Tile Trackers: Why Do We Like Them?

Julienne is my name. She’s graceful, fluffy, and the ideal housemate, but she’s also exactly what people mean when they say “scaredy-cat.” When we first brought her home, she hid for almost a week. She quietly squirrels out of sight whenever strangers come near. And when we moved residences, she dashed to the tiniest, darkest, safest spot she could discover, from which she didn’t move or make a sound until she felt entirely comfortable.

As a result, we’re scared that if she ever goes away, she’ll hide in a bush six feet away and we won’t be able to find her. She’ll remain a little, silent bundle, almost undetectable. So, in my cat-dad anxiety, I hooked a Tile bluetooth tracker on her collar, and it’s been there for four years, despite many product changes and designs.

Tiles are little Bluetooth trackers that come in a range of sizes, including a tiny dot, a small square, and a wallet-sized choice. The functions of all of the varied shapes are essentially the same. You can activate an audio alarm from the tracker if you’re close enough for your phone to connect to them over Bluetooth, so you can discover the keys buried in yesterday’s coat.

Attach Tile Mate to everyday tings like keys and backpacks

If you aren’t close enough, the app will display the last location where your phone was linked to the tracker. You can identify the Tile as “lost,” and the app will alert you if someone gets close enough to locate your tracker’s whereabouts through its network of other users.

You can also use a Tile to find something that is frequently misplaced, such as your phone. Because you can never remember where you put the dang thing, simply press a button on the tracker to have your device squawk at you from across the room.

Even though we didn’t have local SIM cards, a Tile Slim in my partner’s pocketbook helped us find the bag when she left it in a café in Liverpool, England. In case something happens to my bike, I have a Tile Pro hidden on the frame (again).

Julienne, on the other hand? Her collar tag currently has a Tile Sticker on it. The Tile has been a handy method to figure out which drawer of clothes she’s burrowed her way into this time, even though we’ve never had to use it to find her. We don’t have to worry about the Sticker dragging down her collar because it’s only about 5 grams.

In addition, the Tile is a better fit for our purposes than a specialist pet GPS tracker. These are more costly, bulkier and heavier, require tracking subscriptions, and must be charged on a regular basis. With a Tile, perhaps? You put it where you want it and then forget about it—at least until the battery dies, which is a major drawback. A GPS tracker will update more frequently, and it won’t rely on a network of other users to be nearby, so it’s better for a roving dog than a sedentary cat.

Even though we didn’t have local SIM cards, a Tile Slim in my partner’s pocketbook helped us find the bag when she left it in a café in Liverpool, England. In case something happens to my bike, I have a Tile Pro hidden on the frame (again).

Water Resistant

Julienne, on the other hand? Her collar tag currently has a Tile Sticker on it. The Tile has been a handy method to figure out which drawer of clothes she’s burrowed her way into this time, even though we’ve never had to use it to find her. We don’t have to worry about the Sticker dragging down her collar because it’s only about 5 grams.

In addition, the Tile is a better fit for our purposes than a specialist pet GPS tracker. These are more costly, bulkier and heavier, require tracking subscriptions, and must be charged on a regular basis. With a Tile, perhaps? You put it where you want it and then forget about it—at least until the battery dies, which is a major drawback. A GPS tracker will update more frequently, and it won’t rely on a network of other users to be nearby, so it’s better for a roving dog than a sedentary cat.

Something to think about

Tiles aren’t meant to be long-lasting. The Mate and the Pro are the only two devices with removable batteries. The Sticker and Slim are hermetically sealed black boxes, which are the more practical alternatives for us. When the battery dies, you have no choice but to discard them.

The Slim 2020’s battery is expected to last three years, while the Sticker’s battery will last up to two years, according to the business.

Tile works with your Smart Home devices

When a battery reaches the end of its life cycle, the app will notify you. However, if you don’t check on it on a regular basis, you may find yourself logged out of the app, and when you login back in, the battery may be dead. Tile’s design decision is sad and aggravating, as it contributes to yet more electrical waste. Hopefully, the corporation will change course and make all of its items replacement or rechargeable in the future.

When should you buy?

Tile trackers are frequently discounted, but the best deals are usually found around Black Friday and Prime Day.


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