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January 14, 2016 / carlispina

Keep Track of Almost Anything With Tile

Photo of a TileThough I haven’t tried many Bluetooth tools for personal use, this year I was given two of the Tile Bluetooth trackers, so I am starting to give them a try. These small squares (pictured to the right) help you to keep track of almost anything. Each Tile has a small circular hole in the corner making it easy to attach them to keys, but you can also put a Tile in a bag or attach it to household items (remote controls) or larger items (bikes or computers). Basically, you can add a Tile to anything you think you may lose.

To set up your tiles, you have to download the app on either your iOS or Android device and enable your device’s Bluetooth. Once you have done this, you can connect it to your Tile or Tiles. After this, any time you lose your Tile (and anything connected to it) you can log into the app to see where the item was last seen and to ring the small microphone in the Tile when within a 100-foot radius. This is great for when you misplace something in your house, but what about over a longer distance? Tile has you covered there too. If you are outside of the 100-foot radius, the Tile app will still tell you where you left your item, by showing the last location the app recorded for the item on a map within the app. If your item has moved, you can also use the Community Find option to cause everyone’s Tile to look for your app. Once you have selected the “Notify When Found”option, your Tile will communicate privately and anonymously with any other Tile it comes near. This means that you will get a notification if anyone with a Tile comes within 100 feet of your lost item without them being aware that their Tile is sending this communication. Tile works to help you find your phone as well. As long as you have your Bluetooth enabled and have connected a Tile to an app on your phone, you can tap the E on the Tile twice to have your phone ring. This will work even if you have your phone on silent mode, as long as you are within a 100-foot radius.

Though I have just started using Tile, so far I have found it to work quite well. Enabling both the location and Bluetooth features on my device used up my battery a bit more quickly, as would be true of any device using these features, so you will want to plan accordingly. I have some doubt about the complete privacy of the Community Find option (though I haven’t done any research into it yet), but as long as you aren’t worried about someone actively searching for your lost item, this is probably a minor concern. And, I suspect most people will most frequently use Tile to find items within their own home or office. I could see it being useful for some who find themselves spending a lot of time looking for simple objects.

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