Apple's Rumored Tile Competitor May Offer ARKit and Leashing Capabilities

At WWDC 2019, Apple announced Offline Finding, codenamed Blue Avengers, as one of the new features of iOS 13 and macOS Catalina. It allows users to find their devices even when their lost devices are not connected to the internet.


A background process called Search Party intermittently broadcasts and receives Bluetooth beacon signals so that every nearby online device running ‌iOS 13‌ or ‌macOS Catalina‌ can relay the location of lost offline devices to their owners. Offline Finding even works if the device is asleep, in which case the device enters a "dark wake" state to broadcast a Bluetooth beacon signal. Apple uses public key encryption and rotates the public key to keep everyone's location information secure and private.

Beyond the ability to find devices themselves, Apple is rumored to be planning to compete with Tile and announce a small Bluetooth beacon device that uses the same Offline Finding technology as ‌iOS 13‌ and Catalina devices. This small beacon device could be attached to personal items such as keys, purses or wallets so that the owner could find them even when out of range of the items. An ARKit "star" image discovered in the Find My app bundle hints at the possibility of using augmented reality to find lost devices or items, similar to Pixie Tracker.

Also according to code strings found in ‌iOS 13‌, Apple may apparently allow these beacon devices to be "leashed" to an iOS or watchOS device so that the user would be notified when a beacon device is out of range of an iOS or watchOS device. Tile offers similar functionality, which it calls smart alerts and is only included with Tile's premium monthly service.

After upgrading to ‌iOS 13‌ when it is released this Fall the Offline Finding feature is enabled by default if you have ‌Find My‌ iPhone and Bluetooth enabled.  You can check that Offline Finding is enabled by going to Settings > Apple ID, iCloud, iTunes & App Store > ‌Find My‌ > ‌Find My‌ ‌iPhone‌ > Offline Finding.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
12 months ago

WTF - who wants this stuff. Get your house in order with your core products.

When every comment after yours disagrees with you...
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
12 months ago
I desperately want them to come out with this.

Tile needs to die.

Tile was a great idea. I was even one of the backers for it on Kickstarter and I’ve had them since launch.

But after using them for all these years, I’ve grown to dislike them. The batteries don’t last worth a damn, and they put off making a rechargeable or replaceable battery for so long because they want to milk everyone for money.
Then they finally do it and change their business model to Subscription.

I’m done with them. They are trash and greedy bastards.

I love when Apple sticks their nose into other industries because they always disrupt it in a very positive way. And in some cases, put obsolete companies out of business who over stayed their welcome. All for the better.

I hope one day, Apple is the only company I need in my life. I don’t like monopolies, but if it’s done right, it may not be a bad thing.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
12 months ago

WTF - who wants this stuff. Get your house in order with your core products.

I would love this. I'd stick it on my kid's wallet, put one in her school backpack, sew one into her school jacket, and put one on every other thing she is constantly misplacing.

Heck, if they give these things the ability to beep, I'd stick 'em on my tv remotes too.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
12 months ago

Find my keys? Find my wallet? Are we so A.D.D. that we need tech to do the light lifting for us too? At this rate, the screen generation is going to have full blown dementia by their fourties.

I, for one, am shocked people don't walk down to the creek with a washboard to do their laundry anymore - how is everyone in such a hurry that they can't spend 6 hours doing their laundry? This generation is so technologically dependent they can't even read a sundial, pathetic.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
12 months ago

I've never lost my phone.

Famous last words
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
12 months ago

Hopefully, it will be more reliable than Tile. Tried Tile twice over the years. Both times, the Tile had a high rate of not responding making it a waste.

If it can use every iOS device as part of the mesh network, the hit rate should be much much higher than tile.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Warns Against Closing MacBooks With a Cover Over the Camera

Friday July 10, 2020 11:12 am PDT by
Apple this month published a support document that warns customers against closing their Mac notebooks with a cover over the camera as it can lead to display damage. Image via Reddit Apple says that the clearance between the display and the keyboard is designed to very tight tolerances, which can be problematic. Covering the camera can also cause issues with automatic brightness and True Tone....

iPhone Users Who Experienced 'Batterygate' Can Now File to Receive Around $25 Settlement From Apple

Monday July 13, 2020 6:50 am PDT by
Earlier this year, Apple agreed to settle a U.S. class action lawsuit that accused the company of "secretly throttling" older iPhone models. Now, eligible iPhone owners are beginning to be notified about their legal rights and options. Under the proposed settlement, Apple will provide a cash payment of approximately $25 to each eligible iPhone owner who submits a claim, with its total payout ...

Apple Moving Forward on Semitransparent Lenses for Upcoming AR Headset

Friday July 10, 2020 7:24 am PDT by
Apple and Foxconn have reached a key milestone in the development of Apple's long-rumored augmented reality headset, with the semitransparent lenses for the device moving from prototype to trial production, reports The Information. Apple is developing the lenses on a single production line at a Foxconn factory in Chengdu in southwestern China, where most of Apple’s iPad production is...

Arm-Intel-PowerPC Universal Binaries Are Possible

Saturday July 11, 2020 1:42 pm PDT by
Casual MacRumors visitors may not realize that we have a very active PowerPC forum where users discuss issues related to PowerPC Macs that have not been produced since 2006. Threads range from hardware upgrades and software options to nostalgia: Photo by AphoticD Apple's recently announced transition to Apple Silicon (Arm) based Macs raised some interesting questions about future support...

Possible 'iPhone 12' Battery Certifications Suggest Lower Capacities Than iPhone 11 Series

Monday July 13, 2020 4:22 am PDT by
MySmartPrice has spotted certifications for three new Apple batteries that it believes could be for the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup, despite them being less capacitive than the batteries in the current iPhone 11 series. The batteries are identified with the model numbers A2471, A2431, and A2466, and appear on Safety Korea, China's 3C, and the Danish agency UL Demko. Apple is expected to...

Leaker: 'iPhone 12 Pro' to Come With 6GB of RAM

Friday July 10, 2020 1:59 am PDT by
Later this year, Apple is expected to release four OLED iPhones in three display sizes, including 5.4, 6.7, and two 6.1-inch models. Rumors suggest the 6.7-inch iPhone and one 6.1-inch model will be higher-end devices, and now leaker @L0vetodream has corroborated previous rumors about the internal specs of Apple's upcoming lineup. Rumors suggest Apple will use 5-nanometer A14 chips in its...

Kuo: Apple Silicon Macs to Include 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air This Year, 14.1-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro Models Next Year

Friday July 10, 2020 2:58 am PDT by
At last month's WWDC, Apple officially announced that its Mac computers will be transitioned from Intel x86 to homegrown Apple Silicon chips. Apple said it plans to deliver the first Apple Silicon Mac by the end of the year and complete the transition in about two years. According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, a 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with a form factor similar to the current 13.3-inch...

Google to 'Dramatically' Improve Chrome Impact on Mac Battery Life

Sunday July 12, 2020 1:56 pm PDT by
Google will address long-standing battery life issues, particularly on Mac devices, reports The Wall Street Journal. Chrome will improve "tab throttling" by better prioritizing active tabs and limiting resource drain from tabs open in the background. This is said to have a "dramatic impact on battery and performance." Google has reportedly been performing early tests on Mac laptops in...

Top Stories: iOS 14 Public Beta, iPhone 12 Size Comparison, 14-Inch MacBook Pro Rumors

Saturday July 11, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
After one round of developer beta testing, Apple unleashed iOS and iPadOS 14 to a wider audience this week, opening it up to members of the public beta program. There are lots of changes and new features to check out, but as with any beta, be careful about installing it on your main devices. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Other major stories this week included our ...

Apple Shares Humorous 'Working-From-Home Thing' Video

Monday July 13, 2020 9:31 am PDT by
Apple today shared a funny video focused on the problems that people working from home have to deal with, including noisy children, chaotic schedules, communication issues, and more. The video focuses on showing off Apple products and their capabilities that can be useful when working from home, such as the ability to scan a document with an iPhone, mark up a PDF, Siri Reminders, and more.The...