Personal Item Tracking Devices & Apps: Tile, Chipolo, TrackR. How do they work?

Tile App Find your keys, wallet, anything IconThere are many location devices and apps that help you keep track of your personal items such as luggage, keys, or wallet.

Popular options include: Tile, Chipolo and TrackR. Each has its unique features but operates under the same principal of helping you locate lost, misplaced or even stolen personal items.

How Tile works

If you lose your keys (or other items) with the Tile attached, simply use the smartphone app to set off the tone to help you locate the item. If the Tile (with your keys) is out of Bluetooth range, view the map to see the last location where you had your keys.

Tile App Screen Shots

Misplaced or Stolen Items

My favorite feature is the ability to use the 4.5 million community of Tile users to help locate a lost item. Set your Tile to “lost” mode and any smartphone, anywhere in the world, with the Tile app that gets within Bluetooth Range of your Tile will automatically (and anonymously) send a notice back to you that the Tile has been located.

Tile has been instrumental in helping users find keys, luggage, wallets and even cars.

Tile with AppStories

One Tile user’s wallet disappeared at a gym. Thanks to the Tile he found it inside a nearby dumpster, along with another wallet! Unfortunately his money was gone, however, he was able to recover his ID card and other personal items.

Recently a Tile user in San Francisco placed a Tile on his motorcycle. The motorcycle was stolen but thanks to Tile and the user community the owner was able to quickly find the motorcycle. This story made local news headlines.

Here more crazy Tile stories on the Tile blog.

Unique Tile Features

Tile has several unique features as compared to its competitors. Some features include:

  • Ring Tone – The Tile has a 90-decibel speaker making it louder than most other tracking devices.
  • Ring Tone – It ring tone hits high and low notes in the hearing spectrum, which helps many people that have some hearing limitations.
  • Last Place Seen – A map shows you the last place you had the Tile. So if you had it at Starbucks you know (without having to retrace your steps).
  • Community Find – In the app mark your Tile as lost and anyone with the Tile app automatically helps you find it!
  • Large User Community – Over 4.5 million Tiles have been sold so there is a large user community to help you locate lost items.
  • Web App – If you can’t find your phone or keys, there is a cross platform web app that you can use to initiate the tone to find misplaced items.
  • Lost Phone? – Double Tap the “E” on the Tile (even if the phone is on silent mode) to have it set off the Tile alarm on the phone.

Tile Battery Life and Replacement

Tile quotes that the battery lasts at least one year. There is no re-charging and the battery is sealed to provide durability. At the end of 1 year you can choose to send in the Tile (for recycling) and receive a new one for ½ price, if desired.

Bluetooth Range

Tile has a standard Bluetooth range of 35 to 100 feet. Some personal tracking devices claim to be reliable for an extended range up to 300 feet.


  • A single Tile costs $25.00
  • Set of 4 = $70.00
  • Set of 8 = $130.00
  • Tile App is Free


Tiles are readily available at, Apple stores, Best Buy, Target, Lowes, Amazon etc.

More Info