Apple is rumored to be developing an item-tracking product that would be a direct competitor to Bluetooth trackers such as Tile. Sources tell 9to5Mac that the product will be a tag that users can attach to anything–from bags to keychains to bicycles–and track via an iPhone or Mac.
To that end, Apple is also reportedly working on a new app called “Find Network,” which would replace the current Find My iPhone and Find My Friends apps and would send alerts when tagged items get too far away. Users would also be able to mark their tagged items as lost, allowing them to be located by other iPhones. The app will reportedly support tracking family members’ items as well, including other Apple products such as AirPods.
In other words, it sounds like Apple wants to offer the same kind of crowdsourced item-finding network that Tile has spent years building for its own Bluetooth trackers. With hundreds of millions of iPhones in the wild today, that network could become more effective than what Tile offers virtually overnight. And with the ability to find lost AirPods, Apple would be solving a pretty clear pain point. 9to5Mac speculates that Apple could announce the new product as early as September.
We reached out to Apple for comment and will update if we hear back.