Latest Tile trackers take on AirTag with slimmer designs, longer range


2021 Tile Pro, Tile Slim and Tile Sticker
The 2021 Tile Pro, Tile Slim and Tile Sticker have been upgraded to look and perform better.
Photo: Tile

The new generation of Tile trackers for 2021 offer sleeker new designs, increased range, a louder ring and a new way for lost items to be found and returned.

Tile has had to step up its game now that it faces competition from Apple AirTag.

A range of improved Tile trackers

Tile refashioned the Tile Pro into a better key fob, so it’s designed to attach easily and hang comfortably from a keychain. That’s in contrast to Apple’s item tracker that doesn’t even have a hole — users must buy an add-on to attach it to their keys.

The Tile Pro is its premium version. It depends on Bluetooth and has a 400 foot finding range.

The company makes other trackers in a range of designs. That includes a Tile Sticker for attaching to TV remotes while Tile Slim slides into wallets. These have been upgraded to a 250 foot finding range and have a louder ring. The general-purpose Tile Mate now a 3-year battery life.

All four version have a IP67 water-resistance rating so they can be submerged in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes.

New Lost and Found feature

Bluetooth tracking is convenient in the home but items can get lost anywhere. Tile’s answer is a Lost and Found service.

Every 2021 Tile (excluding the Sticker) will have a QR code on the back so anyone who finds one can scan it, see the owner’s contact information, and coordinate how to reunite the lost item with its owner.

More security

“Tile trackers are designed for locating lost items, not for tracking people,” the company said on Tuesday. Its Scan and Secure feature will enable anyone with the Tile app (even if they don’t have an active Tile account) to easily scan for and detect nearby Tile devices and identify if an unknown device is near them.

The feature will come to iOS and Android in early 2022.

A UWB-enabled Tile Ultra

A highlight of AirTag is Ultra-Wideband, a system for locating items that’s more accurate than Bluetooth. The Tile Ultra, coming in 2022, will also include UWB. And the tracker will work with both iPhones and Android devices that support UWB.

The company app will use Augmented Reality to guide users directly to their lost items. That’s a feature once rumored for AirTag but never actually emerged.

Pricing for Tile Ultra was not announced Tuesday.

2021 Tile pricing and availability

Four 2021 Tile models launch on Tuesday:

  • Tile Pro: Available in Black or White, for $34.99
  • Tile Mate: Available in Black or White, for $24.99
  • Tile Slim: Available in Black for $34.99
  • Tile Sticker: Available in Black, starting from $29.99

They can be purchased now on FOor comparison, there’s only one version of AirTag, and it costs $29.

Tile trackers take on AirTag

Although Tile’s announcement of its 2021 lineup doesn’t mention Apple AirTag, it’s not ignoring the elephant in the room. CJ Prober, Tile CEO, defiantly says, “We built this category nearly a decade ago.” And the company points out, “In the first half of 2021, Tile has grown revenue over 50 percent, and shows no sign of slowing down.” AirTag launched in the first half of 2021.

Tile emphphasizes that it’s platform agnostic, as its app is available for both iOS and Android. And it already offers voice-enabled finding through Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, a feature AirTag users can get through Siri. Apple, for its part, does not offer an Android application for AirTag, which will always limit its market potential.

Updated: This article mistakenly said that Tile Ultra will work only with Android. The upcoming accessory will also work with iOS. We apologize for any confusion.


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.