Hints in iOS 13 indicate Apple may launch a tracking tag similar to Tile. The device would make it easier to find commonly misplaced items.
People often misplace items such as keys, remotes and wallets. Devices such as Tile are attached to commonly misplaced items. Tile’s mobile app uses Bluetooth technology to locate the tagged item.
Although Tile has been around for years, emerging competitors provide similar “key finder” products. Devices such as Chipolo Plus and Protag Duet offer similar features at competitive prices. It now appears that Apple, the world’s largest corporation, is getting into the key finder business.
Hints in iOS 13 code shed light on Apple’s tracking tag venture. The Find My app now has a new tab for items. This suggests that tagged items will appear in the same app that finds all of your other Apple devices.
The new system may assist users with augmented reality technology. The technology superimposes computer graphics on top of reality. For example, a user could see the misplaced item highlighted on their iPhone display, along with the image of their environment. Simply pan your iPhone around your room to find lost keys or other tagged items.
MacRumors reports that the system may notify users when they’re separated from their tagged device. This may work for some situations, however, this could prove cumbersome for keys and other items. Most likely, options such as duration and specifying tags will be configurable.
Tile and other iOS app developers have recently accused Apple of anti-competitive behavior. Changes to location services permissions are seen as favoring Apple over competitors like Tile. iOS 13 displays messages informing users of how an app is using location services. Users must allow location services for a specified duration.
Although Apple pledges to play by the same rules, their tracking tag can be closely integrated into iOS. Third-party developers fear customers may choose location services options that hamper their apps.
There’s no word from Apple as to when their tracking tag will be released. Rumors suggest that it will be unveiled at the upcoming iPhone event.