When I was younger, I remember my uncle giving me a key finder. I didn’t have any keys of course, but I was blown away by that little gadget. Actually, it’s possibly what started my love for gadgets in general. You’d pop the little black fob onto your keys and when you whistled, it would beep. Super simple, but an effective way of finding your keys down the back of the couch. That’s why I was fairly excited to see Tile, a modern take on the key finder.
What is Tile?
Like that gadget from my youth, Tile is a small fob you pop onto your keys. Instead of whistling, Tile is connected to your smartphone. If you’ve ever lost your keys, there’s always one smartarse who asks ‘have you tried calling them’. Tile basically lets you call your keys through their dedicated app. The fob which is connected to your keys will beep, sounding something like an old-school Nokia phone. If you’ve lost your keys when out and about, all is not lost – pardon the pun.
The Tile app is constantly checking in on the fob, so the app can always tell you where you were the last time your keys were connected. Combine this with the respectable range the key finder fob has and retracing your steps with your smartphone will most likely prove fruitful.
What makes this a really smart key finder gadget?
The best gadgets always have a think about what else they can do. Tile also has a button on the key finder fob. Double tap this and your phone will ring. Isn’t that just smart? Even so, that’s still not the smartest bit. Every single person with the Tile app can help you find your lost items. Every phone with the app is anonymously capable of recognising other Tiles and then letting you know someone just passed by your stuff. Genius!
Living with Tile
I’ve been using Tile for well over a month and it’s a strange little gadget to review. To review it, I would have had to lost my keys, which I never do. However, there were two occasions where Tile came into its own as a key finder.
Tile is great when you leave your keys in work
Have you ever left your keys in work? Well, I have managed that a few times. I don’t classify this as losing your keys because you’re fairly sure you know where they are. Sure enough, I left my keys on my desk but thanks to Tile I could confirm it. Sitting at home, I loaded up the app and it was able to tell me I was last within range of my keys at the office.
Tile is class when you leave your keys in the car
Ok, so I’ll admit this is a fairly first-world problem. My car parking spot isn’t far away or anything, but it’s just effort to go to the car. After doing the shopping with my better half, I couldn’t find my keys in the apartment. A moment after loading the Tile app, I saw the keys were last connected to my phone at my parking spot. There’s a good reason why this is awesome. Most times, finding your keys involves a prayer to St. Anthony and a bit of luck. The annoying part is just how time-consuming that is. Imagine the horror of walking all the way down to the car to find your keys were in your bag or something. That’s the kind of problem Tile solves, first world as it might be.
One catch – you can’t change the Tile’s battery
There is one really annoying catch with Tile. The device’s battery lasts for about a year and after that, you’ll need to fork out for another Tile. This does seem a little ridiculous when other devices on the market like Flic make it really easy to change the battery. Tile do, however, have an exchange program called reTile. While better value and more eco-friendly than buying a new Tile, it still seems a little silly.
Changing the battery isn’t impossible though. You’ll void your warranty, but a silicon bib and a breadknife was all this lad needed.
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