‘Where’s my wallet?”Where are my keys?”Do you know where my office keys are?’ If this is a daily chorus in your house, like it is in mine, you can’t help but wonder if there is a product to help you keep track of where your items might be. We can’t do ‘Accio wallet’ and expect it to come flying in our hands Harry Potter-style. Thankfully there are plenty of Bluetooth trackers for forgetful folks like us. The latest one to launch in India is the Tile Mate Bluetooth tracker.
Tile has been around for a while now, and what it offers might not seem new or revolutionary. Still it does the job, and is quite easy to setup, which is what users want when getting another smart device in their lives.
The Tile tracker can be connected to your smartphone or tablet and you can attach it to your personal items like keys, wallets, bags, or whatever you wish and track these from the app.
What I liked about the Tile Mate was the ease with which I could set it up. The app is available on both iOS and Android, and I used the iOS version. Once you have the app, you can just set up an account and choose Tile trackers to add as a device. At the time of setup, you just have to press the button at the centre of the device and activate it. Once it plays a tune, the device is connected.
When setting up you can also decide the item category for the Tile tracker, say keys, or wallet, or even luggage. The good thing is you can always go back to the app and change the category later. For example, if you first setup the Tile as keys, but later switched the tracker to your bag, then you can change it in the app.
Once the Tile is set up, and you are trying to find the item around you, just open the app and tap the Find option. The Tile tracker will play a tune and you can then locate it. It worked accurately for me in instances when I was trying to find an item.
Just keep in mind that if the tracker is not within the Bluetooth range of your phone, then the app won’t be able to locate it. You can choose to mark that particular Tile as lost. This could jog your memory and help you remember where you last left that item.
I had the Tile tracker attached to my set of office keys, and this bunch is particularly important to me. I tend to leave the keys hanging in the office drawer at times, but the Tile tracker was a way of double-checking that they were in my bag. The moment the tracker didn’t play, I knew I had forgotten the keys either back at home, which is fine or I had left them hanging in the office, which meant I had to alert someone to collect them.
In one instance, I kept the tracker in a pouch, which is usually packed with all the phones I’m reviewing. Except that was the day I decided to leave the pouch at home. So when I got to work, the Tile wasn’t in range, which resulted in immediate panic. I had to call back home and ensure that the pouch was safely there, and not lost.
The Tile tracker also comes with some other useful features. So instance, you can press on the button and it will ring your phone, provided you have the feature for ‘Find My Phone’ turned on. This is useful for folks who keep misplacing their smartphones. I know plenty of friends who do this.
What I also liked about the Tile app was the user interface. You can zoom into a location of your Tile as well. I found it to be mostly accurate. Keep in mind though that for some of the features to work Tile requires that Bluetooth is always enabled, the app is open and running either in foreground or background, and that Location services are enabled. While Tile recommends “Always” as the Privacy option for iOS users, because it is better for accuracy, I had mine set at ‘While using the app’ and it worked fine.
As a tracker Tile works well and does exactly what it claims to do. But it is an expensive proposition at Rs 2,499 for a single device. A pack of four will cost Rs 7,999. Clearly buying the bigger pack would appear to be reasonable from a cost perspective.