How to get the latest AirTag firmware update | Cult of Mac

How to get the latest AirTag firmware update

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How to get the latest AirTag firmware update
Updating AirTag firmware is easy. But it requires patience.
Photo: Cult of Mac

There’s reportedly a firmware update out for AirTag on Tuesday. You’ll probably want it, but it turns out that updating the software for Apple’s item tracker is both easy and hard. You don’t have to jump through hoops, but neither do you have much control.

Here’s what you need to do.

AirTag update: It’s a mystery

Many people like to be sure their gear is always up to date, and that includes Apple’s tiny trackers. If there are new features, you don’t want to miss out on them. And that means keeping up with AirTag firmware updates, which are released sporadically.

The previous AirTag firmware version, 1.0.291, came out in August 2021. But there’s reportedly a new version out: 1.0.301 with build number 1A301.

However, the wait could for this could be long, as Apple is supposedly slowly rolling out the new firmware. Only 1% of the tiny devices will get it today, 10% more will get it on May 3, then 25% more of the trackers a week later, and the remainder will be eligible for the update on May 13.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to know what’s changed in version 1.0.301 because Apple doesn’t make release notes available for this type of update. It doesn’t even announce them.

Step 1: Be patient

You can’t manually start a firmware update on an AirTag. All you can do is put the tracker near the iPhone it’s paired with and wait.

Keep this in mind with AirTags on items like luggage that are in storage. You’ll need to put them near your iPhone long enough to install the new firmware. Just being in the same house/apartment/etc. isn’t close enough.

Although Apple released these accessories almost a year ago, no one has figured out if there’s some trick to getting the latest firmware more quickly. It’s unlikely such a method exists.

AirPods headphones also make users be patient. These accessories get software updates the same way — put them near an iPhone and wait. And no one has ever found a trick for speeding up the process.

How to check on AirTag firmware updates

AirTag users can at least easily find out if they have the latest firmware.

  1. Open the Find My application on an iPhone or iPad and go to the Items tab.
  2. Tap on an AirTag in the list of Items.
  3. Here’s the tricky part: Tap on the battery icon for the AirTag. That will display the AirTag’s serial number and firmware version.
How to get the latest AirTag firmware update in Find My
Tap on the battery indicator to see the firmware version.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple’s tracker debuted running version 1.0.225., but several firmware updates have been introduced, including a change to the audible alarm put in place to make AirTags harder to use to stalk people.

But if your AirTag is still running version 1.0.225 , it definitely needs an update. And 1.0.291 is now obsolete.

For more, read Apple’s guide to setting up AirTags.