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Oak Ridge, TN, 37830
United States

App-A-Holic

Tile

Wade Cantley

I can't express how much this device and app has been a pain in my ass.  But I am going to attempt it.  

Lets begin.

The "Tile" app is a compliment to the hardware also known as "Tile".  It was pimped to provide the ability to tag anything and find it's location using a map,   The app would lead you right to it!  And you could get it to sound an alarm as you got close to it.  AND it would connect to a community network that would help you find your tile.

HOLY CRAP MAN! a tracking device for every-day stuff.  I was thinking that I could put it on my kids shoe laces, and one on my car, and maybe on a laptop so that if it gets stolen I can track it down.

This was one of those kickstarter projects that blew the doors off fundraising using these claims, raised tons of money and then... it took Damn near forever to bring to market.  I kid you not, 6 months after the kickstarter ended, they began advertising on facebook so I placed my order in September of 2013.   

It shipped a year later.

uh.. here is your list of tiles.

uh.. here is your list of tiles.

Gosh... if someone stole my car I would be able to tell the police "yes officer, this is where my phone tells me it was when it was stolen"

Gosh... if someone stole my car I would be able to tell the police "yes officer, this is where my phone tells me it was when it was stolen"

So, great. It wasn't a scam which by this point I thought it would have been.  Then I read up on what it could do.  

Oh, I see.  It is a low power blue tooth device.  GPS? Nope.. not really.

So find my lost kid?  Only if I know where I left them last and chances are, they won't be there now.  Also only works if they are within about 100 feet.

Find my stolen computer.  Only if it is within range.

Find my car lost in a large parking lot?  We will get to that part in a bit.

Fine.... what about this community thing?

Yes.. what community sourcing... I can't find it in the app.  Not there yet.

So what about the "alert".  Yep, it does have that!  If you are in range (about 100 feet) and you tell it your stuff is lost, it will cause the tile to create a tone.  Which is great unless it is covered by a blanket, or between two seat cushions, or under a thin piece of tissue paper.  It is really low volume.  

And if you are hunting for it in a large place and you didn't sync its location when you set it down, you are playing Marco Polo with your phone.

change the photo of your tile... it is like a tile selfie section.  Like "Here is me an my bro TILE having brewskis!"

change the photo of your tile... it is like a tile selfie section.  Like "Here is me an my bro TILE having brewskis!"

Alright, kids.  Today in app design we are going to learn about transparencies, and how white edges on a grey background is for slackers!  (see tile icon for example)

Alright, kids.  Today in app design we are going to learn about transparencies, and how white edges on a grey background is for slackers!  (see tile icon for example)

So fine, I put it in my car because sometimes I go out to the parking lot when leaving work and I forget where I left that 4 wheeled thing that I still owe way too much on.  I had hoped that it would auto-sync the GPS location when I was last in range.

Then one day, I found this little tile's purpose.  I lost my car!  I gleefully pulled out my phone, tapped open the app and went to the map only to find.....

my car is at home... in the driveway.

Yep that's right folks, it's auto-syncing isn't really auto.  You need to pull out the app and wait for it to refresh so that it will detect where your tile is on a map.  

No.... you can not force a refresh sync.   Not that I could find anyway.  So you kinda have to fiddle with the map, and the list... and eventually it figures it out.  But if I have to do that every damn time I get out of my car I WILL REMEMBER WHERE I PARKED IT because I spent so much time getting my app to figure it out.

God forbid I had put a tile on one of my kids based on the grand functionality that the company implied, they get kidnapped and THIS is the screen I come to.

Notice the "Alcoa Trl, Alcoa" and below it "5 days ago".  That's right.  This thing is stuck on my rear window of the car I drive every day and it hadn't found it in 5 days.

This is the kind of stuff that should work in the background. I shouldn't have to have the app front-and-center only to wait for it to figure out where my stuff is (if it's in range).

5 days... really Tile?!

5 days... really Tile?!

This is a 20$  lower powered bluetooth beacon marketed as a GPS lost-n-found device. Even with the app it can't really do what it claimed it could do in the first place and despite the fact that I received it a year (seriously 12 months people) after I ordered it which was well after the Kickstarter campaign ended.

I wish I could say that this piece of hardware was good for something else... like a door stop.  But I can't.  It is still stuck to the back window of my car because I feel like I have invested too much money, energy, and time into this device to want to do anything else with it.. including removing and throwing it far far away... (to loose it.... intentionally).

If you have an unusual brain disorder that makes you acutely sensitive to beeps from small devices and also has you misplacing stuff in plain sight but without the ability to find it, then your ship has arrived! 

For everyone else....

Price: Free with 20$ order
Rating: 0 out of range tiles.