Apple said to be unifying Find My Friends & Find My iPhone, developing Tile-style tracker

Posted:
in iPhone
Apple is reportedly working to merge Find My Friends and Find My iPhone into a single app, and even compete with Tile by launching a new object-tracking tag.

Tile Siri Shortcut


The combined app should be based on Marzipan -- letting it work on both iOS and macOS -- and share the same features as its predecessors. It's also expected incorporate a new "Find Network" feature however, similar to Tile's Bluetooth-based tracking system. This would let people follow Apple hardware without Wi-Fi or even a cellular connection.

The Tile parallels may be very direct, as Apple is allegedly interested in tracking non-Apple devices as well by way of a "tag" product with the codename "B389." This could be attached to any item, and linked to a person's iCloud account by holding it next to an iPhone. This would then trigger notifications when the tag gets too far from the iPhone, with optional geofences so an item can be left in place, and the ability to share object locations with others.

Tags should moreover include contact information, such that when marked as lost and scanned by another Apple device, the original owner will receive an alert.

The claims stem from anonymous development sources cited by 9to5Mac.

Apple and Tile have become relatively close partners. Most famously Tile was one of the first companies to support Siri Shortcuts in iOS 12, for instance letting people say "find my keys" or "find my scooter" to make a tracker ring.

It's unknown if Apple plans to license Tile's technology to avoid any potential lawsuits. Theoretically Apple could simply buy Tile outright, much like it bought Beddit to acquire its sleep-monitoring technology.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,927member
    For God's sake, please put "Back, < arrow" on top left of "New Message" screen and save the unsent new text message as draft if returns to previous Messages screen. Learn from Android text App, Google's Message App.
    edited April 17 JWSC
  • Reply 2 of 18
    wood1208 said:
    For God's sake, please put "Back, < arrow" on top left of "New Message" screen and save the unsent new text message as draft if returns to previous Messages screen. Learn from Android text App, Google's Message App.
    Interesting feature request that I can't say I have ever once found necessary. Probably because I don't start "New Message" very often at all...every message I send is in a conversation that already exists.
    SolihmurchisontoysandmeuraharaStrangeDaysrepressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 18
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,747member
    I tried the original Tile. It works off Bluetooth and wasn't a great solution. Hopefully the tech has improved since then—I know BT has improved—but I was so turned off by Tile's first foray that even their mention now makes me question how good this could be, even from Apple.

    I'd even be OK with devices to be placed around the house and yard so that the BT signal could be received by them and a much better distance map created than what is currently offered by iBeacons.

    wood1208 said:
    For God's sake, please put "Back, < arrow" on top left of "New Message" screen and save the unsent new text message as draft if returns to previous Messages screen. Learn from Android text App, Google's Message App.
    Why would you jack a new thread about an unrelated feature and product to say this?
    edited April 17 cornchipuraharafastasleepneo-techStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 18
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,307member
    Soli said:
    I tried the original Tile. It works off Bluetooth and wasn't a great solution. Hopefully the tech has improved since then—I know BT has improved—but I was so turned off by Tile's first foray that even their mention now makes me question how good this could be, even from Apple.

    I'd even be OK with devices to be placed around the house and yard so that the BT signal could be received by them and a much better distance map created than what is currently offered by iBeacons.


    I too tried a BT tracker system. It was a complete mess, and I simply threw it out after a couple weeks of false alarms, non-functionality. I've seen Tile sales, and given the limitations of BT I've decided to pass. Unlikely any wifi, gps, or LTE function can work given the power requirements. Neat idea, but my expectations are low.
  • Reply 5 of 18
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,255member
    Most of Tile's patents seem to have been filed quite recently and I'm unsure of whether they've actually litigated against them. 

    https://patents.justia.com/assignee/tile-inc ;

    Apple may license Tile technology but it's unclear if Tile's patents would withstand prior art challenges.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 18
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 597member
    Spring 2020, here we come
  • Reply 7 of 18
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,927member
    wood1208 said:
    For God's sake, please put "Back, < arrow" on top left of "New Message" screen and save the unsent new text message as draft if returns to previous Messages screen. Learn from Android text App, Google's Message App.
    Interesting feature request that I can't say I have ever once found necessary. Probably because I don't start "New Message" very often at all...every message I send is in a conversation that already exists.
    Out of over billion IOS users, I am sure 10%(~100 millions) do need constant start New Message to interact to first time contact and not write and send BUT first write,think,do other thing on iphone, update same text,interact with other text contacts,come back to draft text, update,think,update and finally send. IOS users have given up complaining this issue because I think Apple would not listen so they stopped complaining. I would not complain if Google drops it's Message App on IOS. I will ditch iMessage and start using Google's.. .
  • Reply 8 of 18
    LatkoLatko Posts: 349member
    With his nearly empty pipeline, Tim will embrace any hardware that even looks remotely useful 
    edited April 17
  • Reply 9 of 18
    My house is full of apple devices and all connected to WiFi blanked across the house with a iCloud account so Apple can in theory make it pair through Bluetooth with one only device, it can be tracked through the house and any Apple devices in the wild like what Tile does.  It could leverage a slim down Air pod Bluetooth chip H1, I guess, make connection more stable and energy efficient. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 18
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,747member
    nzhong168 said:
    My house is full of apple devices and all connected to WiFi blanked across the house with a iCloud account so Apple can in theory make it pair through Bluetooth with one only device, it can be tracked through the house and any Apple devices in the wild like what Tile does.  It could leverage a slim down Air pod Bluetooth chip H1, I guess, make connection more stable and energy efficient. 
    One nice concept with Tile is that it can connect with anyone else that has the Tile app installed and then relay that location data via their cloud service to your device. The problem is that it's only if they have the Tile app installed and has to go through a company whom I don't well enough to trust or believe has the resources to care about security as much as Apple does. This is why I'd love for Apple to offer this as a product and service, not to mention their benefits of using low-power bluetooth chip expertise to make a truly great product.
    lostkiwicaladaniannzhong168repressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 18
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 565member
    The new app could be called Friend or Pho(ne)
    edited April 17 SolilostkiwizoetmbburnsideJWSCJapheyrepressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 18
    lostkiwilostkiwi Posts: 593member
    DAalseth said:
    The new app could be called Friend or Pho(ne)
    Nice idea, but I’m sure Apple doesn’t want their product to be labelled Pho(ney). 😀
    JWSCwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 18
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 2,686member
    Latko said:
    With his nearly empty pipeline, Tim will embrace any hardware that even looks remotely useful 
    Why are you here?
    shark5150JWSCneo-techStrangeDaysrepressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 18
    kimberlykimberly Posts: 209member
    eightzero said:
    Soli said:
    I tried the original Tile. It works off Bluetooth and wasn't a great solution. Hopefully the tech has improved since then—I know BT has improved—but I was so turned off by Tile's first foray that even their mention now makes me question how good this could be, even from Apple.

    I'd even be OK with devices to be placed around the house and yard so that the BT signal could be received by them and a much better distance map created than what is currently offered by iBeacons.


    I too tried a BT tracker system. It was a complete mess, and I simply threw it out after a couple weeks of false alarms, non-functionality. I've seen Tile sales, and given the limitations of BT I've decided to pass. Unlikely any wifi, gps, or LTE function can work given the power requirements. Neat idea, but my expectations are low.
    I tried the original Tile too.  Ordered a set without fully thinking thru how they would actually work.  It took 9 months to deliver with a new excuse from Tile every month for the delay.  BT range was limited (so you had to have half a clue where you left an item with a Tile).  Functionality away from the house depended on someone else having a Tile (and software) in close enough proximity to register the find (almost zero chance of that).  I too threw them out after a couple of weeks.
  • Reply 15 of 18
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,251member
    When my luggage went missing on flight back from Madrid I found myself wishing for some kind of homing device in my bag. As is stands, both airlines involved are pointing at each other and washing their hands. Would have loved a map which showed where it went over time. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 18
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,283member
    wood1208 said:
    For God's sake, please put "Back, < arrow" on top left of "New Message" screen and save the unsent new text message as draft if returns to previous Messages screen. Learn from Android text App, Google's Message App.
    Unnecessary complexity. My parents would be losing texts moving to the “drafts” folder and not even realizing it, I can imaging tapping into it and finding a dozen of unsent messages.
    watto_cobrafastasleep
  • Reply 17 of 18
    I hope they finally get rid of the ridiculous name “find my iPhone”. For years they’ve been selling many kinds of devices, or which the iPhone is one, so why stick with the iPhone app naming for so long?

    Also it should be integrated in Settings, instead of an app. Settings->My Devices.

    Similarly there needs to be access through MacOS settings, instead of having to go to iCloud.com, which is a royal pain in the buttocks.
  • Reply 18 of 18
    sandorsandor Posts: 507member
    Tile works great for what it is. We've been able to keep track of many things for multiple family members.
    Wallets, keys, briefcase...

    The next step, after 3+ years with Tile working well, is something like Adero.
    The idea of creating sets of grouped objects (ie if it is 6 am on a weekday, i am going to work & must have my keys, work badge, briefcase &  computer) and let me know i have all of them when i am at the door...

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