Life is stressful enough without the hassles of lost or misplaced keys, phones, wallets and the like. Recently my daughter dropped a little pouch containing her college room key and student ID, and what followed was 48 hours of frenzied, frustrated searching. The cost to replace those two items would have been around $175. Luckily, we found it -- it had simply fallen out of her pocket on a driveway -- but there was shared agony until then.
My daughter will find a Tile Slim under the menorah this year. If she'd had the little tracker in that pouch, chances are good she'd have found it within minutes, not days. That's why I'm giving Tile gifts to lots of people this year, and here's a particularly good deal on them: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Amazon has the Tile Essentials four-pack for $49.99. That's $20 off the regular price.
The bundle includes one wallet-friendly Tile Slim, one keychain-friendly Tile Mate and two Tile Stickers. The latter are a new addition to the Tile lineup; they're designed to stick to anything you might need help locating: a remote, an e-reader, even the case containing your fancy sunglasses.
The Tile Mate's battery is good for about a year and can easily be replaced as necessary. The Slim and Stickers have nonreplaceable batteries, but they're good for up to three years, according to Tile.
For those unfamiliar with the trackers, they pair via Bluetooth with your phone. When you need to find a tracker, you just fire up the app. If it's your phone you need to find, you just double-press the button on your Tile. It'll make your phone ring, even if it's set to silent. (This function has proven incredibly useful to Mrs. Cheapskate, who loses her phone in the house on an almost daily basis.)
You can also enable Tile tracking on your Amazon Echo or Google Assistant device. Then you don't need your phone or your Tile; just say, for example, "Alexa, ask Tile to find my keys." (In my experience, this doesn't always work consistently, though I'm not sure if it's an Alexa issue or a Tile issue or what.)
Even better, you can share Tile locations with family members -- meaning I could use my phone to help Mrs. Cheapskate find her keys or my daughter find her wallet. And there's an especially useful community feature: Anyone using the Tile app who comes within range of your lost item can update its location.
I won't say the devices are flawless, because in my experience they're not. But they can definitely help find lost things, and $12.50 per tracker is, I think, a small price to pay for that.
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