Tile Plans to Introduce Item Trackers With Ultra Wideband Support

Tile is poised to compete with Apple's long-rumored AirTags and is planning to introduce an upgraded series of item trackers that include an ultra wideband (UWB) chip for more precise tracking.

tile item tracker

Tile concept art for UWB tracker, via TechCrunch

Apple's ‌AirTags‌ are rumored to include the U1 ultra wideband chip that has been added into the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 models. Apple's U1 ‌AirTags‌ will be able to offer better tracking capabilities than is possible with Bluetooth alone, which means that it is technology that Tile must match to remain competitive.

According to TechCrunch, Tile's upcoming item trackers will also use augmented reality capabilities to guide users to a lost item's location using the Tile mobile app. Apple is working on a similar solution and based on code that we've found in various versions of iOS, the ‌AirTags‌ too will rely on augmented reality to make it easier to find missing devices and accessories.

Prior Tile item trackers have relied solely on Bluetooth, which isn't as accurate as UWB because of the spatial data that the newer technology is able to collect.

Because UWB offers spatial awareness capabilities, it will be able to locate missing items inside or outside, even when you can't hear the tracker's ring. This could help when the missing item is buried under something -- like a sofa cushion -- or inside something like a dresser drawer, for example. It can also help to find items more easily in a larger space, like a house with multiple floors.

The Tile app, meanwhile, will allow users to launch to an AR-enabled camera view that will help to guide them to the item's location using overlays, like directional arrows and an AR view of the item's location.

The ‌iPhone 11‌ and ‌iPhone 12‌ models have U1 chips, and some Android phones support UWB, so these devices will be compatible with Tile's upcoming trackers. Apple provided third-party developers with access to the U1 chip in the newest iPhones last year.

Concept art for the new item tracker from Tile suggests it will look similar to Tile's existing trackers with a square shape, center button, keychain attachment, and a flat back that is compatible with adhesive.

Tile is planning to release the new item trackers later this year, and they will be compatible with iOS and Android devices. Apple has implemented a new system that allows item trackers to work inside the Find My app, but it sounds like Tile will be taking advantage of its own app for item location purposes.

There is no word on when Apple plans to release ‌AirTags‌, and there have been signs of them in multiple versions of iOS. Many rumors suggested we'd see them before the end of 2020, but Apple has held off on a release. Earlier this week, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that the ‌AirTags‌ would be released at some point in 2021.

Related Forum: AirTags

Top Rated Comments

DevNull0 Avatar
18 months ago

I wonder what the meetings at Tile have been like over these past couple years Lol. To my knowledge this is their only product and it’s about to get side-stepped by Apple.

I’m sure they’ll be very successful still, but I’d be pretty ticked off haha.
I've used tile since long before air tags were a rumour. Tile has always been crappy, and the past couple of years they've gotten incredibly bad.

They want a few dollars a month to unlock most of the functionality in the app. I deny the app GPS data since I really don't see the need for them to constantly track my location just to make my tile beep when it's nearby. I get constant nag messages about that.
I turn my phone's bluetooth off once in a while because it sometimes interacts badly with my home theatre receiver. The tile app goes nuts with notifications when I do.
And since an update about 18 months ago, 95% of the time, the tile is unable to make my phone beep even though it's a core function. This is after making sure the app is running, bluetooth is on etc. So all it's good for is to make the tile beep from the phone.

Normally, I'm not an early adopter of Apple products, but I cannot wait for airtags to be released so they can put Tile our of our misery.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BC2009 Avatar
18 months ago
It looks very much like Apple delayed AirTags to add support for third-party implementations as well and included Tile as the partner in that.

I'd put my money on Apple announcing Find My support for third-party U1-enabled trackers and bringing Tile out on stage at their announcement.

Apple is trying to avoid anti-trust regulation in a big way right now and I can't see them gambling their more lucrative businesses on the potential revenue of AirTags.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mac Prodigy Avatar
18 months ago
The better to track you with, my dear! ?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mac Prodigy Avatar
18 months ago

will those be released before airtags
You mean "if" AirTags drop haha.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dammit Cubs Avatar
18 months ago
I use tile and have been using it for years. I love it but it's not without it's fault. I hate...hate......HATEEEEE the quality of this product. If Tile is reading this - I want to make this clear, every single product does not last a full year because the flexing in the product causes the speaker to fail...FAIL! so as I'm searching for it, I can't hear it.

This is why I want some AR specific logic so I can use my phone to see where it is.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iiiiiMAC!!!!! Avatar
18 months ago

It looks very much like Apple delayed AirTags to add support for third-party implementations as well and included Tile as the partner in that.

I'd put my money on Apple announcing Find My support for third-party U1-enabled trackers and bringing Tile out on stage at their announcement.

Apple is trying to avoid anti-trust regulation in a big way right now and I can't see them gambling their more lucrative businesses on the potential revenue of AirTags.
Quite a prediction
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

f1618938547

U.S. Senator Calls AirTags Release 'Timely' as App Store Antitrust Hearing Kicks Off

Wednesday April 21, 2021 9:50 am PDT by
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, who is spearheading an antitrust hearing on competition in App Stores, today called Apple's AirTags release "timely" because it is the type of conduct that she plans to examine, reports Reuters. "It's timely given that this is the type of conduct that we'll be talking about at the hearing," she said, while also mentioning that criticisms of the App Store and Play...
tile sticker e1570533758981

Tile CEO: 'We Welcome Competition From Apple, But We Think It Needs to Be Fair'

Tuesday May 4, 2021 9:51 am PDT by
Just after Apple announced its AirTags, Tile CEO CJ Prober relayed his concerns about competing with Apple in the tracking space, and said that Tile would ask Congress to investigate Apple's business practices specific to Find My and item trackers. Prober this week did an interview with Bloomberg, where he further expanded on Tile's complaints about Apple and why he feels that Tile is...
tile amazon sidewalk integration

AirTag Competitor Tile Getting Acquired by Location Sharing App Life360

Monday November 22, 2021 3:26 pm PST by
Tile, known for its range of Bluetooth-based tracking accessories that compete with the AirTag, is being acquired by location tracking service Life360, Tile announced today. Tile will continue to be operated as a standalone brand under Tile CEO CJ Prober, but Tile says that when the acquisition is completed, it will be able to leverage Life360's 33 million smartphone users to grow Tile's...
t mobile sync up tracker

T-Mobile Launches $60 LTE 'SyncUP' Item Tracker

Wednesday April 28, 2021 9:51 am PDT by
Just a week after Apple unveiled the AirTags, T-Mobile has announced the launch of the SyncUP TRACKER, an LTE-based tracking device that's designed to attach to items that are easily lost. Because it connects to T-Mobile's LTE network, the SyncUP TRACKER does not need to be near a smartphone to be tracked over Bluetooth, so it can be tracked regardless of location. That means it is ideal for ...
samsung smartthings tracker

Samsung SmartThings Update Aims to Prevent Tracker-Based Stalking

Tuesday April 20, 2021 4:21 am PDT by
Ahead of Apple's "Spring Loaded" event later today, Samsung has announced an update to its SmartThings Find platform that can scan for unknown Galaxy SmartTags and other Tile-like trackers nearby and alert the user if one appears to be moving along with them in their vicinity. Called "Unknown Tag Search," the anti-stalking feature aims to detect if someone has slipped a SmartTag into the...
apple id warning

iOS 15.4 Beta 4 Includes AirTags Anti-Stalking Changes

Tuesday February 22, 2022 11:36 am PST by
The newly released fourth beta of iOS 15.4 introduces the anti-stalking AirTag changes that Apple announced earlier this month, providing a setup warning that using an AirTag or another Find My-linked item to track someone without consent is a crime. "You can locate this item using the Find My network," reads the setup screen. "Using this item to track people without their consent is a crime ...
apple unknown items scan

iOS 15.2 Adds Option to Scan for Nearby AirTags and Find My-Enabled Items

Tuesday November 9, 2021 11:41 am PST by
With the iOS 15.2 beta that was released today, Apple has added enhancements to the Find My app. There's a new feature that's designed to let users scan for AirTags or Find My-enabled items that might be tracking them. When opening the Find My app after installing the beta and going to the "Items" tab, there's an option for "Items That Can Track Me." Tapping on this allows users to search...
airtag in hand

New York Attorney General Issues AirTag Consumer Alert Over Stalking Concerns

Wednesday February 16, 2022 9:47 am PST by
Though Apple last week announced changes to AirTags that will likely help cut down on unwanted tracking, officials are starting to take notice of complaints. New York Attorney General Letitia James today sent out a consumer alert with "safety recommendations" to protect New Yorkers from AirTags (via The Mac Observer). Across the country, Apple AirTags are being misused to track people and...

Popular Stories

RIP iPod Feature

RIP iPod: A Look Back at Apple's Iconic Music Player Over the Years

Friday May 13, 2022 2:25 pm PDT by
Apple earlier this week announced the discontinuation of the iPod touch, and because it was the last iPod still available for purchase, its sunsetting effectively marks the end of the entire iPod lineup. To send the iPod on its way, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of the most notable iPod releases over the last 21 years. Original iPod (2001) Introduced in October...
iOS 16 mock for article

Gurman: iOS 16 to Include New Ways of System Interaction and 'Fresh Apple Apps'

Sunday May 15, 2022 6:14 am PDT by
iOS 16 will include new ways of interacting with the system and some "fresh Apple apps," Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has said, offering some more detail on what Apple has in store for the upcoming release of iOS and iPadOS set to be announced in a few weeks at WWDC. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman wrote that while iOS 16 is not likely to introduce a major face-lift to...
maxresdefault

Unbox Therapy Shares Hands-On Look at iPhone 14 Pro Max Replica

Monday May 16, 2022 4:40 am PDT by
YouTuber Unbox Therapy has shared a hands-on look at the iPhone 14 Pro Max using what he claims is a one-to-one replica created by third-party case makers with access to detailed schematics and dimensions for Apple's new upcoming flagship smartphone. As with the iPhone 13 Pro lineup, in 2022, we are expecting a 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro and a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max, but this time the Pro...
iOS 15

Apple Releases iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5 With Wallet and Podcast Updates

Monday May 16, 2022 10:00 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5, the fifth major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 15 operating systems that were initially released in September 2021. iOS and iPadOS 15.5 come a little over two months after the launch of iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4. The iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in...
14 16 inch 2021 mbps back to back feature orange

Five Things You Still Can't Do With a MacBook Pro

Wednesday May 11, 2022 11:16 am PDT by
It's been over 200 days since Apple debuted its redesigned MacBook Pro lineup. Offered in 14-inch and 16-inch display sizes, the new-look MacBooks wowed Apple fans and creative pros alike with their powerful custom Apple silicon, mini-LED screen, and multiple connectivity options. But there are still some things you can't do with a MacBook Pro. Here are five features some Mac users are still...
apple mac ipad watch trade in

Apple Launches Limited-Time Bonus Trade-In Credit for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch in Many Countries

Wednesday May 11, 2022 5:14 am PDT by
Apple has launched a special limited-time offer for iPhone, Apple Watch, Mac, and iPad trade-in that offers customers additional credit when trading in their only device for a new one. The offer is being run in several countries including the US, UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China, India, and France. In the UK, Apple is offering up to £50 of extra trade-in credit...
airpodsprodesign

Kuo: AirPods, MagSafe Battery Pack, and Other Apple Accessories Also to Switch to USB-C in Future

Sunday May 15, 2022 5:59 am PDT by
Earlier this week, well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that Apple plans to release at least one iPhone 15 model with a USB-C port in 2023. Now, in a follow-up tweet, he has claimed that accessories like AirPods, the MagSafe Battery Pack, and the Magic Keyboard/Mouse/Trackpad trio would also switch to USB-C in the "foreseeable future." Both the iPhone and all of the aforementioned...