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The Apple AirTags vs Tile tracker battle lines have been drawn

With Apple strongly-rumoured to launch item tracking devices called AirTags in the near future, the current leader in the space alleges Apple isn’t playing fair.

Tile, the makers of the Bluetooth Tile trackers, have complained to the EU saying iPhone-maker is making it harder to use the Tile mobile app.

The firm points out that the “always allow” location permission for the Tile app is set to “off” by default in iOS 13.5. Fair enough, you might say. Personally, we like the fact Apple makes us give express position for apps to access our location.

Then Tile points out somewhat of a Apple points out the double standard of Apple’s own FindMy app, which has the “always allow” setting on by default.

Related: Apple AirTags

Considering that’s the app Apple users to help people located their lost iPhones, it’s hardly a surprise. Considering this is the app Apple is likely to use to harbour the AirTags interface then you can kind of see Tile’s point.

It doesn’t end there either, Tile reckons its position in the App Store is suffering, while its products are no longer offered by Apple retail outlets. Again, hardly surprising given Apple is said to be hard at work on a rival product range that’ll launch imminently.

The complaints, which echo those registered in the US, were sent in a letter to the European Commission seen by the Financial Times.

“In the past twelve months, Apple has taken several steps to completely disadvantage Tile, including by making it more difficult for consumers to use our products and services,” Tile’s general counsel Kirsten Daru wrote.

Related: Tile Pro review

“This is particularly concerning because Apple’s actions come at the same time that Apple both launched a new FindMy app that competes even more directly with Tile and also began preparing for the launch of a competitive hardware product,”

Apple issued a strong rebuttal of the allegations to the FT:  “We strenuously deny the allegations of uncompetitive behaviour that Tile is waging against us Consistent with the critical path we’ve been on for over a decade, last year we introduced further privacy protections that safeguard user location data. Tile doesn’t like those decisions so instead of arguing the issue on its merits, they’ve instead decided to launch meritless attacks.”

So, the battle lines have been drawn between Apple and Tile ahead of their head-to-head showdown later this year.

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