A couple months back, I had the privilege of entering a period of my life where I was suddenly free from having to worry about where my keys where, thanks to Tile. This unassuming widget has ensured that our keys, as long as they’ve been left within range of our phones, are only ever lost for a few seconds. And if they’re not within range of our phones? Tile has a great community that helps you hunt down and triangulate your stuff, just by using the app themselves (Thankfully, we haven’t had to use that feature yet!).
If you haven’t tried out Tile yet (and with school right around the corner, you should, this is the time of year when mornings become minefields of missing everythings), you’re in luck, because as announced on their blog today, Tile just got better.
Tile is rolling out the second generation of their physical widget along with a new, updated phone app. The Tile itself retains the same unassuming design; but now with a few carefully placed holes over the speaker to ensure that it’s an attention-getting 30% louder (don’t worry, it’s still water resistant!). This is a welcome change, especially if you’re aurally directionally challenged.
The app is generally cleaned up; but gains some great new features. The biggest being that you can now use Tile to find your phone! Because you know what’s annoying? Walking around, keys in hand, unable to figure out where you put down your phone to look for your keys. Now, you can double-tap the “e” on the Tile 2.0 and, as long as your phone is connected, it will ring it. It’s even handier than Find my Phone!
You can also now use your phone as a virtual Tile. This way you can share your phone just like you would a Tile and others can be enlisted to help you find it. Are your keys and your phone knocking around together in the same unknown location? Tile has you covered there too, with a new web interface that helps you track down your registered devices even if you don’t have either of them with you. Is the virtual Tile more useful that Find my Phone or Android Device Manager? That I’m not as sure about. Time will tell if Tile can rewrite five years of muscle memory. What is impressive is that Tile has opened up the app to anyone, not just “Tilers.” So download the app, even if you don’t have a Tile, register your phone, and try it out.
Tile 2.0 is available today from the company itself, Amazon (soon – check for the T1003 model number when ordering), and for the first time, in retail stores. T-Mobile will be carrying Tile in all of their 3,300 locations, nationwide. Grab a handful and start tossing them in lunch boxes and backpacks. You’ll finally be able to do something other than stare dumbfoundedly when your child somehow, in the few hundred yards between the classroom and the bus, loses a bag that was strapped to their back…again. Well, you’ll still do that; but at least now you can do something constructive as well.