Updated for November, 2021
The Tile Mate is a finder for practically anything, designed for those who often misplace keys, wallets, or other items. The small, square disk (the Tile) can be fastened to a key ring, put in a bag, or attached to anything else important that is often misplaced. For forgetful seniors or those suffering from bouts of memory loss due to dementia or Alzheimer’s, the Tile Mate offers a simple solution to finding important items without the stress of losing something and anxiety that comes without being able to remember something.
The Bluetooth trackers and battery on Tile Mate claim to run for a full year with zero upkeep. You can also use devices such as Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant to ask where your Tile is if you link them via Bluetooth. This is a great option to use if you’re around your house and want to know where your missing object is without having to consult the app. For example, you can just ask your Echo Dot, “Alexa, find my Tile Mate.”
- Bluetooth range of 100 feet.
- Water resistant.
- Notify When Found, Community Find, and Last Place Seen functions.
- Find the tile with the app on your phone.
- Double click tile to your find phone.
- Sync with Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant.
- Long battery life.
- 25 percent smaller than the original design.
- Reasonable price.
- Measures only 1.3 x 1.3 x .2 inches.
- Single-pack or four-pack is available.
- App needs to run to find Tile, so it won’t work without WiFi.
- Some complaints about glitches.
- Must be within Bluetooth range.
Ease of Use
Value and Functionality
Phones and keys are all too easy to misplace, even for younger adults. For forgetful seniors, Tile Mate makes small objects simple to find, even if you’ve accidentally put them somewhere obscure, such as the fridge.
When you purchase a Tile, you’ll receive the small square device that is Bluetooth and WiFi enabled, and also has a convenient hole for you to place on a keychain. Simply place the tile on the device you lose often. If it’s a wallet, you can slip the Tile inside one of the pockets. If you’ve misplaced your phone, you only have to press your Tile Mate twice to make your phone ring (even when the phone is set to silent). If the phone is too far away to receive the Tile single, you can also log into the Tile app online to locate it, or use the app on a different device. If you lose something like your keys with the Tile attached, you can use the website or the free app to locate your missing object on a map, or if you’re in close enough range the Tile will ring to alert you to where it is.
History and Popularity
Tile is an American electronics company that produces key and phone finder devices (small tiles) which use Bluetooth 4.0 to locate them. The devices operate with a companion mobile app for both Android and iPhone iOS smartphone software. This allows users to recover their lost items through Bluetooth connectivity or where they were last seen while the app was open.
In September of 2018, GoPro veteran CJ Prober became the CEO of Tile. In September 2015, the Tile company launched its Generation 2 hardware. This next-generation includes the Find Your Phone function and other upgrades. By January 2016, this advanced functionality sold over 4.5 million units.
In August 2017, two newer varieties of the Tile were launched: The Tile Sport for rugged durability, and Tile Style for a sleek, gold-trimmed design. The Tile Mate is the bestselling device in their lineup. They also offer a Tile Slim which is more ideal for sliding into places like passport holders or wallets.
How to Purchase and Set up
The Tile Mate is available for free two-day shipping via Amazon Prime users. To set up the device, you can either download the app on a smartphone or have a caregiver download it on their smartphone. If you don’t have a smartphone available, you can register your device on their website.
You can watch unboxing and setup videos if you don’t have any help around but you want to be sure you have the Tile Mate running correctly. There are plenty of reviewers and helpful gadget videos that can make the installation process a breeze.
The box that is shipped to you only includes the tile itself, and underneath the cardboard holding the tiny device you will find the instruction manual. If you opt to purchase a four-pack, you will get four tiles instead of the single tile. If you get the four-pack, each Tile can be connected to a different device, which could be your keys, wallet, bag, and eve your car if you often forget where you’ve parked.
Don’t be fooled by the little device and the minimal number of items included in the packaging. When functioning accurately, this mechanism can be a huge timesaver and prevent a stressful situation. We especially love the idea of using it within a senior’s car. As a caregiver, this can help you ensure someone in your care won’t get lost if they decide to take a quick trip to run errands on their own. As a caregiver, you can even put a Tile Mate in a senior’s pocket before they go somewhere alone, so you can keep an eye on them if you’re worried they might wander too far.
How to Use It
Once you open your Tile package, if you have a smartphone you can download the Tile app—it’s free. If you have a daily caregiver with a smartphone, they can also download it to their phone. Downloading the app is simple. Just get into the App Store or Google Play, search “tile,” and click on “get” once you see the app with the Tile company logo.
Using App and Data Collection
To activate your tile, open the app and tap the + sign, then follow the straightforward activation instructions. Test out your Tile. Use the app to ring your Tile if it’s near you, or view the map on the app. You can also go onto the website and register your device so you can view a map of where your device is online.
With either the phone or the website, see your Tile’s location on a map. The app only collects data when it’s opened and in the foreground of a smartphone. You can rest easy that it will not be collecting data on you at all times. Double tap the button on your Tile to make your phone ring. Try testing this out even when it’s on silent mode.
If you activate the Community Find function, Tile links you to the world’s biggest search party so everyone and anyone using the Tile app within range of your specific lost item will help update its location for you. This function keeps your information private, and doesn’t let other users see who you are or what type of object you’re looking for. It simply pings your Tile when another user with a Tile device is nearby, so you can more accurately see where it’s located.
With the growing popularity of the Tile device, this is expected to become an increasingly useful feature as time goes on. With millions of Tiles sold in the past year alone, and the next generation of software increasing the features and functions, more customers are expected to buy a Tile gadget.
Last Place Seen Function
The app does have to be opened to find your Tile. If you lost your keys or the object you have attached to your Tile while the app was not in use, you could use the Last Place Seen function. Open your Tile app to check the map to view the last time and place you last had your lost item.
Once you return to the last place your item was “seen” on the app, actively use the app to get yourself within proximity of the misplaced object. Once you are within 100 feet of the Bluetooth range and your Tile connects, then use the app to ring it until you find it.
Notify When Found Function
If you retrace your steps and still can’t find your item or it isn’t where you last had it, select “Notify When Found” in the app. When any device within the Tile community passes by your missing item, you will automatically be notified of its location.
This helpful app works 100 percent automatically and anonymously to protect your privacy. With Community Find, another Tile user could walk by and not even realize they helped you find your phone or missing item! Therefore, your information is kept safe and private. As mentioned, the app only collects data on your Tile location when it’s opened. So, your location information is not tracked when the app is closed.
Quality and Cost
The functioning of the Tile Mate overall is high-quality. As with any piece of technology or wireless, Bluetooth-connected mechanism, there are bound to be occasional glitches or interference for some users. The Tile Mate is no exception.
If you go beyond the 100-foot range of connectivity, you will not be able to locate your item. However, you can still use the Community Find, the Last Place Seen, or Notify When Found functions.
Some users found the battery to last far less than a year, although this minority of cases could be from the amount of use or the way the device was cared for. The reviews remain overwhelmingly excellent. With almost 10,000 user reviews, the vast majority are five-stars.
As with any piece of technology, you must know how to use it correctly and care for it. However, by following the instructions and treating your Tile like a helpful piece of technology rather than a toy, the Tile should work well for you.
The cost of the Tile Mate is exceptionally reasonable. The four-pack option, in particular, is a fantastic value, running in the ballpark of around $10 per Tile. Considering you can use each Tile with a different device, that’s an excellent price. When you factor in the amount of replacing a lost phone you might never find, it’s a bit like an extra insurance policy on your smartphone, too.
Delivery and Packaging
The Tile Mate is eligible for free two-day shipping if you’re an Amazon Prime member. The packaging is a simple, small box around the side of your hand. The tiny Tile is encased in a thin cardboard holder with instructions underneath.
More Things to Know
Battery and Replacement
The battery on your Tile runs approximately one year, sometimes longer depending on use. The battery case is sealed shut, and the battery itself is welded in place, so it is not replaceable. The company does have a “retile” program, however, that allows you to trade in your current, dead battery Tile for a new replacement instead of purchasing another one.
Don’t think your phone and key are the only uses for the Tile Mate. It’s also excellent for putting inside a wallet or purse, luggage, inside a passport holder, or stuck on the back of a tablet or iPad. If you’re a caregiver to a senior who may get lost easily, you can even put it on a bracelet or necklace that they can wear if they’ll be somewhere crowded or will be going somewhere alone.
There are over 1,000 answered questions that were asked by users or potential users on Amazon’s Tile Mate page. So, for more specific issues, you can search through the questions section. You can also go ahead and ask one yourself if it’s a topic no one has touched on.
The Bottom Line
Overall, we think the affordable price and majority of five-star reviews make the Tile Mate a worthwhile investment if you have trouble losing items like keys, your phone, or other valuable objects. It can be a handy device for a caregiver in cases of caring for a patient with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, as well.
If you have anything valuable that gets misplaced often, and you have your computer or smartphone with Bluetooth available, the Tile is a wonderful invention. If you’re a caregiver or senior and get frustrated by misplaced objects on a regular basis, this is the product for you.
Making life easier with a free app and a low-priced device is worth giving it a try. We liked it and thought it was fantastic to test it out and hear the phone from the other room when we double-pressed the button on the Tile. The free app is straightforward and simple to set up and use. If you are familiar with smartphones at all and have downloaded apps before, setting up the Tile app should be very easy for you.
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