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Tile deepens Google Assistant integration as competition with Apple looms

Tile deepened the integration of its item trackers with Google Assistant, as rumors swirl that Apple is set to launch its own version of the products.

Tile offers small accessories that may be attached to things such as keys, wallets, and phones. In case the items are lost, owners may be able to track them down using Bluetooth technology and the company’s companion app.

A Google Assistant skill for the item trackers was already available, allowing users to ask their phone for the location of their tagged items. However, the deeper integration will no longer require a phone, with the commands to work independently on a Google Assistant-powered device.

Tile said that Google Assistant will support its voice-enabled “direct ring” technology, which will allow the digital assistant to connect directly with the item trackers and ring them to help find lost things. The process, according to the company, will be very similar to executing an Action in smart home devices.

The current Google Assistant skill requires commands such as “Hey Google, ask Tile to find my phone.” Once the integration is rolled out, users will only have to ask “Hey Google, find my phone” to make the accessory give off a sound.

The integration, which will launch later this year, looks to improve the in-home finding capabilities of the Tile item trackers, which makes it ideal for smart displays and smart speakers.

The update maintains Tile’s presence while it waits for Apple’s own version of the item trackers, which is expected to be unveiled alongside the new iPhones in the company’s annual September event.

According to rumors, the Apple item trackers will be integrated into iOS 13’s Find My app, which will consolidate Find My Phone and Find My Friends. The accessories will carry functions similar to Tile’s products, but discovered code suggests that they will also utilize augmented reality to help users find lost things.

It remains unclear if Apple will only announce its item trackers, or if the devices will immediately start selling. In any case, we’ll be watching to see if Tile will roll out more updates to its accessories in preparation for the competition.

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