Tile Claims Apple's Anticompetitive Behavior Has 'Gotten Worse, Not Better'

Apple's anticompetitive behaviors have gotten worse over the course of the last few months rather than better, Tile claimed in a congressional panel today, reports Reuters.


Executives from Tile, PopSockets, Sonos, and Basecamp in January testified in front of a congressional hearing in an ongoing antitrust inquiry launched by the U.S. government against tech companies like Amazon, Apple, and Google.

Tile at the time complained about Location Services changes implemented in iOS 13 that encouraged customers not to use always-on location tracking by requiring them to set a toggle in "deep, hard-to-find smartphone settings."

To resolve the dispute, Apple said that it was working on an option that would allow third-party developers to enable "Always Allow" tracking features right when an app is installed, but Tile today said that it is not satisfied with Apple's actions since the original congressional meeting.

"Despite Apple's multiple promises to reinstate 'Always Allow' background permissions option for third party apps' geolocation services, Apple has not yet done so," Tile said. Always-on location access is crucial for the Tile app's ability to locate nearby Tile hardware.

Tile also said that it appears Apple is working on a hardware product that will be added to the Find My app, referencing AirTags rumors. There is evidence that Apple is developing small, Bluetooth-enabled tracking tags that will be able to be attached to wallets, keys, and other items to allow them to be located in the ‌Find My‌ app.

AirTags will directly compete with Tile's Bluetooth tracking tags, which serve a similar function, but will have an edge because they'll be integrated right into the ‌Find My‌ app used by every iPhone, iPad, and Mac owner.

Apple opted not to comment on what Tile had to say, but pointed Reuters to its previous statement made in January.

Apple builds its hardware, software, and system level apps to protect user privacy and provide the best products and ecosystem in the world. Apple has not built a business model around knowing a customer's location or the location of their device.

When setting up a new device users can choose to turn on Location Services to help find a lost or misplaced device with ‌‌Find My‌‌ ‌‌iPhone‌‌, an app that users have come to rely on since 2010. Customers have control over their location data, including the location of their device. If a user doesn't want to enable these features, there's a clear, easy to understand setting where they can choose exactly which location services they want enabled or disabled.

In regard to third-party apps, we created the App Store with two goals in mind: that it be a safe and trusted place for customers to discover and download apps, and a great business opportunity for developers. We continually work with developers and take their feedback on how to help protect user privacy while also providing the tools developers need to make the best app experiences.

We're currently working with developers interested in enabling the "Always Allow" functionality to enable that feature at the time of setup in a future software update.

Apple, along with other tech companies, continues to be under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department, the Federal Trade Commission, and attorneys general from dozens of states.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
8 weeks ago
What else would they say?


Buying out Dark Sky and killing the Android version and eventually the API is another example.

I wouldn't even mind so much if they at least kept non-Apple platforms around.

Give it a rest. There are a hundred other weather apps and APIs on the planet. 99.9% of the planet never heard of Dark Sky until Apple bought it.
Score: 49 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
8 weeks ago
Alternate headline: Company complains that competition and a free market will lead to them losing business
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
8 weeks ago
I get the feeling this won’t end well for Tile.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
8 weeks ago
I love my Apple hardware, but I honestly hope they lose the ever-loving **** out of this case. They've left too much of a ****ing graveyard of companies by basically stealing their ideas outright and then effectively locking them out of the market they built via either pricing or kneecaping their featureset.

We really need a legitimate option for fully-third-party software. This arrangement where Apple markets their iOS devices like computers but then manages their software ecosystem like video game consoles isn't a great arrangement for anyone involved but Apple.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
8 weeks ago
Tile if you truly feel this way then produce better products. Remember competition drives innovation.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
8 weeks ago


I love my Apple hardware, but I honestly hope they lose the ever-loving **** out of this case. They've left too much of a ****ing graveyard of companies by basically stealing their ideas outright and then effectively locking them out of the market they built via either pricing or kneecaping their featureset.

We really need a legitimate option for fully-third-party software. This arrangement where Apple markets their iOS devices like computers but then manages their software ecosystem like video game consoles isn't a great arrangement for anyone involved but Apple.

I disagree, at least as far as competing with Tile. I'm a (was) a Tile user and it absolutely sucks.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Leaker Shares Details on 'iPhone 13' Camera [Updated]

Wednesday May 27, 2020 4:27 pm PDT by
The next-generation iPhone 12 lineup coming in fall 2020 isn't out yet, but Fudge (@choco_bit), a leaker who sometimes shares information on upcoming Apple devices, today offered up details on what Apple has in store for the 2021 iPhone 13's camera setup. A simple design drawing depicts a device with a four camera array, which Fudge claims will have the following features: 64-megapixel...

Apple Begins Selling Refurbished iPhone XR Models

Thursday May 28, 2020 9:50 pm PDT by
Apple today began selling certified refurbished iPhone XR models in select colors and capacities for the first time in the United States. Refurbished iPhone XR models are priced at a roughly 16 percent discount compared to current pricing on brand-new units, knocking $100–120 off of the regular price. In addition to the 64GB and 128GB capacities matching current brand-new iPhone XR models, ...

Powerbeats Pro Debut in Four New Colors: Spring Yellow, Cloud Pink, Lava Red, and Glacier Blue

Friday May 29, 2020 10:00 am PDT by
Following a couple of leaks in recent weeks, Beats today is officially announcing four new colors for its Powerbeats Pro wireless earphones: Spring Yellow, Cloud Pink, Lava Red, and Glacier Blue. The new earphones will go on sale June 9 and sell for the same $249.95 price as the existing color options. Aside from the colors, the new Powerbeats Pro models are otherwise identical to the...

Apple Making It Harder to Avoid Nagging macOS Update Notifications

Thursday May 28, 2020 8:13 am PDT by
With the release of macOS Catalina 10.15.5 and related security updates for macOS Mojave and High Sierra earlier this week, Apple is making it more difficult for users to ignore available software updates and remain on their current operating system versions. Included in the release notes for macOS Catalina 10.15.5 is the following:- Major new releases of macOS are no longer hidden when...

8 Mac Tips and Tricks You Might Not Know

Friday May 29, 2020 12:36 pm PDT by
There are tons of hidden features and shortcuts for Macs that Apple has built into macOS over the years, ranging from shortcuts to keyboard commands to other little hacks to make Mac usage just a bit simpler. In our latest YouTube video, we highlighted several of these tips and tricks, and some of them might just be new to you. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Tr...

Apple Releases macOS Catalina 10.15.5 With Battery Health Management Features, Fix for Finder Freezing

Tuesday May 26, 2020 1:59 pm PDT by
Apple today released macOS Catalina 10.15.5, the fifth update to the macOS Catalina operating system that was released in October 2019. macOS Catalina 10.15.5 comes two months after the launch of macOS Catalina 10.15.4, which introduced Screen Time Communication Limits. macOS Catalina 10.15.5 is a free update that can be downloaded from the Mac App Store using the Update feature in the...

Top Stories: macOS 10.15.5, New Powerbeats Pro Colors, iPhone 12 and 13 Rumors, and More

Saturday May 30, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
This week saw an interesting mix of news and rumors on the Apple front, led by the release of macOS 10.15.5, which brings a new battery health feature to newer Mac notebooks, while we also saw the official announcement of new colors for the Powerbeats Pro earphones. On the rumor front, we heard a few tidbits about not just this year's iPhone 12 but also next year's iPhone, while we saw...

More Photos and Video of Apple's Redesigned Leather Loop Watch Band Surface

Thursday May 28, 2020 10:50 am PDT by
Images of a new version of the Leather Loop that Apple appears to have in development surfaced yesterday, and today, Vietnamese site Tinhte.vn has shared additional photos and videos that give us a clearer picture of what to expect from the new band. The bands come in colors that include red, hot pink, blue, black, and brown, with some of the bands featuring different colored accents at the...

Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box Gains HDR10+ and Dolby Vision Support, Plus Siri Voice Control

Thursday May 28, 2020 12:00 am PDT by
The Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box is receiving a major update today, introducing much-desired features like HDR10+ and Dolby Vision support. Designed by Signify as part of the Philip Hue line of lights and accessories, the Hue Play HDMI Sync Box is designed to let Hue users sync their lights to their home entertainment systems. One of the major complaints about the Hue Play HDMI Sync Box ...

APFS Bug in macOS 10.15.5 Catalina Impacts the Creation of Bootable Backups

Thursday May 28, 2020 3:47 am PDT by
An Apple File System bug has been discovered in macOS 10.15.5 Catalina that can prevent users from making a bootable clone of their system drive, according to the creator of Carbon Copy Cloner. In a blog post on Wednesday, software developer Mike Bombich explained that the CCC team had uncovered the issue in the Apple File System, or APFS, when attempting to create a bootable backup in a...