Apple is reportedly working on a new smart tag aimed at helping customers find misplaced items through their iPhones, similar to Tile’s Bluetooth trackers, according to a new report from 9to5Mac.
The tag would be linked to a user’s iCloud account via an iPhone and would be designed to be attached to any item, such as a pair of keys or a wallet, according to the report. Users would apparently receive notifications when their iPhone is too far away from the tagged item, serving as a reminder that could prevent the owner from leaving that item behind. The gadget is being referred to as “B389” internally, according to 9to5Mac.
The report was written by Guilherme Rambo, who correctly identified an image of Apple’s iPhone Xs Max in a software beta prior to its debut. However, Rambo does not say when this tag would launch, but does suggest that the company could reveal such a product at its annual iPhone event in September.
Apple is also designing a new app that would replace the current Find My iPhone and Find My Friends apps and would serve as the foundation for this new accessory, according to the report. This new app will be designed to work across iOS and Mac, the report says, and would combine the features of both existing services. It’s also expected to improve upon the current “Find My iPhone” feature by adding the ability to track a device even when it’s offline.
The new accessory would seemingly align with Apple’s strategy of finding new ways to leverage its existing installed base of 900 million iPhones through new products and services to go with them. Like the new AirPods and Apple TV Plus video service the company announced last month, a new accessory like this could provide Apple with another means of making money from current iPhone owners. It could also give iPhone users another incentive to remain plugged in to Apple’s ecosystem rather than switching to rival Android devices.