Why it matters: Tile helped pioneer the concept of physical hardware trackers for everyday items. Now, the company is addressing the one major complaint that users and prospective buyers have had from the beginning - not being able to replace dead batteries.
Tile is finally giving consumers what they've demanded for years: replaceable batteries.
The company on Tuesday launched new versions of its handy Pro and Mate hardware trackers that feature user-swappable batteries. The new models replace Tile's existing Pro and Mate versions meaning that all new Tiles (aside from the Slim models) will feature replaceable batteries.
The revised trackers also feature a longer range - up to 150 feet with the Mate and 300 feet with the Pro - and louder ringers.
Tile's button-style batteries should last about a year before needing to be replaced.
Tile and products like it are incredibly handy, especially if you're the type to misplace your keys every five minutes, but the battery situation has been a real stumbling point for years. Once dead, users were faced with the proposition of either replacing the unit entirely at full cost or going through the reTile program to utilize a discount. Some no doubt were turned off by this and saw it as a way for Tile to continue to hit up customers for additional money over time.
Simon Fleming-Wood, Tile's chief experience officer, tells The Verge that they're actually not concerned about losing money with the new swappable models. In fact, they see it as a positive. "Ultimately, will more people stay Tile users longer, and if they do, will they buy more Tiles or gift more Tiles? The thinking and hope is people will feel liberated to put Tiles on more stuff when there's not an annual price tag associated with it."