Reasons why Apple AirTags will destroy Tile Trackers
After all of the rumors and leaks since a year, Apple finally announced a new product – AirTags, and they had quite a few surprises that no one was expecting. Apart from that we will also compare Airtags with their biggest competitor Tile, talk about should use of AirTags and if Tile will survive or become bankrupt.
So let’s tech about that!
For all our readers who do not know what is a location tracker – It locates your personal items by tagging it to any personal item and tracking it via your smartphone using GPS and Bluetooth. And since a long time, this genre has been owned by Tile. They have four types of trackers:
Mate – a keychain style water resistant device with a 200 ft. Bluetooth range, 1-year battery life and compatible with Android, Windows and iOS devices
Slim – a credit card sized waterproof device with a 200 ft. Bluetooth range, 3-year battery life and compatible with Android, Windows and iOS devices.
Sticker – a coin sized waterproof tracker device with an adhesive back and a 150 ft. Bluetooth range, 3-year battery life and compatible with Android, Windows and iOS devices
Pro – a pro version of the Mate with water-resistance and 400 ft. Bluetooth range, 1-year battery life and compatible with Android, Windows and iOS devices
AirTag from Apple is similar to the Sticker in terms of size but very powerful similar to the Pro. You can attach the AirTags to your keys, slip another in your backpack. And just like that, you can use the Find My app on Apple devices to track Apple devices.
The AirTag uses Bluetooth for proximity finding (almost 100 metres), is rated IP67 and has the Apple U1 chip (Ultra Wideband and Precision Finding) and NFC. It has a built-in speaker, user replaceable battery and an accelerometer. The extra U1 chip will allow people with iPhone 11 or newer to use spatial awareness to precisely find the AirTag with your phone using. a mix of ARKit, accelerometer, and gyroscope with a combination of sound, haptics, and even visual feedback. It is compatible with iPhones & iPod touch models with iOS 14.5 or later and iPad models with iPadOS 14.5 or later.
AirTag vs Tile
Now Tile Pro also has the proximity finding feature, but it is not even close to as good as AirTag. Tile also has a very nifty feature which AirTag does not have and that is a built-in button. This button used to locate your phone by playing a sound even if your phone is in silent mode.
Setting up the AirTag is super simple, as are all of Apple devices. Just like AirPods, the AirTags can be set up using NFC tapping, after that a popup name comes and there you go. Simple as that. Tile on the other hand, needs you to download their app and go through a series of steps to select which model you have and then scan for it with Bluetooth, connect and then get it setup.
Along with that, if someone loses their AirTag, then the person who finds it can use his/her phone NFC to tell the owner who’s found their item and can know who it belongs to. This can be done without needing an app which Tile cannot do, and you don’t even need an iPhone since NFC works with Android phones also.
Another prominent feature exclusive to AirTag is one where a person has placed an AirTag on you. It gives out a warning to the person if he/she has an iPhone. At first, it will show a popup on your phone, and if the owner has not put it on lost mode, then it will start beeping as well.
This is a very useful privacy feature since given the size of the AirTag, you would not know whether your location is being tracked. Apple says on their website -
If you happen to be with a friend who has an AirTag, or on a train with a whole bunch of people with AirTag, don’t worry. These alerts are triggered only when an AirTag is separated from its owner.
Tile does it differently and in a way creepily. It has a ‘community find’ feature where anyone with the Tile app can find it and inform you. But it can be creepy if someone is tracking you by placing a Tile on you.
And talking about privacy, Apple does not store any data on the trackers and everything is anonymous and encrypted. Not even Apple knows the location of your AirTag. Tile stores location information for accurate finding.
Who has the upper hand?
Though both AirTag and Tile work similarly but there are two massive differences or say an upper hand which Apple has. There are over 1.5 billion iPhones over the world and these phones will use AirTag as an accessory. Which means you are already a part of that network and you do not need to own an AirTag to be in that network which included Macs and iPads. The real kicker is that you do not have to install any app as it is done automatically without any privacy data usage.
With Tile, out of the 30 million users, some people may not be using them anymore, or battery have died for some people who have not changed them yet. Also if you don’t have the app installed and enabled then it won’t work, so the chances of you finding your item is much better with Airtags and faster as well.
And second upper hand is the issue of subscriptions. If you want to have a location history from Tile or you want to share the location with family or get notifications if you have left something behind you then you have to pay up a fee for that. Whereas AirTags do not require any extra subscription charges.
We hope these will be built-in as standard features as Find My can be set up by family also and Apple is already making money by keeping you in the ecosystem apart from you buying the products.
So if you are already on the Apple ecosystem then AirTags are a clear option as they cost less than Tile Pro, the network is way bigger, there is no subscription charges and they do not cut down on features. Also they do a much better job at setting up and finding things easily.
And if you are a Tile user, then it is worthy of an upgrade as that ease of use is beneficial to older people also.
Also Apple has been known to revolutionise any industry they enter. And their entry in the smart tracker space will surely trickle the established players like Tile. The moment there were rumours of the AirTags, Tile filed an antitrust cleain against Apple in the US and then later in Europe.
They cited the readily available Find My on iPhones and more privacy steps which Tile has to go through. But deep down they know that how hard it will be for them as they only sell smart trackers unlike Apple which has a lot of device categories.
This claim resulted in Apple opening up their Find My program to major tracker companies. This will result in Tile being forced to integrate with Android to be succesful and using Find My which will again give Apple royalties.
They also might need to drop the subscription plans and decrease their sales for them to just keep up with AirTags. And we know that AirTags will be a viral sensation just like the AirPods were.
Go ahead and do let me know what you think of this post in the comments below and which one you prefer, and if you’re a tile owner will you be switching to Airtags?