Word on the street is that Apple is working on a Tile-like tracking device, which may be “small and round” when it eventually sees the light of day.
It was expected that Apple was going to announce the new accessory during its “by innovation only” event, but that didn’t turn out to be the case. But, there haven’t been any rumors that Apple has actually cancelled the unannounced product just yet, so right now we’re still trucking along expecting Apple to announce the small accessory at some point in the future.
MacRumors has yet another detail to add to the mix, showcasing a hidden tab in iOS 13 for “Apple Tags”. The Tags bit is what Apple will probably call the accessory. The tab was found in the new “Find My” app, which Apple revamped in a major way for iOS 13. Selecting the new “Items” tab will show a map at the top of the screen.
The new “Items” tab will be closely integrated with Apple’s rumored Tile-like item tracking tags, codenamed “B389” internally. By tapping the “Add” button in the tab, users will be able to track the location of items affixed with so-called Apple Tags directly within the Find My app.
The tab informs users to “tag your everyday items with B389 and never lose them again,” making it clear that Apple is working on a Tile competitor. MacRumors shared an image of Apple’s tag from an internal build of iOS 13 last month, although it may not reflect the final design of the product.
When Apple Tags does go live, and people actually get to use them, iPhone owners will get a notification when they “are separated from a tagged item”. If someone needs to find that item, they can tap a button within the Find My app to make the Tag start emitting a loud chime.
There will also be “Safe Locations”, which means an iPhone owner will not be notified if they leave the tagged item in a specific spot. Users will also be able to share an item’s location with other people as well.
We’ve heard in the past that augmented reality (AR) will likely play a role, too. This is echoed in this latest report:
Like the Pixie Tracker, the Find My app will likely incorporate features from Apple’s ARKit framework. The internal build of iOS 13includes an asset for a 3D red balloon that could help a user pinpoint a lost item after scanning a room with their iPhone. There’s also an image of a 2D orange balloon.
‘Walk around several feet and move your iPhone up and down until a balloon comes into view,’ reads a string in internal iOS 13code.
While Apple has not teased any of this directly, it’s hard to imagine the company not getting around to launching them. Previous reports have said that the new Apple Tags will take advantage of Ultra Wideband (UWB) technology, something that Apple is introducing along with the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro in its dedicated U1 chip. It would just make sense to see Apple launch Tags to take advantage of UWB technology.
So, another hint that Tags is on the way. What do you think? Excited?