Published On: Wed, Oct 7th, 2015

Tile’s 2nd-Generation Bluetooth Tracker: Get Lost Things Back

Tile’s a Bluetooth gadget that helps you find things when they are lost. It turned out to be a very successful crowdfunded project, raking in $2.5 million from thousands of people wanting a way to keep track of their precious items. It isn’t too big to attach to a key-ring, but at around 5.5-mm it is twice the thickness of an average key and wider than most car key fobs.


These contain a speaker that is now three times louder at 90 decibels. Previously, it was too quiet to hear if there was even moderate ambient noise. Second is that you can now use the Tile to find your phone, so the system works both ways.

You can use a Tile only with an iPhone or iPad one that has Bluetooth 4.0 low energy. The app is free, and it is easy to pair the Tile you press the “e” and it plays a short tune to let you know it is in pairing mode.

It works much like the Find My iPhone app in that you can see when the Tile was last ‘seen’ in Bluetooth contact with your iPhone or iPad and a map of its location. It isn’t still obvious in the current version of the app that you can tap the Tile icon inside the green circle to display a distance gauge.

The segments fill up as you get closer to the tile, but there is no indication which direction to go it is just a case of trial and error. There’s another way to find it, but it relies on other Tile users. It is called Community Find, and it’s a really clever system.

Whenever the Tile app is running on anyone’s phone or tablet, it logs the location of any other Tiles that it detects. Actuality, they do not need to own a Tile they just need the app installed, but no-one is going to install and run an app exclusively for the benefit of others. Previously, the Tile app had to be running, but now it works in the background.

Tile freely admits on its website, small tracking devices are nothing new. What is different about Tile is that it uses Bluetooth, and is less accurate than a GPS tracker.