With macOS Catalina and iOS 13, Apple introduced the new “Find My” app which merged “Find my Friends” and “Find my iPhone”. This new app makes it easier to find your devices and friends in one place. All the way back in April, 9to5Mac reported that Apple would be working on a Tile-like device that will help you if you lose something. Here is everything we know about Apple’s new Tile-like tracking device. (Assumed to be named “Tag”)
What is Tile?
A Tile is a small Bluetooth tracker that can be placed on items. You simply place the device on anything you’d like and you can track the current location (or last known location) through Bluetooth connectivity. Unfortunately being that this is a third-party device, once the device leaves your Bluetooth connection range, you can no longer track it. This is because it relies on only your device rather than every device around it.
Say you were to lose your keys and you had a Tile Pro placed on them. You would be able to view the location of your keys as well as play a sound from the app right to the Tile device. These types of trackers have been extremely popular the last few years and it really only makes sense for Apple to tag along and make their own that will be fully compatible with iOS.
One of the core features of Apple’s Tag device will be the integration into the Apple ecosystem and iOS. It is assumed that the Tags will be managed and tracked through the new “Find My” app introduced in iOS 13 and macOS Catalina. Once the items are publicly released, there will possibly be a new tab at the bottom of the app called “Items”.
The tracker itself will be paired and managed through the users iCloud account. It is very likely that they will be setup the exact same way AirPods are setup. (Through a popup card when the tracker is near an iOS device.) It is possible that the user will receive a notification when the iPhone leaves certain items (like keys or a wallet) behind. Certain locations can be added as a “safe zone” where notifications will not be sent when the Tag is in that specific area.
According to rumors, you would also be able to put the tracker in “Lost Mode” – which means that the Tag will store your information allowing other users to reach you if they find one of your lost items.
The tracker will work very well offline. It will take advantage of the vast number of Apple devices in the world to get and exact location no matter where it is. This is how the new “Find My” app works.
In an asset pointed out by 9to5Mac in June, the product type is “Tag1,1”. This hints that the device will be paired with Proximity like how AirPods and HomePods are paired.
An image located inside of the iOS 13 beta shows us what the device might very well look like. (Shown below) The device is expected to be circular as a Tile is square and Apple will want to differentiate from the competition. A report last week also suggests that the device will have a removable battery.
While the pricing of the new Apple Tag device is unknown at this time, it is likely that it will be very affordable. You can pick up a Tile for around $30 and it is expected that Apple does the same and keeps it available and affordable to everyone.