Apple will hold an exclusive media event at the Steve Jobs Theatre on Tuesday September 10, 2019 where the company is widely-tipped to unveil three new iPhone models, Apple Watch Series 5, waterproof AirPods 3, and a smaller HomePod smart speaker.
And as if that wasn't enough, Apple is heavily rumoured to unveil a new Tile-like tracker that can be attached to almost any personal item to keep tabs on its location in real-time inside the Find My app – the re-imagined Find My iPhone app coming in the next few weeks in iOS 13.
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Apple-centric blog MacRumours (opens in new tab) have unearthed a number of interesting new tidbits about the new trackers, purportedly called Apple Tags. As well as tracking the likes of your iPhone, AirPods, Apple Watch and MacBook – like the current Find My iPhone app does – there will be a new tab called Items that lists your keys, wallets, backpacks, or whatever you've secured with an Apple Tag.
The app will ping you with an alert whenever you're unexpectedly separated from one of your treasured items. You can set a number of "safe locations" – like your home address – where these alerts are silenced, so your iPhone isn't constantly bleeping every time you leave your purse on the dresser and walk into another room.
According to an internal build of iOS 13 examined by MacRumors, Apple claims the new accessory will help you "tag your everyday items" and "never lose them again".
If you discover that you've misplaced an item, you can enter the Find My app and set it to "lost mode", which uses other iPhones to scan for the nearby Bluetooth-powered device – essentially creating a massive network with every iOS 13 device to scan for the signal and (hopefully) locating it. Apple has already announced plans to use this technology to help recover MacBooks even when they're switched off.
Finally, MacRumours claims there is going to be an augmented reality part to the Find My app that lets you see directions to your lost item floating in the air when you look through the camera viewfinder display. Google uses the same technique for Google Maps directions in its upcoming Android 10 upgrade.
Apple isn't doing anything particularly revolutionary. In fact, rival tracking firm Tile is capable of almost all of the same functionality already. But tying the tracking tiles to the popular Find My app and allowing customers to manage all of their technology products and personal items from the same screen will have a strong appeal.
T3 will have all the news from the September 10, 2019 event as soon as it breaks.