Sunday, December 5, 2021

Tile Ultra will offer UWB finding skills when it launches in 20

(Pocket-lint) – Tile has confirmed that it will offer UWB – ultra-wideband – to its list of finding skills with the launch of the Tile Ultra in early 2022.

The company first announced that it was working on a system that used UWB in early 2021, but it has taken some time to come to market.

Tile has refreshed all of its Tile devices – Pro, Mate, Slim, Sticker – with the Ultra getting the same fob-like design as the Tile Pro.

The UWB addition to the Tile Ultra will allow for Point and Locate finding, designed to work over short ranges to help users identify the exact location of a device is so they can go right to it, rather than having to solely rely on audio.

Tile has confirmed that it is working closely with Google to ensure a great experience in Android 12; Google has previously confirmed that UWB will be included in future products and it’s expected in the Pixel 6.

“With Android 12, users of phones with Ultra-Wideband technology will benefit from new and accurate positioning experiences. We’re excited about the work we’ve been doing with Tile and the new finding experience it will give users,” said Erik Kay, vice president of engineering, Google.

Currently there are few Android devices available that offer UWB technology. Samsung offers it in a couple of models, but most Android devices do not. It’s expected that will change in 2022, with new launches offering the new wireless protocol.

Apple, however, offers UWB in iPhone 11, 12 and 13. Rebranded as part of the “U1 chip”, Apple offers UWB finding as part of the Apple AirTag’s skills.

Tile has confirmed that iOS devices will work with Tile Ultra, making it the first UWB device that will work both on Android and iPhone. Samsung’s Galaxy SmartTag+ only works with Samsung phones, while Apple’s device only works with iOS devices.

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Tile and Apple have come to blows over access to the U1 chip in the past. In January 2020, Tile gave evidence in front of the Senate subcommittee on antitrust, detailing how Apple appeared to be making moves to make third-party access to certain parts of the hardware more difficult – like background access to the U1 chip and Bluetooth.

That raised doubts in many customers’ minds as to whether Tile Ultra would see the light of day, but it seems, that with Apple’s own device on the market, that Tile is going to be able to launch a UWB device that will work with the iPhone.

Of course, Tile’s device will work within Tile’s own location system rather than Apple’s FindMy network, but the company can boast that it works across all platforms.

The price is yet to be confirmed, but Tile told Pocket-lint that it didn’t expect it to be much more than the price of the Tile Pro, currently £29.99. We expect to hear more about the device in early 2022.

Writing by Chris Hall. Originally published on .


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