Apple’s AirTag Has a Hidden Developer Mode

BY Sanuj Bhatia

Published 6 May 2021

apple find my airtag developer mode

Apple’s AirTag has a hidden developer mode. A Redditor accidentally enabled the developer mode on his AirTag while connecting it to his iPhone, and now can not get out of it.

Apple announced the AirTag last month, and the first orders have already made it to customers. While some are sending AirTag in a package to check its ‘Lost’ mode’s capabilities, Reddit user u/cyem was having difficulty in connecting his new AirTag to his iPhone 12 Pro.

The user says that he was not able to connect his iPhone to his AirTag even when it was ‘sitting on top’ of the phone. Even when he got them connected, the signal reception was very low. He claims that they got disconnected even when they were just 0.8m/2.6ft apart.

Trying to solve the issue, cyem opened the Find My app and started looking around, trying to solve his issue. Out of frustration, he tapped his name five times which ‘accidentally’ enabled the AirTag’s Developer mode. Quite interestingly, you can also enable the developer mode on your AirTag by following the same sequence, but be aware cause there does not seem to be an easy way to get out of it.

Triggering the developer mode enables an overlay. On top of this overlay is an ‘information box’ which displays AirTag’s distance to your device, whether it is connected or not, whether or not the ‘Precision Finding’ arrow is displayed, and some other tidbits.

Below the information box is the Dots and Eco-Mode toggle. Dots refers to the number of dots being displayed when the Precision Mode kicks in, and the Eco Mode lowers the camera resolution, presumably to save battery life. Below the Dots are some sliders, that adjust saturation, camera blur, brightness, etc.

Apple will most likely remove this overlay in the next iOS 14.6 beta and iOS 14.5 release. Until then, you can play around with this display if you want, but be careful, there’s no way of getting out of it. Once enabled, it stays there, even if you reset your AirTag.

What do you think about the developer mode of the Apple AirTag? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!