Word on the street is that Apple is finally going to launch AirTags some time in 2021. The Tile-like tracking device is said to boast quite a few features, but it sounds like Tile itself may beat Apple to the punch this year.
According to a report from TechCrunch, Tile is working on a new tracker right now that will feature some of the things Apple is supposedly hard at work on with its own tracking accessory. The report says that Tile’s new tracker will boast support for ultra wideband (UWB) technology, which will allow for more precise tracking. It should make finding things even easier, as precise location information tends to help with that sort of thing.
Basically, this was one of the features that AirTags was going to have that many believed would help it stand apart from the competition. But it sounds like the competition isn’t quite ready to give up the lead it has in the market without a fight.
The current version of Tile trackers rely solely on Bluetooth. That works for most things, but it has its limitations. UWB also relies on spatial data, making for more precise information. Bluetooth can’t do the same thing, so if Tile is indeed going to launch a UWB-supported tracker in the near future, it would certainly go a long way to making its already worthwhile trackers even more so.
In addition to UWB support, Tile is also working on augmented reality support. This feature will let users use the Tile app to launch an AR experience to help them find lost items more quickly. And yet again, this is an element of the oft-rumored AirTags that Apple is supposedly working on for the upcoming tracker.
As you can see from the concept image above, Tile’s new tracker with UWB and AR support will look similar to its current tracker. It will be square in design, with a keychain attachment and a button in its center. Meanwhile, as you can see from the image just below, Apple’s AirTags are expected to be small and round in shape.
The iPhone lineup, along with the iPhone 12 lineup, all support UWB and so they’ll work with Tile’s new, but still unofficial tracker, whenever it launches. And, of course, they’ll work with Apple’s AirTags.
There’s still no word on when AirTags will actually see the light of day. It’s possible Tile could have quite a bit of time on the market with its new tracker before Apple gets around to launching the new accessory.
Are you waiting for AirTags? Or will you try out Tile’s new tracker when it launches?