iPhone: Play sound off button.

Jonathan: It doesn’t play the sound continuously until you stop it. It only plays it for a short time. It’s a bit like when you ping your phone from your Apple Watch Then the phone’s going, “Ding, ding, ding, ding.” Then it stops. That is a difference from Tile because I’m pretty sure Tile just keeps playing until you stop it.

iPhone: Find nearby button. Notifications. Notify when found. Dimmed. Switch button off. Lost mode. Enable button. Rename item button. Remove item button. Jonathan’s wallet. Map settings button.

Heidi: Back in the section where you could play the sound.

Jonathan: Yes.

Heidi: The find thing also looked like a button.

Jonathan: How do you mean?

Heidi: Well, there was play sound and you activate that and it made a sound. The next one there was find and it looked like you could interact with that.

iPhone: Find nearby button.

Jonathan: Okay, find nearby. I’ll double-tap.

iPhone: Finding Jonathan’s wallet. Pairing. Item within reach. 0.5 meter nearby. Done button. Play sound button. Play sound.

Jonathan: If you play the sound from in here.

iPhone: Play sound [sound plays].

Jonathan: I wonder if it keeps playing.

iPhone: 0.5 meter nearby.

Heidi: No.

Jonathan: No, it doesn’t. Okay. Now, we are getting some really interesting–

Jonathan: Oh my, wow.

Jonathan: [chuckles] That is really amazing.

Jonathan: Now, we’re going to have a play with this in just a moment at greater length.

iPhone: 0.4 meter nearby. Play sound button. Done button.

Jonathan: Okay. Now, the phone was giving all sorts of haptic feedback then.

Heidi: It was also changing colors.

Jonathan: Really?

Heidi: Yes.

Jonathan: Okay. Why don’t we, just for the moment, put this AirTag on the other side of the room?

Heidi: Okay.

Jonathan: Okay?

Heidi: Get rid of these headphones. Okay.

Jonathan: Okay. Now I will go back into the Find mode.

iPhone: Mark Ave. Park. Map settings. Tracking. Now button. Play sound off. Find nearby button.

Jonathan: We’ll double tap this.

iPhone: Find. Try moving to a different location. Signal is weak. Try moving to a different location. 3 meters. 2.8 meter. 2.7 meters. 2.5 meters. 2.4 meters.

Jonathan: Okay. I’m getting closer to it but if I turn in the opposite direction.

iPhone: 2.5 meters. 3.2 meters. 3.2 meters behind. 3.3 meters behind.

Jonathan: Oh, that is absolutely amazing. I’m facing-

iPhone: 3.4 meters behind.

Jonathan: -in the opposite direction now and it knows that the tag is behind me, all right?

iPhone: 3.4 meters behind.

Jonathan: I’m going to turn left.

iPhone: 3.3 meters to your left.

Jonathan: That is absolutely amazing.

iPhone: [glitches] 3.2 meters behind.

Jonathan: All right. I’m going to turn around and face it.

iPhone: [glitches] 2.6 meter ahead.

Jonathan: All right, and I’m getting some vibrations now. Steady vibration that’s going-

iPhone: 2.5 meter ahead.

Jonathan: -“Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.” Like that. I’m going to move ahead.

iPhone: 2.4 meter ahead.

Jonathan: The taps are becoming more frequent the closer I get to it.

iPhone: 2.2 meter ahead. 1.8 meters to your right. 1.7 meter ahead.

Jonathan: All right.

iPhone: 1.6 meter ahead.

Jonathan: Now I’m at Heidi’s mic. I actually can’t go any further but we’re going to play with this some more.

Heidi: I think you can get closer if you want.

Jonathan: If you bring the tag closer to me.

iPhone: Signal is weak.

Jonathan: Oh, that’s interesting.

iPhone: 0.5 [glitches].

Jonathan: Okay, now the vibration is just constant because it’s right there. That is spectacular [chuckles]. We’re going to have a play with this. The setup process– Oh, just stop hogging your mic and get back to mine.

[chuckles]

Jonathan: All right. We’ll stop it.

iPhone: Done button. Map.

Jonathan: As you hear, the setup process is very straightforward. If it wasn’t for the fact that we were making the screen brighter and everything, it would’ve been completely seamless because the moment that the phone saw that I had an AirTag, it just went into this mode. It’s very similar to the AirPod setup, isn’t it?

Heidi: Yes.

Jonathan: Have you set up AirPods?

Heidi: Yes, I have AirPods.

Jonathan: Yes. When you open them close by a phone, it does–

Heidi: Pops up.

Jonathan: Yes. Does that very thing. That’s really all there is to this. We have a four-pack. Should we just open the other box and have a look at the accessory for a key ring. I think it’s the keyring one I got, and it actually costs more than the Tile itself. We’ll open this up and then what I think we will do–

Heidi: It says it’s a loop.

Jonathan: Is it all right for a keyring?

Heidi: I don’t know, but that’s what it says.

Jonathan: That’s the closest thing I could find. What I think I will do then is get my key ring and we’ll attach it and then I’m going to get Heidi to play a game of Heidi go seek with the wallet. All right then. This part of the demo is being recorded on my Zoom F-6 and we’ve ripped one of the Heil PR-40s out of the studio and I’m holding it in my hand and I got a backpack full of stuff, and we’re going to do a bit of a walk around Mosen Towers.

Now Heidi has taken the AirTag that we’ve set up for the wallet and she has put it in my wallet, which now also has a Tile in it. It’s super loss proof and she’s hidden it and I don’t know where she’s hidden it. We’re going to see if we can use precision finding to find something where I literally don’t have a clue where it has gone. We’ve got the iPhone here and it is still on the items tab in the find my app so we’ll flick left.

iPhone: Select device people, tab, identify new item. Jonathan’s wallet now with you.

Jonathan: It says it’s with me. I’ll double-tap.

iPhone: Select map. Mark Avenue Park.

Jonathan: Flick right.

iPhone: Mark Ave park. remove item button, rename item button, enable button, lost mode. Notify when found. Notifications. Find nearby button.

Jonathan: It says, “Find nearby.” I will double-tap.

iPhone: Find. Signal is weak. Try moving to a different location. Finding Jonathan’s wallet. Heading.

Jonathan: We’re going to get any information I’ll flick right.

iPhone: Calibrating.

Jonathan: Let’s just let it calibrate and see how long it takes now that the wallet is presumably further away.

iPhone: Finding. Calibrating.

Jonathan: It’s still calibrating.

iPhone: Connected.

Jonathan: I’ll flick right.

iPhone: Signal is weak. Try playing a sound to locate– try moving to a different location. Connect– Signal is weak. Try moving to a different location.

Jonathan: I’m going to leave the studio now and just see if I wander around because I’m pretty sure if I play a sound, I’m not going to hear it down here. I suspect it is upstairs. I’m hitting the [crosstalk]

iPhone: Three meters. Calibrating.

Jonathan: It just gave me some–

iPhone: 3.1. 3.3– Compass. Item outside field of vision. Three meters to your right. 2.9, 3 meters to your right.

Jonathan: It’s closer than I thought it was.

iPhone: 2.9 meters, 3, 2.3, 2.9 meters to your right.

Jonathan: How could it possibly be there? I know where it is, I think.

iPhone: 3 meters to your right. 3.1 meters. 3.2 meters.

Jonathan: Hang on.

iPhone: Signal is weak. Try moving to a different location. Signal is weak. Try moving to a different location.

Jonathan: I’ve lost it now. I’m moving back the way I came where I did have a signal. I think the key thing here is that it said it is outside of my field of vision. That was a message that it gave and that suggests that the proximity is misleading. I wonder–

iPhone: 3.3– Calibrating.

Jonathan: I wonder if it’s picking it up because it’s upstairs and it’s–

iPhone: Signal is weak. Try moving to a different location.

Jonathan: I’m going to try going up the stairs.

iPhone: 3.1 meters, 3.2 meters. 3.1– Signal is weak. Try moving to a different location.

Jonathan: I’m now climbing the stairs just to see if it, in fact, was picking it up from the floor above that–

iPhone: 4.8– 4.4 meters, 3.9 meters, 3.3. Try moving in a different direction to locate your item. 3.5 meters, 3.4 meters, 3.– Signal is weak. Try– 3.6– Compass 3.6 meters behind.

Jonathan: Now it’s locked into it. Now I’ve got the iPhone quite close to the mic, so you will be able to pick up the haptics now.

iPhone: [crosstalk] 3.3 meters, 3.2 meters ahead.

Jonathan: That tap is the haptics. It’s in the living room.

iPhone: 2.2, 2.3 meters, 2.2, 2.1 2.2, 2.4 meters to your left 2.1 meters ahead. 2 meters ahead. 1.9, 1.8 meters ahead. 1.7 meter ahead. 1.6 meter ahead. 1.7 meter ahead.

Jonathan: I’m right up against a wall now. It’s very close.

iPhone: 1.5 meters to your left. 1.6 meters.

Jonathan: Where have you put it?

iPhone: 1.6 meters. 1.7 meter ahead.

Jonathan: It’s up high.

iPhone: 1.8 meters ahead.

Heidi: 1.7 [crosstalk]

iPhone: 1.7 meters ahead.

Heidi: Would be through the wall.

iPhone: 2.1 meters, 2.2 meters.

Jonathan: That’s true because I’m trying to figure out how can I break Through that wall here.

Heidi: Yes.

iPhone: 2 meters to your left. 1.6 meters ahead. 1.3 meters. 1.4 meters to your right. 1.9 meter ahead. 1.3 meters nearby.

Jonathan: Now I hear the constant vibration, so it must be on the corner here. At least I’m looking for the wallet, aren’t I?

Heidi: Yes.

Jonathan: That’s right. I was looking for the tag. I’m looking for the wallet. There we go. That is pretty impressive. What that tells me is that I need to start thinking about these things differently. I wasn’t trusting what the thing was telling me because when it was telling me things like that it was 1.8 meters ahead, I was getting stuck because there was a bleeding big wall in front of me and I was thinking, “How can it possibly be 1.8 meters ahead when there’s a brick wall in front of me?” I guess that’s just because I’m not thinking about the way that it thinks and it was absolutely spot on.

I was not trusting what I was being told and was moving around thinking, “That can’t be right.” When in fact it was absolutely 100% right and I had to go through the wall by obviously going through the door. I suppose I could have gone through the wall, but Bonnie wouldn’t have been happy about that, then it was really easy to find it with that haptic feedback and the directions. That is absolutely staggering. I have to say that maybe for many sighted people the AirTags are going to be a nice thing to have. For a blind person with the right iPhone with that U1 chip, this is a revolution. I really mean that.

To be able to find something with that degree of precision. When I think of the times as a blind person that I have scrambled around on the floor in little circular motions looking for something that I know full well is right there even with a Tile, this precision finding is another game-changer from Apple that’s pretty impressive, don’t you think, Heidi?

Heidi: Yes. It’s really cool.

Jonathan: Welcome back to the studio where I know where everything is. This is the kind of diligence and care that Apple does take with their things. If you have used the LIDAR people detection feature before, and you know those haptic vibrations, the feedback does seem to me, if not exactly the same, very similar. That’s pretty slick that they have done that. The one thing we haven’t tried yet is putting something in lost mode. We’ll try that. I don’t know what this will do.

iPhone: Lost mode, enable button. Double-tap to dismiss the pop-up window.

Jonathan: I’ll flick right.

iPhone: Cancel button. Lost mode. Jonathan’s wallet.

Jonathan: It gave my email address there and then ask that poignant question.

iPhone: What will happen. Notify when found. You will receive a notification when the location becomes available. Pairing lock. This item is linked to your Apple ID so no one else can pair to it. Phone number on message. Leave a number on message to be displayed for the person who finds this item. Continue button.

Jonathan: Now, can I tap that-

iPhone: Leave phone number–

Jonathan: -phone number and message? It didn’t look like it’s tappable, but will–

iPhone: Phone number on message.

Jonathan: No, that’s just a summary.

Heidi: It’s probably on the next page or something.

Jonathan: Yes, it’s just a summary. All right.

iPhone: Leave a number on message to– Continue button.

Jonathan: I’ll double tap continue.

iPhone: Phone number. Heading.

Jonathan: Flick right.

iPhone: Enter a phone number in case someone finds your item and wants to contact you. Phone. Pairing. Enter a phone number. Text field.

Jonathan: I can type my phone number here if I really had lost it.

Heidi: Once you enable Lost Mode, this phone number will be visible to the person who finds your item. This allows others to contact you whenever your lost items are found.

Jonathan: You do actually have to enter the number. There’s no way around that. I guess that makes sense, because if somebody finds your stuff, and they don’t know how to contact you, what good is it? I will go in here.

iPhone: Enter a phone number. Text field. Insertion point at end.

Jonathan: I’m going to type my phone number in and pause the recording. Now that I’ve entered a phone number, we have a–

iPhone: Next button.

Jonathan: I’ll double-tap.

iPhone: Active. Double-tap to dismiss pop-up window button, cancel button, activate button. Lost Mode. Jonathan’s wallet, summary, notify when found. Switch button, off. This feature can only be enabled when you’re not in close proximity of this item. Zero Two. This item has been lost, dimmed text–

Jonathan: If the item wasn’t in close proximity to me, I could turn on notify when found, put it in Lost Mode. What will happen then is that it will become discoverable by the Find My network on all these iDevices around the world. Running iOS 14.5, as we explained at the beginning of the review. Very straightforward, as we would hope and expect with Apple a 100% accessible, but for me, it’s the proximity finding of this thing that is just an absolute game-changer in terms of locating lost stuff when you’re a blind person. You would’ve got to the point, especially with the wallet where you’d put it on the benchtop. Where visually, once it had guided you to a certain point, you would have looked and said, “Oh, there it is.” You would have gone and grabbed for it, but the fact that it guided a blind person, right to the item who couldn’t see precisely where it was, this is a massive accessibility win, massive.

[laughter]

Jonathan: I think we will give Apple a bit of a free pass on the ridiculous need for accessories.

[laughter]

Jonathan: Dongles accessories, that’s what you get for being an Apple land, but I tell you what they’ve well and truly made up for it with what I think will change the game for finding lost stuff when you’re blind. That is AirTags. They are available now. Thank you very much for all of your guidance with this, Heidi.

Heidi: Oh, you’re very welcome.

Jonathan: Do you want any? Would you use them?

Heidi: I might actually, but I’m pretty good at keeping track of my stuff.

Jonathan: Until you’re not.

Heidi: Until I’m not. That’s the problem, isn’t it?

Jonathan: I was like this until a couple of years ago and I don’t even know how it happened. You will remember my keys fell out of my pocket, and luckily somebody handed them into reception at my office, a couple of days later, but that sent me on a Magical Mystery Tour to get some Tiles then because it was just so distressing. You think you’re good at keeping hold of your stuff, but stuff happens. I tell you, this is just for those of us in the Apple ecosystem, who are blind. It’s a big day, the release of these things. A big day. All right. Thanks so much for your help.

Heidi: You’re welcome.

[music]

Jonathan: To contribute to Mosen At Large you can email Jonathan, that’s J-O-N-A-T-H-A-N at mushroomfm.com by writing something down or attaching an audio file, or you can call our listener line. It’s a US number 864-60 Mosen, that’s 864-606-6736.

[music]

[00:33:42] [END OF AUDIO]

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