iOS 13 spills ‘Items’ tracking ahead of Apple tags

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Tile has helped people find their car keys for years, and the newest version lets your Tile battery be easily replaced.
Apple is expected to take on Tile before the end of 2019.
Photo: Tile

iOS 13 screenshots have revealed a new “Items” tracking feature that appears to pave the way for rumored “Apple Tags.”

Baked into the Find My app, but currently hidden in the public version of the software, the Items section appears alongside People and Devices and lets you “keep track of your everyday items.”

The first references to Apple Tag were spotted in iOS 13 betas in early June. The device is believed to be a more advanced Tile-like tracker that lets you keep tabs on important items.

Apple was expected to unveil Tags during its iPhone 11 event earlier this month. That didn’t happen, but we’re still confident of a launch before the end of 2019 — and iOS 13 is preparing for it.

Track ‘Items’ in iOS 13

MacRumors has obtained screenshots of a new Items tab in the Find My app for iOS 13. It lets you “tag your everyday items” with a tracker that appears to be codenamed “B389” internally.

iOS-13-items-tracking
The new Items section in the Find My app.
Photo: MacRumors

Tapping the “Add” button lets you assign Tags to your keys, wallet, purse, and other valuables you might misplace. You can then keep tabs on their locations so you “never lose them again.”

If a Tag cannot be located, users can put it into “Lost Mode.” Should another iPhone user find it, they’ll be able to access contact information for the Tag’s rightful owner.

MacRumors reports “‘Safe Locations’ can be set where a user will not be notified if an item is left in certain locations, and users will also be able to share the location of items with friends and family members, per the internal build of iOS 13.”

Augmented reality could make tracking fun

Apple is expected to use augmented reality to make finding lost items fun. Leaks hint at virtual balloons that could be placed in the real world to pinpoint an item’s location on your iPhone.

“Walk around several feet and move your iPhone up and down until a balloon comes into view,” reads one reference in iOS 13.

The mounting evidence suggests Apple Tags are still very much a part of Apple’s plans. And we hope to see them next month. Rumor has it we will get another event in October for iPad Pro and more.