Apple’s Tag Device for Tracking Personal Items Detailed in New Leak

Posted on September 2, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Apple with 15 Comments

There have been rumors about Apple working on a new tracking device for personal devices. The small, Tile-like tag device will allow you to attach it to personal items like your cycles, bags, etc., so they can be tracked from your iPhone.

In a new leak over the weekend, the folks at MacRumors detailed how the new device could work from iOS 13 beta code. According to the blog, Apple will introduce a new “Items” tab for the Find My app in iOS 13 which you can already use to find your friends and other Apple devices. The new tag device will likely have a small circular design with an Apple logo at the center and use button cell batteries.

According to the code found in an internal iOS 13 beta, the device, codenamed B389, will notify users via the Find My app on their iPhones when they are separated from their items. Users can then use the app to make a sound on the tag to help locate the device, if necessary. You will also be able to set “safe locations” for an item and share the location of an item with others, too.

A clever feature of the device seems to be the use of AR. Apple will apparently use AR to help users locate their device at times, so you will essentially have to hold your iPhone up and it will ask you to walk around an area and move your iPhone around your environment till you find balloons floating over where your item is supposed to be.

The tracking device will also include a “Lost Mode” which will allow you to use the help of other iPhone users to find your lost items. Apparently, if other iPhone users find your item, they would be notified and have the option to contact you directly to help you recover the lost item. The idea here sounds pretty neat, but it will be interesting to see how Apple actually implements this feature with privacy and security in mind.

Apple will likely reveal this new tracking tag at its Fall event on September 10, where the company is also expected to launch new iPhones, iPads, and Mac.

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Comments (15)

15 responses to “Apple’s Tag Device for Tracking Personal Items Detailed in New Leak”

  1. dontbeevil

    strange that your title is not:

    "apple copy nokia tag (2014)"

    • jimchamplin

      In reply to dontbeevil:

      You’re right. They ought to just not do anything. It’s better to not offer the service and leave users in the lurch than to replicate the functionality of a product that belonged to a now dead company.

      Also, screw those guys at Tile and Trackr as well.

      Damn charlatans!

      PS Someone should tell Elon Musk that automobiles are totally a done deal. What a copycat.

      • dontbeevil

        In reply to jimchamplin:

        it's not my point, my point is that here if someone does the same of apple the title is "xxx copied apple yyy" ... if apple does something already done, they invented something revolutionary

    • MikeGalos

      In reply to dontbeevil:

      To be fair, evil, that really wouldn't be true. Even Nokia in 2014 was introducing their version of tech that had been around over a decade at that point.

    • karlinhigh

      In reply to dontbeevil:

      Consider time elapsed from the preceding similar product to the newly introduced one. Also whether the new product enables new use cases, or has significance for a supporting product ecosystem.

      Apple puts a notch on the iPhone, and the very next product cycle many other phone makers are also doing notches. In that case, I have no problem with a writer saying the other phone makers are copying Apple.

      On the other hand, how about if every single time Apple came out with a new personal computer there were writers who called it a copycat product of Xerox PARC's Alto machine?

  2. MikeGalos

    You know, it's not that Apple is the only one who plays catch-up with devices that have been around for years.

    I think the reason so many people think so is that when Apple does it, they get "press" coverage as though it was something innovative.

  3. nickysreensaver

    Nokia made something exactly like this 7 years ago with WP

  4. IanYates82

    I had this ages ago with a PebbleBee.

    The whole "having others help track down your lost stuff" idea was great, but requires mass adoption to work well. Apple, admittedly, can make that happen like no one else. If it was cross-platform I'd probably pick up a couple, but I doubt they'd allow that :(

  5. derekaw

    Because it’s Apple these tile tracker things will now take off. 1, because Apple will promote them and awareness will grow and 2, These things are now much more useful because iPhones are everywhere. If I leave my thing with an Apple tracker on it at the beach it just takes an iPhone user walking by and within range for me to get an alert. It’s only when iPhones are everywhere that this can work.

  6. Jeffsters

    I have Tile. It’s handy but would rather have millions of iPhones helping me locate a lost item then a few Tile users.