Where did I leave my keys? Bluetooth trackers can help

Key trackers and the like have been around for a while now, but it’s only now that Apple and Samsung have joined the game that they are really making waves with their simple idea: to help us find everyday items in making noise.

Apple and Samsung trackers only work in their own ecosystem, so you need to have an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy smartphone. The Tile and Musegear trackers will work with iPhones and any Android smartphone. But it’s not just about compatibility.

Apple’s AirTag is the easiest to set up – all you have to do is hold the tracker next to your iPhone, hit “Connect” and you’re done. The Tile and Musegear Finder 2 are also easy to set up.

The Samsung tracker, on the other hand, is quite tedious to set up, requiring firmware updates and installing a smartphone app.

All of the trackers we tested did their main job of helping you find lost items just as well, indicating the location with an acoustic signal.

Apple AirTags and the Pro version of Samsung SmartTags also support searching for objects by showing the item in an augmented reality (AR) view when you are within a few feet of it.

This function requires a radio connection using Ultra Wideband (UWB). You also need an iPhone or Samsung device that supports UWB. The Tile Pro and Musegear Finder 2 do not support UWB, so AR is not an option.

While the AR search for the last few feet inside your apartment or office is more of a gimmick, UWB tech makes a big difference if you’ve lost your key fob outside your own four walls.

Beyond Bluetooth range, the Tile and Musegear won’t work, but Apple and Samsung trackers can use UWB to report their location to any of the countless nearby iPhone or Samsung Galaxy devices.

In principle, this crowd-finding method should also work with the Tile Pro via Bluetooth, but the Tile app must be installed on the smartphones of people in the area and they must have Bluetooth enabled.

The Tile and Musegear trackers have one advantage over Apple’s AirTags: you can use them to ring your smartphone, even when the phone is set to silent.

Unlike the previous model, the Musegear Finder 2 can unfortunately no longer be used to remotely trigger a smartphone camera.

Smartphone owners who place great importance on data protection will appreciate the fact that registration is no longer necessary with Finder 2. Location data is also not transmitted.

In our test, the Tile Pro especially impressed with its long Bluetooth range of over 130 meters under ideal conditions. It also beeps a bit louder than Apple and Samsung trackers.

The Tile Pro costs $ 35 (RM145) while the Musegear Finder 2 is around $ 5 (RM20) less. The Galaxy SmartTag + costs $ 40 (RM165), but the model without UWB can be purchased for $ 30 (RM124).

Apple charges $ 29 (RM 120) for its AirTag. However, it comes without an eyelet to attach it to something, so you will need to purchase a keychain or buckle. Fortunately, there are versions that are cheaper than Apple’s. – dpa

About Timothy Cheatham

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