A few weeks ago, Apple debuted a new “Find My Certification Asst.” app today designed to let third-party companies test how their accessories will work with the Find My application. This news comes after Apple announced at WWDC 2020 that it would open up the Find My network to third-party products. Ahead of the debut of AirTags, Apple announced that Chipolo would be one of the early partners for Find My integration. I received an advanced unit ahead of the June release, and I can confidently say that it’s every bit as good as AirTags unless you want the U1 chip for precise item tracking. Read on to learn more about the Chipolo ONE Spot.
Long before Chipolo became a partner of Apple’s for Find My integration, I’ve been using their products to keep track of my keys and AirPods Pro. I’ve been a fan of their iOS on top of its rugged design. Once AirTags came out, I was excited to switch to them to enjoy the benefits of the Find My network, though. Earlier this year, my keys were stolen, only to eventually show up in the woods behind my house a day later (without my truck key). I only located them because I had marked them as lost in the Chipolo app, so when I got close enough to them for Bluetooth to connect, I received an email they had been found, so I was able to trigger the speaker on the devices to lead me to them.
Chipolo ONE Spot
The Find My edition of Chipolo ONE looks identical to its previous models. If I sat them all in a row, you’d likely not able to tell which used the Chipolo app over Bluetooth and which was connected to the Find My network.
Unboxing the Chipolo ONE Spot gives you a quick instruction manual and simple packaging. Since the product works with the Find My app, you don’t need to download the Chipolo app to get started. All that’s necessary is to open the Find My App, choose the items tab, and tap on Add New Item. When the app is searching, press and hold the Chipolo’s button to begin the connection process. Once it’s paired, you’ll have the option to name it and choose an emoji to assign to it.
The big question when comparing Chipolo ONE Spot and AirTags is which is the better deal. Chipolo ONE Spot is $28, where AirTags is $29. The cost of AirTags doesn’t include any strap or keyhole, so that does add cost. Software-wise, the main difference is AirTag includes a U1 chip where the Chipolo does not.
Each AirTag is equipped with the Apple-designed U1 chip using Ultra Wideband technology, enabling Precision Finding for iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 users. This advanced technology can more accurately determine the distance and direction to a lost AirTag when it is in range. As a user moves, Precision Finding fuses input from the camera, ARKit, accelerometer, and gyroscope, and then will guide them to AirTag using a combination of sound, haptics, and visual feedback.
To put in plainly, the Find My app won’t be able to guide you to your lost keys or other items precisely, but you’ll still be able to make the device make noise once it’s within range. Outside of that feature, Chipolo ONE Spot and AirTags are identical on the software side. Once they’re both paired, you’ll enjoy mostly the same functionality outside of the U1 chip support for precise tracking.
The Chipolo ONE Spot is rated for IPX5 (low-pressure conditions such as rain won’t affect it), where the AirTag is IP67 rated against water and dust resistance. If you plan to put it on your keys, it might be safer to opt for the Chipolo product over the AirTags because of the rugged design. One bonus is the built-in keyhole, so you won’t have to buy a case to clip it to your keys. Like AirTags, it includes a user-replaceable battery so you can use it for years to come without having to trash it once the battery dies.
I could see a world where I use both of these products in the future. I’ll likely use Chipolo on my keys, but AirTags on my luggage and my laptop bag. Thanks to the Find My app integration, they’ll both appear alongside each other. Both products do exactly what they claim, so it’ll just come down to if you want the more rugged (Chipolo) or, the more stylish (AirTags) option. Most Apple fans will end up with both.
Chipolo ONE Spot can be pre-ordered for $28 or you can pick up a four-pack for $90.
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