A firmware update out for AirTag has begun gradually rolling out. 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, 2.0.24, came out in November 2022. But there’s reportedly a new version out: 2.0.36.
As it usually does, Apple is gradually rolling out the new firmware. Only 25% of the trackers can install the new version now. But it’ll reportedly be available for all on Friday, December 16.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to know what’s changed in version 2.0.36 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 two years 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.
- Open the Find My application on an iPhone or iPad and go to the Items tab.
- Tap on an AirTag in the list of Items.
- Here’s the tricky part: Tap on the battery icon for the AirTag. If that’s not showing, tap on With You Now. That will display the AirTag’s serial number and firmware version.
Apple’s tracker debuted running version 1.0.225., but quite a few firmware updates have been introduced since then, 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 1.0.301, it definitely needs an update. And 2.0.24 is now also obsolete.
For more, read Apple’s guide to setting up AirTags.