Tile, one of the more popular “item trackers” to launch from a Kickstarter campaign in recent years, has announced that its tracking app is finally available on Android.
Tile’s item tracker is a small square tag with a hole to attach it to a keychain. Its form factor is probably one of the better ones we’ve seen in this class, as the company seems to understand that trackers shouldn’t be obtrusive when they’re attached to your valuables.
The company’s also advising that they’ve now shipped their last pre-orders – it’s onward and upward from there. Tile’s tracker is available for US $25 from their site (it’s cheaper if you buy in bulk, too), and shipping to Australia is $14 per order.
The differentiator for me between Tile and other item trackers is that while others only track items registered in the app and in the vicinity of your device, Tile’s app will track any Tile tag nearby. Most other item trackers simply report the last known location, but if your item goes walkabout and passes by someone else with the Tile app you’ll receive a notification telling you where your item was seen. Tile calls this their “Lost and Found Network”, and with enough market penetration it presents a compelling reason to use their tracker above others. You don’t need a Tile tag to turn on the tracking functionality, either — you could get your friends to install the app and help find your things if you have a habit of leaving them behind.
Tile has only been available on iOS since its creation, but with the app now available in Google Play they’re hoping to increase the global reach of their Lost and Found Network — and bring Tile to more prospective purchasers, of course.
We’re told that the app is “optimised” for the Galaxy S5, Nexus 4 and 5 and HTC One M7 and M8 – a good cross-section of popular Android phones of the last couple of years. While we’re not sure what these “optimisations” actually are, Tile hasn’t restricted the app to only those devices. A quick look at the app’s page on Google Play shows that it’s also available for Sony phones, but it seems Huawei and some other Samsung devices are left out.
If you’re expecting to the app following Material design guidelines, you might be disappointed. It’s not Holo-compliant either, looking a bit more like an iOS port than we’d like to see. Perhaps in future versions Tile will update the app to make it look more at home on its new platform.
Do you use a Bluetooth item tracker? Will you be looking at Tile? Tell us in the comments!