Culture

Tile will refund you up to $1,000 for lost items — as long as the claim's legit

Your move, Apple.

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Tile, the company behind the neat little Bluetooth tracking devices that can be placed and fastened on your precious, losable items, is boosting up its services with a new protection plan.

The offer, called Premium Protect, is expected to run almost $100 every year and will cover the cost of lost items up to $1,000, according to The Verge. It has all the Tile premium features, which are worth checking out, and covers you so long as you are able to make a legitimate claim for a lost item(s).

You can list practically anything as a Tile-protected item but the company does state some exceptions, including pets, weapons, non-prescription drugs, and other categories. Still, it's a pretty attractive offer — and an opportunity to flip off Apple, which reportedly has its own similar item-tracking device in the works.

How Premium Protect works — The addition of a possible $1,000 refund makes the already fairly successful premium package even more attractive. For example, premium Tile users get free battery replacements every year, they're able to track 30-day location histories (which helps the clumsy kind to keep track of their movement and find out just where they left their damn wallet), and enables unlimited sharing with friends and family so you can keep track of things together.

In order for the feature to work, you need to upload a photo of your item and name it. If Tile can't locate this lost item within a week, the user is able to make a claim. There is a caveat: in order to take advantage of this offer, you need to be a Tile member for at least 30 days and you need to prove you have a functioning battery in your Tile device.

A giant middle finger for Apple — Tile's offer is not only a great business move that could encourage people to pay the company for added security; it also speaks to its competition with Apple. The Bluetooth tracking device company has long criticized Apple for anticompetitive market practices, which is an accusation that Apple continues to dismiss.

Tile executives have passionately argued that Apple should allow third-party apps to help iPhone users track their devices. But Apple has strongly pushed back with its own FindMy app, keeping outside competition firmly outside. With this premium offer, Tile is letting smartphone users know that things don't have to be Apple's way. There are other horizons to explore.