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iOS 13 beta confirms Apple’s next foray into Bluetooth hardware

Apple is planning to launch Bluetooth-based tracking tags similar to the Tile devices, according to snippets found within the iOS 13 beta.

The next version of Apple’s mobile operating system features an asset package for an unannounced device known only by “Tag 1,1”, according to registered Apple developer and Twitter user Steve Moser.

According to a report the package is similar to the method Apple users to pair AirPods with an iPhone, for example, and is based on proximity. It will be linked to an iCloud account but when it strays too far away to the linked smartphone, it will send users a notification.

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Not only should it prevent users from forgetting a wallet when leaving the house, for example, but it’ll should also help them track down lost items based on a last known location.

This keys into previous reporting from 9to5Mac – citing internal sources at Apple – claiming the company was working on the new hardware that’d interface with mobile devices and help owners keep tabs on keys, wallets and other valuables.

According to today’s reporting, the new Tags will be part of Apple’s new, all-encompassing “Find My” app launched at WWDC 2019 yesterday. The app combines the existing Find My iPhone and Find My Friends apps.

During the keynote Apple said the app will find a device even if it isn’t connected to Wi-Fi or cellular. It’ll do so by sending a Bluetooth signal occasionally that can be picked up by other users.

It’ll effectively create a mesh network of all Apple devices – like something out of The Dark Knight – to enable Apple device owners to find their products even when the regular methods are disabled.

Apple would have a hard time dislodging loyal Tile users, who swear by trackers like the Tile Mate and Tile Pro, which now feature replaceable batteries and offer premium subscriptions offering the type of community searching features Apple is touting with iOS 13.

However, for those who don’t own Tiles yet, Apple is uniquely positioned to make its pitch.

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