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Tile tracker – good for the forgetful at home, not so much for travel

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Erin L

Erin L

I’m not generally a forgetful person, but as I planned for a recent trip overseas, I though it might be a good idea to have some tracking capabilities for our luggage, backpacks and wallets. After all, if something were to walk away, it might be nice to be able to find it. Sadly, that’s not exactly what Tile trackers are for, but they can help you find what you’ve lost closer to home.

Tile tracker review

Tile is the name of a small, flat Bluetooth tracking device. It communicates with the companion app on your smartphone to locate each tracker, setting of audible alerts, and geolocating the tracker within a nearby area. Once a Bluetooth connection is made between your Tile and mobile device, Tile then uses the location services of your mobile device to communicate up-to-date location information to the app. Travelers often wonder if it’s a good bet to keep tabs on your luggage. Is it? Read on.

3.8

Summary

When used for their intended purpose, finding missing stuff close by, Tile is great. It’s handy being able to press a button on my phone and locate my wallet or keys quickly. The audible alerts are plenty loud enough to be able to find what’s missing.
Don’t mistake it for a GPS tracker; it’s not going to be the best at finding lost luggage or stolen items.

Pros

  • Easy setup
  • Track items nearby via app
  • Loud alerts
  • Notify when found alerts

Cons

  • Not replaceable battery
  • Not compatible with Apple’s Find My

Setting up Tile trackers

Getting Tile set up is pretty easy. Download the Tile app and create an account. Go to the app and click the “+” to add a new device. Select which type of device you’ve got, for example the Tile Style (a leather-look tracker), Sport (a rubberized tracker), or Slim (ultra-thin plastic).tile tracker find lost keys wallet phone review travel how to

The app will ask you to click the centre button on your Tile tracker, then will play a small tune. From there the app should find your Tile right away, if it doesn’t try moving it slightly closer or further away from your phone. You might need to press the button one or two more times and adjust its proximity to your phone, as I did, to make the connection. From there you can assign a label to your Tile so you know exactly which ones are used where. You can use labels like “luggage”, “purse”, “wallet”, “keys” and more. The trackers can be attached with two-sided tape, or using the key ring loop. It can also be slipped into a pocket.

How does Tile track and find my stuff?

  • If you lose a device that has a Tile attached, there are a few ways to find it.
  • You can push a button in the app to “ring” the Tile
  • You can view the item’s location if you’re in Bluetooth proximity
  • You can view the item’s last known location, when you were in Bluetooth proximity
  • You can use the power of Tile’s community to find the device.

Using the Tile Community – how it workstile tracker find lost keys wallet phone review travel how to

When a person with the Tile app open and running on their smartphone or tablet walks within Bluetooth range of any Tile, their app will automatically and anonymously update the location of that Tile. The Tile’s owner will then be able to see that particular Tile’s updated location on the map. This location isn’t shared with the person who updated it (so it can’t be picked up).

If you’re looking for your Tile and you can’t ring it, nor is it where the map in the app is showing it was last seen by your device, you can request to be notified when someone updates your Tile’s location!

How to ask to be notified when your Tile’s location is updated anonymously:

Open the app on your device
Tap on the Tile that you’re looking for
Tap the blue button that says “Notify When Found”
Confirm when prompted.
*If you look in your Tile’s profile, the gray moving circle around your lost item means that you’ve selected “Notify When Found” for that item.

The moment someone with the Tile app passes by your missing Tile, you will immediately receive an email and in-app notification showing you when and where it was found.

What Tile is good for?

Tile is great for the things you lose everyday, or misplace at home or the office; your wallet, your glasses in their case, the bathroom key for the office, the remote control. It makes these items easier to find inside your home or office.

Worth noting; the Tile app must be open and running for you to get any info.

Is Tile good for tracking luggage?

tile tracker find lost keys wallet phone review travel how to

In a word, no. If your luggage didn’t make it on a flight, you would only know where you (or someone else running the app) last logged it. You wouldn’t be able to see if it was, say, in your arrival airport, but off in a distant terminal.

Similarly, if you were sitting in a Paris cafe and your bag was stolen, you’d only know where it was last seen, assuming you had the app running, and it’s connected to Wi-Fi while you were out.

While you might get updates if the thief should happen to walk past someone else who was running the Tile app, the chances of this are pretty slim.

I initially had the impression these might be good for travel, but they’re really not ideal. Even so, they have lots of other benefits closer to home.

Tile Battery Life & charging

If there’s a downside to Tile, it’s that it doesn’t last forever and it’s not rechargeable. The batteries are guaranteed to last a year, so you’ll get at least that much once you activate them. Tile has a “reTile” plan that gives you new Tiles at a discounted price (approximately $10 off new). I don’t love the idea of spending $35-40 bucks on something that’s going to cease to function in 365 days, but I guess if I look at that as the price of a meal out, it’s affordable.

Overall review of Tile tracker

When used for their intended purpose, finding missing stuff close by, Tile is great. It’s handy being able to press a button on my phone and locate my wallet or keys quickly. The audible alerts are plenty loud enough to be able to find what’s missing.
Don’t mistake it for a GPS tracker; it’s not going to be the best at finding lost luggage or stolen items.

As of 2023, Tile trackers sell for about $35CAD each on Amazon. 

*A note about Affiliate Links: Occasionally I will include affiliate links in my reviews. I do this partly for convenience of the reader (since I’ll almost always include a link to the company website or similar anyway) in case you want to read more or purchase but I also may get a small commission from the click, which helps me keep the blog running. If you chose to use this link I thank you greatly for supporting the blog.

Erin L

Erin L

I'm a journalist, tech blogger, writer, TV producer, silversmith& jewelry designer, foodie and world traveler. I blog, write for publications, and supply freelance writing services to Calgary, and the world.

1 Comment

  1. Val on July 31, 2023 at 1:09 pm

    Will the tile tracker work to find ones car in a parking lot?

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