The Tile Finally Gets Device Tagging-And-Tracking Right

The Tile Finally Gets Device Tagging-And-Tracking Right

There are tons of iPhone-detectable device trackers, widgets that let you find your lost items using an app. But the Tile might just be the first one to get it all right. It will let you find things you lost down the back of the sofa, but it also has some other killer features.

Tile is a tiny plastic square that you can stick to anything, toss into a bag or attach via its handy corner hole. You can pair up to ten Tiles with your account, and once activated they last a year (the sealed unit has a non-replaceable battery). The on-phone readout tells you how far away you are, and you can even share a tile with others, letting you all track the TV remote, say (or – as the video shows – let men find your bra(?)).

But the real killer app – apart from the set-and-forget nature of the design – is that if you lose a tile you can set it to alert mode. Then, if any other Tile user’s iPhone passes by your Tile, it’ll detect it and send you a location fix. That’s pretty awesome, right? Add one of these to your bike and you can track it even if it’s stolen.

The Tiles are available for pre-order at $19 apiece, with the price dropping if you order more. They’ll launch in the U.S and Canada, and hopefully roll out over the feast of the world soon. I can’t wait.

  • mssngmrblz

    come on! throwing things away this day in age? fix the battery issue and I would seriously think about it….

  • Clifmeister1

    come on! throwing things away this day in age? fix the battery issue and I would seriously think about it….

    I totally agree, they send you an envelop to “Recycle” your old tyles. So they get the tiles back for free, open them and sell them back for full price??? Nice. Let me replace the battery!

  • mikeattile

    Mike at Tile here. First off, thanks for taking the time to comment on Tile. It’s great to receive feedback on what you all think about Tile. Give feedback on blogs like this, or always feel free to shoot us an email at (sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address).

    There are several benefits to the non-replaceable battery design:

    1. Ease of Use – Trying to find the right coin cell battery is a pain. You never have to do this with Tile.
    2. Waterproof – Tile is waterproof.
    3. Thinner – Allows Tile to be much thinner.
    4. Latest and Greatest – Once a year you get the latest and greatest Tile.

    Also important to note is that part our vision is making Tiles less expensive and longer lasting every year.

    • pocketfrog

      “Trying to find the right coin cell battery is a pain.”
      Since when?

  • Drshemming

    This looks a great product, well done to the guys who have come up with it, I am always misplacing my car keys and my wallet, so this looks like a no brainer for me, I will buy some, but I would really prefer to be able to change batteries myself, I think that unless that feature comes in the future I probably wouldn’t bother buying second time round.

    Also have to agree with others that the send it back for us to recycle seems a bit lame, I also suspect it won’t take long for someone to have opened one up and posted a youtube video of how to solder a new battery on.

    With regard to tracing stolen goods, surely the thief would just download the app and check if that expensive bike has a Tile hidden on it somewhere.

  • mikeattile

    Drshemming – You can only see your Tiles in the Tile app. You can’t search around for other peoples stuff.

    • Rohan Horsey

      A hacked app will appear that will allow to see all tiles in its vicinity. This will be cool.

  • haineux

    I’m leaning toward Button Trackr instead. Cheaper, probably larger, but it might have more better software, for instance, your button trackr’s ring if you leave with your keys but not your iPhone, for example.

  • TonyLimaAssoc

    I was skeptical at first, but Mike Farley (COO) and Nick Evans (CEO) look pretty legitimate. See for yourself: Mike Farley http://www.linkedin.com/pub/michael-farley/a/954/619
    Nick Evans http://www.linkedin.com/pub/nick-evans/4/549/169/

  • RedBarron

    Call me cynical but I have major concerns about buying this thing. First, the price it costs changes more often than I change my socks. Second the T & Cs state that if you order it and it doesn’t arrive…. Tough luck! If it arrives and doesn’t work…. Tough luck! The item is tiny and light yet they charge $15 to post to the UK. And if you do get one and it works fine, it won’t after just 12 months. The battery can’t be recharged or replaced. All in all this sounds like a very professional scam!

  • mastiffguy

    Biggest scam of the “crowdfunding” craze….10 months later and they’re still not shipping ” However, we’ve decided to not enter volume production just yet because we made a late breaking discovery that makes a huge improvement in the reliability of Tile.” This is after saying they’ll be shipping in April. More stall tactics.

    Maybe “Cult of Mac” should do a follow up….

  • MRomine

    I’m very disappointed in the functionality of the Tile product. In my opinion the Tile product is pretty much useless. For the following reasons:

    1. The tone that the Tile produces is not load enough to be heard. I currently have my Tile in the font right pocket of the pants that I’m wearing and I can not hear the sound until I take it out of my pocket. That is pretty worthless for the purpose of trying to find an article based upon an audio output. Therefore, lets say that I’m trying to find, my keys, and I have left them on the sofa in my house and they are located under the sofa pillow. I will never be able to hear the sound.

    2. The iPhone app is also pretty worthless in using it to locate a lost item because it does not indicate a direction to go to find the lost item. It only tells you if you are within a few steps; Hint: “It’s probably a few steps away”. Well a few steps could be in any direction. So which direction do I turn to? Pretty much worthless for trying to find an article in a hurry.

    3. Lastly, the demo video located here: http://www.thetileapp.com shows the user at the 25 second mark with a phone app that shows a proximity indicator and the audio says that you can track distance to your lost item. The app for my iPhone 4s iOS 7.1.1 does not provide this visual or audio.

    I think they have a great idea but unless the app software is updated the audio levels of the Tile can be adjusted by the user this product is worthless. Therefore, I feel that I have been duped.

  • Cameron Kracke

    So I got my tiles (4) yesterday and since then, have sent and received approximately 12 emails with the tile tech support. For some reason I am unable to receive the confirmation email required to setup the app. So my question is, if the app is local to my iPhone why do I need to connect to a confirmation server to get the app to work? But the bigger issue is why the tile tech support team is indicating this is an issue with Charter and Cox email? They told me to go talk to them and figure it out on my own… really? really? WOW amazing customer service. An entire day of back and forth with the customer service.

    The next best thing was when they told me my account wasn’t in their systems. But yet I am able to use the password reset and get a link sent to me to change my account password. Also, why am I am able to get an email from the password reset service, but not the confirmation email.

    All I can say is that I haven’t even used the tile yet and I am already annoyed, upset and frustrated with it. They are certainly not winning me over and I am likely to look at other solutions.

About the author

Charlie Sorrel Charlie Sorrel is the Reviews Editor here on Cult of Mac. Follow Charlie  on Twitter at @mistercharlie.

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