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Two reasons why Apple might develop a second-generation AirTag

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Apple AirTag first and second generation concept
AirTag first-generation, and second-generation concept. Illustration by Roland Udvarlaki
Source: Pocketnow

Apple launched the AirTag in April 2021, and although Apple hasn’t shared how well it might be selling, we heard many news reports that it managed to sell millions of devices. According to a new report, the device might have sold more than 50 million units since it launched, and Apple may be planning on developing a second-generation, assuming the sales continue to grow.

According to the Apple analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple may be considering developing a second-generation AirTag. Kuo predicts that Apple has sold 20 million and 35 million units in 2021 and 2022, respectively. Kuo believes that Apple could make a second-generation Apple AirTag if the sales and shipments continue to grow.

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Why would Apple develop a new, second-generation AirTag?

There are a few possible explanations. The AirTag is an affordable tracker, and it offers one of the most advanced ways to track down and find everyday objects such as backpacks, remotes, accessories, and other items that are easy to lose in the house and in public. The AirTag provides accurate and pinpoint accuracy to track down and find these items.

Apple’s Find My Network relies on Apple devices to communicate with each other, offering the most advanced network to find items out in the wild. When an item is found using the Find My Network, other devices nearby can securely send you a notification to help track down any lost objects. It’s efficient and reliable.

Continuous growth

airtag ios 14.5

Based on Kuo’s prediction, Apple has sold more than 55 million AirTags in less than two years, which might be enough reason for Apple to continue investing in a second-generation device. It could bring improvements such as improved tracking capabilities, improved accuracy, and better battery life. AirTag is unlikely to be making Apple as much revenue as its more expensive devices, but it’s another income stream that could grow significantly in the years to come.

Market domination

Tile and other well-known trackers have been available on the market for many years, but Apple quickly overtook them in less than two years. Apple likely wants to dominate the market. Dominating the smart tracking device market is also crucial for Apple to keep users locked into the ecosystem, making it harder for people to switch to Android, since the tracking features still do not exist outside of the Apple bubble.

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What I want to see

First-gen to remain available at a lower price

airtag android compatibility

The first AirTag was a massive success, and it offered reliable and accurate tracking, but the second generation has to improve a lot of things, in order to make it appealing for people to upgrade and opt in for the new technology. Looking at Apple’s history with AirPods, I expect the first generation to remain available at a cheaper price point, and I would expect the new device to cost slightly more, offering a few missing features.

MagSafe or a keyring hole

Apple AirTag second generation concept
Apple AirTag second generation concept, Illustration by Roland Udvarlaki
Source: Pocketnow

I would love to see MagSafe or a keyring hole make it onto the second generation, making the AirTag easier to hook onto any keychains, or metal objects. It would make it easier to carry it around, reducing the need for additional accessories, although there could be an entirely separate lineup of MagSafe accessories.

Better controls and more emphasis on privacy

The current AirTags are known to be used by criminals to track down high-end vehicles that they can steal from the owner’s driveway. Apple made a lot of improvements over the past year, but reports are popping up every day about people using it for purposes other than what it’s supposed to do. We would love to see Apple take it more seriously, and address it in future software updates, as the ability to track it using an Android device hasn’t helped solve the existing problem.

More accurate & easy tracking

The tracking capability could also significantly improve over the first generation, offering more accurate tracking and a better user interface for finding nearby objects. The current hot & warm system works, but there are many ways it could be improved to make it better and easier to understand.

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Native app for Android to track objects

Android users are unlikely to receive native support for AirTags, but it would be nice to see. Samsung’s SmartTag devices only work with Samsung phones and tablets, making Tile the best alternative for non-Samsung users. AirTag is affordable, simple, and easy to use, and I’d love to see better support for it – and this could also help Apple increase its revenue and sell even more units.

airtag pbi

Apple AirTag

The Apple AirTag lets you easily keep track of your devices, pets, bags, and other items using the Find My app. It’s easy to set up, and it works on all Apple devices such as iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

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How Good is Android 13 on Pixel Phones?

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The stable Android 13 update has been out since the beginning of the week and that means a couple of days for you to run it and establish first impressions. I’m curious what those are, as the update is somewhat minor in new features, but huge in terms of bug fixes from Android 12.

To recap, Android 13 dropped on Monday for the Pixel 4, Pixel 4a, Pixel 5, Pixel 5a, Pixel 6, and Pixel 6a. The update was available immediately if you felt like playing in adb, plus we’ve seen it rollout over-the-air as well to some phones. Tim, for example, says he can pull it yet I can’t on my Pixel 6 Pro. Rude, Google.

We talked about all of the new features in Android 13 that you’ll want to be on the lookout for and then spent a lengthy amount of time looking through the list of 150 bugs that Google fixed. Google says it was able to improve “performance, stability, and reliability,” fixed bugs related to charging and Gboard and touch screen palm detection and so much more. Google even says it addressed fingerprint reader performance on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6a.

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After browsing through reddit, I can see that a number of folks have been quick to share that their fingerprint reader is indeed faster (Do people really believe this?) and that overall performance and stuttering has improved, especially on older Pixel phones.

What about you? How has Android 13 been running on your Pixel phone this week? Or are you still waiting for it?



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Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro Get Major Approval Ahead of Launch

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The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro stopped through the FCC this week, marking a big step towards launch that should happen around October, if previous launches are any indicator. The filings don’t reveal much, other than supported network bands and the presence of UWB again, but they do give us model numbers to pin on each phone going forward.

There are four FCC filings of note to dip into under Google’s FCC ID. Those filings give us model numbers of GVU6C, GQML3, GP4BC, and GE2AE. After looking through several of the documents at the FCC, I’m pretty confident in saying that the first two are the Pixel 7 and the last two are the Pixel 7 Pro. The GVU6C Pixel 7 also has an alternate model number of G03Z5 alongside it, as does the Pixel 7 Pro’s GE2AE, where GFE4J can be added to its list.

To recap, we have Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro model numbers as follows:

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  • PIXEL 7: GVU6C (G03Z5)
  • PIXEL 7: GQML3 – mmW
  • PIXEL 7 PRO: GP4BC – UWB
  • PIXEL 7 PRO: GE2AE (GFE4J) – UWB, mmW

Each phone has all of the proper network bands to work well here in the US, with select models also supporting 5G mmW. The two models supporting mmW are GQML3 (Pixel 7) and GE2AE (Pixel 7 Pro). The others support sub-6 5G, just not the super speedy 5G mmW that you’ll never attach to anyway.

To tell the difference between Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro devices, we really are guessing (assuming) based on the fact that GP4BC and GE2AE have UWB or ultra-wideband support. In the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, only the Pixel 6 Pro had UWB and it looks like that’ll be the case again this year. UWB is used for short-range communications in things like luggage trackers or to help a digital car key talk to a car.

The rest of the big network stuff can be see below, where you’ll find WiFi 6E, NFC, and WPT (wireless power transfer aka wireless charging).

Pixel 7 network bands

GQML3 mmW

Pixel 7 Pro network bands

GE2AE mmW

There isn’t much else to take from this because Google already announced each phone. We’re really just waiting for them to go official, so that we can start playing with their cameras, test Google Tensor 2, and see if Google took are of all of the Pixel 6 line’s modem issues.

If you were hoping this arrival at the FCC would tell us when the Pixel 7 will launch, I’m not sure that it does. The Pixel 6 line hit the FCC in September 2021 and then arrived in October. The Pixel 6a showed up at the FCC in April 2022, was announced in May, and then didn’t ship until July.

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Verizon’s Visible Added a Sweet New Visible+ Plan

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From the day it launched back in 2018, Verizon’s Visible has had a single plan that costs just $40/mo. Visible has continued to update and upgrade the plan over the years, but that price has always stuck and it remained the only plan option for those looking at Verizon’s “all-digital wireless carrier.” Today, Visible is making a big move – we now have 2 plans.

Visible announced today that they offer two plans: Visible and Visible+. Visible is a similar offering to the old Visible plan, only now it costs $30/mo instead of $40. For Visible+, a couple of additional features and upgrades will cost you $45/mo.

So what are the differences between Visible and Visible+? I have the visual breakdown for you below, but the basics are that the regular Visible plan is going to be for those who don’t need a super speedy 5G experience and who don’t travel outside of the US much. The only network access you get is on 5G nationwide and LTE, where your connection could be slowed if in heavy trafficked areas. It still has talk and text to Mexico and Canada.

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The Visible+ plan adds unlimited calling and texting to Canada and Mexico, roaming use when in those two countries, calling from the US to 30+ other countries, texting to 200+ countries, and premium 5G connections. The “Premium Network Experience” from Visible+ means access to 5G Ultra Wideband (both mmW and C-Band) from Verizon’s network in an unlimited capacity. When on the 5G Nationwide of LTE networks, you’ll get 50GB of data to use before possibly being slowed.

Both plans also offer unlimited mobile hotspot with a 5Mbps speed cap and Spam Protection.

Visible vs. Visible+ Plans

Verizon Visible Plans

Taxes and fees are included in both prices on these plans, so you’ll pay $30 or $45 each month. Both plans are also live right away, in case you want to sign-up. Visible supports eSIM now as well, so if you were interested in trying them, you can do so without a physical SIM card.

Sign-up for Visible

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