If you buy a Bluetooth Tracker this holiday season, you'll likely have a choice between an AirTag and a Tile. Apple arguably popularized the category with the AirTag, but Tile (which was recently acquired by family tracking software company Life360) has been in the game for much longer and offers a wider variety of models. We've got everything you need to know to determine which tracker is right for you.
Neither AirTag nor a Tile will break the bank. A single AirTag sells for $ 29, and you can get a four-pack for $ 99. That said, you still need to buy a buckle or strap to attach it to whatever you want to track. Apple sells a range of AirTag accessories , ranging in price from $ 12.95 for key chains to $ 449 for Hermès luggage tags.
The Tile line is significantly more Tile Mate is the cheaper group at $ 24.99, and the size closest to the AirTag (albeit with a built-in hole for a keychain). The largest Tile Pro (which also has a hole for a keychain) and the Tile Slim each costs $ 34.99, while a two-pack Tile Stickers (which literally stick on things like remotes) will set you back $ 54.99. You probably don't need any accessories to attach any of the Tile products to the items you want to track, but you do need to pay a Premium Membership ($ 29.99 per year) to access a number of essential features.
Tile offers its trackers in four unique form factors (Photo: Steven Winkelman)
The AirTag and all Tile trackers have a Ingress protection IP67 , which means they can withstand being submerged in up to a meter of fresh water for an hour. The AirTag and Tile Pro have replaceable batteries, while the rest of the Tile line uses non-replaceable batteries which are expected to last around three years.
Apple AirTag Review 4.0 Excellent $ 29.00 on Amazon See
Tile Pro Review 4.0Excellent $ 34. 99 on Amazon See
Tile Mate Review 3.5 Good $ 19.99 on Amazon See
Tile Slim Review 3.5Good $ 27.99 on Amazon See It
Tile Sticker Review 3.0Average $ 54.99 on Amazon See Show all (5 items)
The most important factor to consider when choosing a bluetooth tracker est compatibility. After all, a tracker is useless if it doesn't work with your device.
Mosaic trackers work with Android and iOS devices
AirTags only work with devices that run iOS and iPadOS, so you must have an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad to use them . best feature, Precision Finding — which uses ultra-wide bande (UWB) for step-by-step instructions - requires iPhone 11 or newer.
Tile, on the other hand, has apps for Android and iOS, so its trackers will work with just about any recent smartphone. If you are an Android user, Tile is the solution.
For what it's worth, the Samsung Galaxy SmartTag and SmartTag Plus are solid options for Galaxy smartphone owners, but they haven't yet gained the same popularity as the competition.
Apple has the advantage in location accuracy for a number of reasons, including the aforementioned UWB support which allows precise directions to guide you to your lost item. And because the AirTag uses the Find My application integrated into eachiPhone and iPad, it taps into a much larger user network than Tile, which requires you to install an app on your phone to be part of its location network.
Precision search gives detailed instructions for AirTags
Tile's trackers use Bluetooth and the company's user network to help you locate lost devices. As mentioned, Tile does not yet offer a UWB tracker, although it doesn plans to release one early next year.
During testing, we were able to locate lost items much faster using AirTag than with any Tile model. While the Tile Pro took about an hour to locate a lost item, the AirTag only took a minute. And while the AirTag may offer instructions to guide you directly to your lost item, the Tile app simply indicates if you're getting close.
Software and Features
Apple 's Find My application is sleeker and more intuitive than Tile ' s. In addition to your iPhone, iPad, or iPad touch, you can launch it from any web browser, as well as from a HomePod or HomePod mini. If you have an iPhone 11 or newer, you can use the precision search function app to get step-by-step directions to your obj.and lost. And if you forget to grab an item with an AirTag attached, you'll get a notification on your iPhone once it's out of range.
Setting up an AirTag is also easy. Just hold one on your iPhone or iPad and a notification will appear to guide you through the process, essentially requiring you to name the tracker.
Tile's approach is a bit different. The Tile application displays the locationposition your tracker and, if you are out of range, allows you to activate its lost mode. For $ 29.99 per year, a Premium membership unlocks features like 30 days of location history, tracking sharing, and smart notifications (alerts when you leave an item behind).
Tile works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and even Xfinity voice remotes if you set them up in advance, but you can't search for lost items from a web browser.
Setting up one of Tile's trackers is a bit more complicated than an AirTag. You need to download the Tile app, create an account, and update the permissions on your phone. After that, you need to tap an icon to add a new thumbnail in the app and then tap a button on the real tracker. Finally, you need to name the tracker and assign it an icon. Although it looks like a lot of steps, it only takes a minute or two.
Like many technology products, AirTag and Tile trackers can be used for digital harassment, which is made worse by their small size and affordable.
Shortly after the release of the AirTag, Apple pushed a firmware update to improve its security measures. When an AirTag is not within reach of the person who checked it in for an extended period of time or it is traveling with an unregistered person, it will start beeping. The exact length of time before you hear the first alert varies, but it is between 8 and 24 hours.
If you find an AirTag in your bag or receive an "AirTag found traveling with you" message on your iPhone, you can place the AirTag on any phone with NFC to get its serial number and details on how to deactivate it. You can also simplyt unscrew the AirTag and remove its battery. Contact local law enforcement if you think your safetyis in danger; they can work with Apple .
Tile does not currently offer any anti-harassment functionality, but plans to roll out a software update that will allow individuals to find nearby trackers in 2022. This is not a solution, however. elegant, as it requires you to download the Tile app and proactively search for trackers.
AirTag for iPhone owners, Tile for everyone else
The AirTag is the big winner here, and the tracker we recommend to anyone with a compatible iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Android phone owners, on the other hand, should choose the tile that corbest meets their needs.
For more information, see our guide on configuring your AirTag and all you need to know about using it. Race to 5G to get our best mobile tech stories straight to your inbox. ", " first_published_at ": " 2021-09-30T21: 18: 21.000000Z ", "published_at ": "2021-09-30T21: 18: 21.000000Z ", "last_published_at ": "2021-09-30T21: 18: 03.000000Z ", "created_at ": null, "updated_at ": "2021-09-30T21: 18: 21.000000Z "}) "x-show = " showEmailSignUp () "class = " rounded bg-gray-lightest text- md: px -32 md: py-8 p-4 font-brand mt-8 container-xs ">
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