Smart Alerts when you leave something behind in a public place are Tile’s latest attempt to stay ahead of Apple’s anticipated launch of its own item tracker, which may be named AirTag.

We exclusively reported back in April that Apple is working on its own competitor to Tile, integrating with the iOS Find My app. One of the expected features is automatic alerts when you leave behind a protected item, and that’s something Tile is now adding to its own products…

Tile has currently offered three forms of protection. First, if you simply misplace something in your own home, you can use the app to make it sound an audible alert. The Apple Watch offers similar functionality, making your iPhone ping so you can work out where you left it.

Second, you can define safe zones, like your home, and be automatically alerted when an item leaves that area.

Third, if you mark a Tile as lost, anyone running the app will automatically and anonymously alert you when they come into range.

Engadget reports that the company is now adding the ability to warn you whenever you leave any protected item behind anywhere.

The company is relaunching Smart Alerts in beta to automatically warn when you’ve left a tracked item behind if it’s been there for at least five minutes. If you rush out of the coffee shop without your bag, you’ll ideally get an alert before you’ve reached your car. You’ll need a Premium subscription ($30 per year or $3 per month), but it might be a small price to pay if you can’t bear the thought of leaving a valuable item alone for more than a few minutes. The beta will be available in December.

Tile offers a range of products to electronically tag your valuables, ranging from a waterproof sticker to a wallet-sized Slim tracker to the Pro, with a 400-foot range and loud audible alert.

We recently rounded up everything we know so far about Apple’s upcoming product. The key selling point will be that, if you lose something, anyone’s iOS device within range will be used to help track it down.

The true selling point of Apple’s item tracker will be its integration with iOS. It is believed that you will be able to access your item trackers via the “Find My” device on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Once the item trackers are available, there will be a new “Items” tab in the Find My application for all of the things you choose to track.

The item tracker itself will be paired to a user’s iCloud account by proximity to an iPhone, much like AirPods. Users will also be able to receive notifications when their iPhone gets too far away from the tag. For instance, your iPhone could alert you if you get too far away from your keys or wallet. Certain locations can be added to a list of ignored locations so that the item can be left at those locations without you receiving a notification.

Furthermore, you’ll be able to put Apple’s item tracker in “Lost Mode” – which means the tag will store your contact information, allowing other Apple users to read that information. In such instances, you’ll receive a notification when your item has been found.

It’s not yet known when Apple plans to launch AirTag, or what it will cost. Tile products can cost less than $12.50 each when bought in multipacks. Smart Alerts will launch in beta shortly.

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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