You're late for work and you can't find your keys – it's a nightmare most of us face from time to time, but Google Assistant has teamed up with Tile to hopefully make the morning routine that little bit easier.
If you have a Google Nest speaker (née Google Home), you can ask your smart speaker to 'call' your misplaced item – provided you've attached a Tile Bluetooth tracker to it, of course.
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The feature, which was first announced in September last year, allows Google Assistant to support Tile’s voice-enabled 'direct ring' technology.
According to Tile, this allows your Google Nest speaker to "connect directly with and ring lost items, for a faster and more reliable result", explaining that the process is "very similar to executing any other smart home Action with the Assistant".
Battle of the trackers
In the past, you would need to say "OK Google, ask Tile to find my keys", to bring Google Assistant in on your search.
Thanks to this new update, you should be able to say simpler things like "Hey Google, find my keys", and the Tile tracker attached to your keys will ring, allowing you to find them quickly.
You can also ask Google to call your Tile tracker by saying things like "Hey Google, ring my laptop", or "Hey Google, make my backpack ring".
If you just want to know the location of your Tile, you can also ask Google Assistant, "Hey Google, where is my purse?", or say "Hey Google, find my passport".
Tile's upgraded Google integration comes amid rumors that Apple is about to launch its own tracking device, which will reportedly by called 'AirTag'.
That’s the name found on a folder by 9to5Mac (opens in new tab) inside iOS 13.2; supposedly, the AirTag will be able to be paired with an iPhone just like AirPods and enable owners to track their 'AirTagged' item via the Find My app.
Apple is yet to confirm these rumors, but it's possible that the Apple tracker could be launched at WWDC in June; saying that, Apple has been known to launch products in March as well, so we could see the rumored device in a matter of weeks.
For what it's worth, Tile says it's not worried about the possibility of a rival Bluetooth tracker. In an interview with TechRadar last year, Tile's Chief Experience Officer, Simon Fleming-Wood, explained:
“Tile has pioneered this category for the past five years, single-handedly growing its footprint and consumer awareness, all with the resources of a growing start-up. If a company like Apple launches a tracker, it will validate the category for customers and retailers alike, signaling that the category will become mainstream.”
Therefore, Apple’s competing tracker could actually propel tracking technology into the public consciousness, actually helping Tile to promote its own devices – that combined with better Google Assistant integration could make 2020 a very good year for the tracking company.