Can you use Tile Mate to track your pets?
Best answer: It's not an ideal solution for pet tracking if your pet might get lost outside your home. It doesn't utilize GPS, so it can't track pets in real time. However, the Tile community could be helpful in finding a lost pet with a Tile Mate on its collar, so it might be better than nothing.Amazon: Tile Mate ($25)
Back up a minute, what is Tile Mate now?
The Tile Mate is a small, battery-operated Bluetooth device that can be attached to objects like your keychain and connected to your smartphone. If you lose your keys, you can go into the Tile app on your phone and tap a button which causes your Tile Mate to emit a loud beep so you can find your keys.
If you lose your phone, you can tap a physical button on the Tile Mate, which will cause your phone to emit a loud sound even if it's on silent mode.
Tile also makes other products, such as Tile Pro and Tile Slim, but the answer regarding pets will be the same. Read about Tile Mate vs. Tile Pro here.
Tile Mate uses Bluetooth technology
If you tend to lose your pet within your home, such as a cat that likes to hide in nooks and crannies, a Tile Mate could be just the thing to help you out. If your pet is lost outside, past Bluetooth range, you won't be able to track your pet in real time since Bluetooth range is only about 100 feet.
However, you could still possibly get an idea of where your lost pet wearing a Tile Mate on its collar could be. Tile's community, i.e. anyone who uses the Tile app, automatically and anonymously picks up your Tile Mate's signal if it's nearby. You'll get a notification in your own Tile app so you can see the most recent location of your pet if someone with the Tile app on their smartphone was near it. If your pet is moving, that's of limited usefulness, but it might be better than nothing.
If you're concerned about the safety of Bluetooth technology and the proximity of it to your pet, you can read this article from NIH.
So how should I track my pet?
I track my own dogs two ways: they wear good old-fashioned collars with ID tags, and I had them microchipped. A microchip isn't GPS either, but it does contain your contact information. if your pet is found, the microchip can be scanned by any veterinarian or at an animal shelter and you'll be contacted.
A Tile Mate is most useful for inanimate objects. If you just really want to use a Tile Mate for your pet, you can, but if your pet is farther than 100 feet away from your smartphone, you'll be dependent on the Tile community to give you an indication of where your pet was last located. Over 15 million Tile products have been sold, so it's a pretty good-sized community. Tile Mate is a pretty great product generally, especially if tend to lose track of everyday items like your keys — or your phone.
Track your stuff
Keep tabs on anything that's important to you.
While Tile Mate may not be the very best way to track your pets, but for anything that doesn't move it's a fantastic tracker. Whether you tend to lose track of your phone, keys, wallet, luggage, camera, AirPods, purse, jacket, or even your car in massive parking lots, Tile Mate is a worthwhile investment.
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Karen is a contributor to iMore.com as a writer and co-host of the iMore Show. She’s been writing about Apple since 2010 with a year-long break to work at an Apple Store as a product specialist. She's also a contributor at TechRadar and Tom's Guide. Before joining iMore in 2018, Karen wrote for Macworld, CNET, AppAdvice, and WatchAware. She’s an early adopter who used to wait in long lines on release days before pre-ordering made things much easier. Karen is also a part-time teacher and occasional movie extra. She loves to spend time with her family, travel the world, and is always looking for portable tech and accessories so she can work from anywhere.