Item tracking for Apple fans

Apple AirTags

Airtag Double Select Render

Pro tracking

Tile Pro

Tile Pro Black Render

Apple AirTags are affordable item trackers that integrate directly with the Find My app. You can personalize and accessorize it, replace the battery yourself, and it has many built-in security and privacy features. It utilizes Bluetooth LE, U1 ultra-wideband, and NFC.

From $29 at Apple

Pros

  • Seamless Find My integration
  • Very affordable
  • Personalization and lots of accessories
  • Uses Bluetooth LE, U1, and NFC
  • Privacy and security features
  • User-replaceable battery

Cons

  • U1 ultra-wideband chip works only with iPhone 11 and 12 devices

Tile Pro has a mighty 400-foot Bluetooth range and is tough and durable. It is equipped with Tile's loudest alarm, has a large user network, and has a user-replaceable battery. However, you need Tile Premium for certain features.

$35 at Amazon

Pros

  • Pretty affordable
  • Large Tile user network
  • Limited Editions available
  • User-replaceable CR2032 battery
  • Super tough and durable
  • 400-foot range and loudest alarm

Cons

  • Needs separate Tile app
  • Requires Tile Premium for certain features

When it comes to Apple AirTags vs. Tile Pro, we think the new AirTags are the better choice for Apple users. There's a lot to love about seamless Find My integration, a huge user base ready to go, and other great features like Precision Finding with an iPhone 11 or iPhone 12 and the U1 chip.

Apple AirTags vs Tile Pro: The full breakdown

Airtag Stuffed AnimalSource: iMore

While the Tile Pro is Tile's high-performance tracker, we think the Apple AirTags can give it a run for its money. Let's take a look at the full specs.

Apple AirTags Tile Pro
Cost $29 each, or 4-pack for $99 $35 each or 4-pack for $100
Connectivity Bluetooth LE, U1, NFC Bluetooth LE
App Find My Tile
Battery User-replaceable CR2032 User-replaceable CR2032
Battery warning Yes Yes
Bluetooth range Unknown 400-feet
Notifications Included Requires Tile Premium
Precision Finding Yes (iPhone 11 and 12 models only) No
Accessories Yes Limited
Personalization Free engraving No

When it comes down to the Apple AirTags vs. Tile Pro, we believe that the AirTags are the way to go for most Apple users. After all, AirTags integrate seamlessly with the Find My app, so all of your AirTagged items will show up alongside your Apple devices and even friends. Even setting it up is as easy as AirPods — hold it up next to your iPhone, and it'll connect and pair to your Apple ID. However, since an AirTag does not have a hole to thread through your keyring, you'll need to purchase a separate accessory if you plan to hang it.

However, one thing to note is that Apple was never clear about the Bluetooth range of an AirTag. All they have said so far is "within Bluetooth range," which could be 800-feet with Bluetooth LE and a direct line-of-sight (no interference). If that's the case, then the Bluetooth range of AirTags is double the 400-foot range of the Tile Pro, which is even more impressive.

Apple Airtag Official BannerSource: Apple

One of the biggest benefits of AirTags for iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 owners is the Precision Finding feature with the U1 ultra-wideband chip. When paired with an iPhone 11 or 12 device, you can use the iPhone's camera, ARKit, accelerometer, and gyroscope to guide you to the AirTag through a combination of sound, haptics, and visual feedback.

Lost or misplaced AirTags can be found through the vast Find My network, like Tile's user network. But since there are almost one billion Apple devices out in the wild, each one can detect Bluetooth signals from a lost AirTag. This data gets relayed back to the AirTag owner, but everything is done privately and anonymously.

If you are concerned about someone using an AirTag to track where you are, don't be. Apple has implemented safety measures to ensure that can't happen. iPhones will be able to detect unknown AirTags on your person as you go from place to place and over time and notify you that there is an unknown AirTag nearby. There are even rotating identifiers to prevent unwanted location tracking, and everything in Find My is end-to-end encrypted. And if an AirTag is separated from the owner for an extended amount of time, the AirTag will play a sound when moved, bringing attention to it. All of these features don't come with a Tile Pro, unfortunately.

Tile Pro HeroSource: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore

Both the AirTags and Tile Pro use a user-replaceable CR2032 coin cell battery. Battery life for both item trackers is about one year, and they will both let you know when the battery is low through the app. And while Tile offers some Limited Edition Tile Pros with unique designs, they aren't actually customizable, and they even cost more. However, Apple AirTags can be personalized with free engraving when purchased online or through the Apple Store app, and there are going to plenty of accessories for it.

Apple AirTags vs Tile Pro: Which should you buy?

Overall, if you are heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem already, Apple AirTags are a much better investment for item tracking than Tile. Plus, Apple does not require a separate subscription fee for access to features like notifications, unlike Tile and its Tile Premium subscription with Smart Alerts.

Seamless item tracking

Airtag Double Select Render

Apple AirTags

The new kid on the block

AirTags integrate directly with Find My, connect via Bluetooth, U1, and NFC, have a user-replaceable battery and are very affordable. What's not to like?

Tough, pro tracking

Tile Pro Black Render

Tile Pro

Heavy-duty tracking

Tile Pro is Tile's top-of-the-line tracker with a 400-foot range and the loudest alarm. But you'll need a separate subscription to make the most of it.

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