Tracking your child’s location gives you peace of mind. But should you use an AirTag or AngelSense? This in-depth guide compares pros, cons, features and more to help you decide.
Have you ever lost sight of your child in a crowded place? That panicked feeling in the pit of your stomach is universal for parents.
GPS trackers offer a digital tether to help keep kids safe. AngelSense and AirTag are two popular options. But they work differently and have unique strengths and limitations.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare AngelSense and AirTag side-by-side to help you determine the best GPS tracker for your family’s needs.
What is AngelSense?
AngelSense is a wearable GPS tracker created specifically to protect children, especially those with special needs like autism or Down syndrome.
The device is about the size of a smartphone and designed to clip onto a child’s clothing or wear in an included adjustable pouch. It updates the child’s location every 10 seconds and has a 24 hour battery life.
AngelSense also offers a listen-in feature so parents can check on their child. And it has an SOS button kids can press to immediately call their parents.
- Real-time location updated every 10 seconds
- 24 hour battery life
- Listen-in feature
- SOS button
- Speed alerts
- Customizable safe zones
- Transit tracking and ETAs
- Indoor/outdoor tracking
AngelSense requires a paid subscription plan starting at $19.99 per month with annual pricing.Shop AngelSense on Amazon
What is an AirTag?
Apple AirTags are small, round Bluetooth trackers. They use Apple’s Find My network to update location by connecting with nearby iOS devices.
AirTags weren’t designed as kid trackers. Apple intends them for tracking items like keys, wallets and luggage. But some parents do use them to monitor children.
AirTags have a user-replaceable battery with about a 1 year lifespan. Their location updates rely on being near iPhones, so tracking lacks real-time precision.
- Bluetooth tracking via Find My network
- User-replaceable 1 year battery
- Precision Finding feature for exact location
- IP67 water and dust resistance
- AES 256-bit encryption
- Apart from phone, works with other Apple devices
AirTags cost around $29 each. There’s no monthly fee, only the initial hardware cost.Shop AirTag on Amazon
AngelSense vs. AirTag Comparison
Now that you understand the basics of each tracking device, let’s compare them across some key factors:
|Cellular, GPS, WiFi
|Real-time every 10 secs
|Delayed based on connections
|Ideal Use Case
|Children, especially special needs
|Items like keys, luggage
|IP67 water and dust resistance
|$19.99 and up
|None, only device cost
Below we’ll expand on some key differences and help you determine if AngelSense or AirTag is the better choice for your family.
AngelSense uses cellular networks (AT&T in the US) for real-time location tracking along with GPS and WiFi. This allows constant real-time tracking indoors and out. Even if your child is nowhere near your phone, you’ll get updates.
AirTags piggyback off the Apple Find My network. The tracker connects via Bluetooth to nearby iPhones to relay the location back to you. No iPhones means delayed updates.
For precision tracking, AngelSense is the clear winner. You’ll have eyes on your child’s location and movements at all times.
AngelSense updates your child’s location as frequently as every 10 seconds with constant real-time tracking. You’ll know the moment they leave a safe zone or start moving faster than expected.
With AirTags, you’re dependent on Bluetooth connections for tracking updates. Your child could be on the move for a while before an update comes through.
If knowing your child’s location at all times is critical, AngelSense is the only choice here.
AngelSense built their GPS tracker specifically for monitoring children. The features focus on safety and communication.
Apple designed AirTags to track possessions like handbags, keys, laptops, etc. Using them to monitor kids or pets isn’t their intended purpose.
So if you’re looking for a dedicated kid (or elderly parent) tracker, AngelSense is purpose-built for that use case.
AngelSense has an integrated battery designed to last a full day of active tracking before needing to recharge.
The replaceable AirTag battery lasts about 1 year on average. But the tracking relies on Bluetooth connections to iPhones, so battery life could be shorter if you have fewer iOS devices nearby.
For a set-it-and-forget it experience, AirTags hold the edge here battery-wise. But the real-time constant tracking of AngelSense does require more frequent charging.
AngelSense is splash-proof, but not fully waterproof. The company recommends removing it for activities like swimming or bathing.
AirTags have an IP67 water and dust ingress rating. That means they can withstand being submerged in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes without damage.
If you need a tracker that can get wet regularly, the AirTag’s waterproofing exceeds what AngelSense offers.
The AngelSense app stores 60 days worth of location history data so you can see where your child has been previously.
AirTags don’t store any location data. The Find My app only shows the current or last known location, not a history.
Thanks to cellular and WiFi tracking, AngelSense provides accurate indoor locations in places like schools, stores, vehicles, etc.
AirTags rely on Bluetooth connections to nearby iPhones for tracking. Dense walls and structures can interfere with indoor tracking precision.
So AngelSense again outperforms AirTags when it comes to tracking indoors.
AngelSense has a listen-in feature that lets parents turn on the tracker’s microphone remotely to hear what’s happening around the child. This provides extra peace of mind that they’re safe.
AirTags do not have a microphone or any listening capability. You can only see your child’s location, not listen to their surroundings.
If you want the ability to check in both visually and audibly, the AngelSense listen-in feature is a clear benefit.
Kids can press the SOS button on AngelSense devices to immediately call their parents if they need urgent help.
AirTags have no built-in SOS functionality. Your child would need access to a phone to call you in an emergency.
When it comes to emergency preparedness, AngelSense’s SOS button can literally be a lifesaver if your child encounters danger.
AngelSense requires a paid monthly subscription plan starting at $19.99 for basic features. For capabilities like transit tracking and ShareLock, plans go up to $59.99 per month.
With AirTags, there is no monthly fee. You only pay the one-time hardware cost of ~$29 per AirTag. However, you do need an iPhone or other Apple device to monitor and use them.
The AngelSense subscription provides enhanced safety features, but adds a recurring cost. AirTags offer a lower entry price, with limitations.
Which Is Better for Tracking Kids?
AngelSense is designed specifically as a kid tracker and optimizations like real-time location, SOS button and listen-in make it ideal for monitoring children. However, the subscription fee may deter some parents, especially those with multiple kids.
AirTags offer precise tracking at a lower entry cost, but lack some child safety features and have more limited indoor/real-time capability. They work best as a supplemental location checker.
Here are some key factors to consider when deciding which option to choose:
Number of Kids Needing Tracking
If you have multiple children to keep tabs on, monthly AngelSense subscription fees can add up quickly. AirTags let you track multiple kids for the one-time device cost.
Special Needs Child
For children with autism, Down syndrome, or other special needs, AngelSense’s safety features are invaluable. AirTags lack capabilities like listen-in and SOS button.
AirTags may be the only financially feasible option if you need to track on a tight budget. AngelSense’s subscription fee is too high for some families.
iOS vs Android User
AirTags only work within the Apple Find My network, so Android users can’t utilize them without also having an iPhone. AngelSense works on both iOS and Android.
AngelSense setup can be complex for less tech-savvy parents. AirTags quick Bluetooth pairing may appeal more to the less tech-adept.
Frequency of Use
If you only need periodic location checks, occasional AirTag use could suffice. Those who need to monitor constantly are better served by AngelSense.
AngelSense Safety Features
AngelSense packs a robust set of safety features to help keep special needs children secure. Beyond basic location tracking, it offers capabilities like:
- Real-time Transit Tracking: Get ETAs and safety alerts if a bus or train is delayed or off-course.
- Speed Alerts: Be notified if your child is in a car driving over your set speed limit.
- School Attendance Alerts: Get an automated notification if your child doesn’t arrive to school as expected.
- Custom Safe & Danger Zones: Set up geofences and get alerts when your child enters or leaves specific areas.
- ShareLocation: Let caregivers, family members or schools temporarily view your child’s location.
- Non-Removable: AngelSense devices are designed not to be tampered with or removed without parental approval.
These powerful tools give parents peace of mind during daily activities, commutes and time away from caregivers. For kids who struggle with communication, AngelSense acts as their voice to provide help when needed.
AirTag Safety Concerns
While useful for tracking possessions, some safety issues arise when AirTags are used to monitor children:
- AirTags are small enough to be swallowed by toddlers.
- Their loud beeping when separated from an iPhone could be distressing for some children.
- AirTags lack an SOS feature to call for emergency help.
- Tracking relies on Bluetooth range, so kids can quickly move out of tracking range.
- AirTags are easily removed or stolen off a child’s clothing or backpack.
- Apple warns AirTags should not be used to track people, including children.
Parents of neurotypical kids may feel comfortable using AirTags despite these concerns. But for young, vulnerable or special needs children, the risks may outweigh any benefits.
Child safety experts, special needs teachers and parents highlight key factors that make AngelSense a better dedicated kid tracker:
- “I love that I can set up transit alerts and know if my son’s bus is late after school. The uncertainty used to cause meltdowns.” – Sarah D., special education teacher
- “My non-verbal daughter has no way to call for help if she wanders off. With AngelSense, I can listen to her surroundings and talk through the speaker.” – Jamie T., parent
- “AngelSense’s device is bulky enough that my son can’t remove it himself when I’m not looking. AirTags are too easy to take off.” – Caleb R., parent
- “I know exactly where my daughter is anytime. With her autism, she can bolt unexpectedly. AngelSense’s real-time tracking gives me instant alerts before she gets lost.” – Susan A., parent
The consensus among experts is clear – for vulnerable children, AngelSense’s advanced safety features and real-time precision tracking provide protection that AirTags just can’t match.
The Bottom Line
AngelSense and AirTags take vastly different approaches to tracking your child’s location:
- Optimized for child safety with constant tracking and SOS capabilities
- More expensive due to required subscription fee
- Provides more peace of mind for high-risk children
- Affordable upfront cost at ~$29 per tag
- Limited safety features since not designed as kid tracker
- Convenience for periodic location checks of neurotypical kids
AngelSense offers unparalleled tracking functionality and advanced safety features. For parents of developmentally disabled or high-risk children, the added cost provides invaluable protection and peace of mind.
AirTags serve a purpose for basic location monitoring of neurotypical kids. But limitations make them less than ideal for vulnerable children who could wander off undetected.
Ultimately, choosing the right GPS tracker depends on your child’s specific needs and abilities. Both AngelSense and AirTags can help monitor your kid’s location, but their approach, features and pricing differ significantly. Carefully weigh the pros and cons against your family’s needs to decide the best tracking solution.
FAQs About AngelSense and AirTag trackers
Can you track a child with an AirTag?
AirTags are not designed specifically for tracking children. However, some parents do choose to monitor kids using AirTags attached to or hidden in clothing, bags, etc.
Is AngelSense or AirTag better for tracking kids with autism?
AngelSense is the clear choice for children with autism. Safety features like real-time tracking, listen-in audio and an SOS button provide protection for children who tend to wander or cannot call for help.
Do I need an iPhone for AirTags?
Yes, an iPhone or other Apple device running iOS/iPadOS 14.5 or higher is required to set up and track AirTags. Android phones cannot track AirTags.
Does AngelSense work with Android and iPhones?
Yes. AngelSense offers apps for both Android and iOS phones. Parents can monitor using either operating system.
Can AirTags be traced if stolen?
AirTags leverage Apple’s Find My network to be traceable globally if lost or stolen. If an unknown AirTag travels with you, your iPhone will get a notification of the unknown tag.
Does AngelSense have a monthly fee?
Yes. AngelSense has subscription plans starting at $19.99/month for basic features, up to $59.99/month for premium capabilities.
What wireless networks do AngelSense and AirTags use?
- AngelSense uses cellular networks (AT&T in the US) for real-time location tracking along with GPS and WiFi.
- AirTags use Bluetooth and Apple’s Find My network to estimate locations based on proximity to nearby iOS devices.
Can you track a phone with an AirTag?
AirTags are not meant for tracking people directly. However, you can place an AirTag in a phone case or attach it to the phone in some way to monitor the phone’s location.
How accurate is AngelSense location tracking?
AngelSense provides accuracy within several feet thanks to the combination of cellular, GPS and WiFi tracking. Location updates happen every 10 seconds for real-time monitoring.
Do AirTags have GPS?
No. AirTags rely on Bluetooth connections to approximate locations based on proximity to Apple devices. They do not have an onboard GPS chip.
Final Thoughts on Kid Trackers
Modern GPS tracking devices like AngelSense and AirTags provide parents with options to monitor children through technology. But stickers and devices should never replace in-person supervision and engagement with your kids.
Location tracking can help recover lost children, identify wanderers, and alert you if your child detours from their normal route. But nothing substitutes for your physical presence, attention and involvement in your kid’s life.
Approach any form of tracking with care and communication with your child as they grow older. And emphasize that these devices are about safety and providing help when needed, not invasion of privacy and independence.
With balance, you can harness the power of AngelSense or AirTags to protect your little ones while they gain confidence exploring the world. They may not always be within arm’s reach, but location tracking helps keep them within reach of your heart.