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Apple's anticompetitive behaviors have gotten worse over the course of the last few months rather than better, Tile claimed in a congressional panel today, reports Reuters.

tilepro.jpg

Executives from Tile, PopSockets, Sonos, and Basecamp in January testified in front of a congressional hearing in an ongoing antitrust inquiry launched by the U.S. government against tech companies like Amazon, Apple, and Google.

Tile at the time complained about Location Services changes implemented in iOS 13 that encouraged customers not to use always-on location tracking by requiring them to set a toggle in "deep, hard-to-find smartphone settings."

To resolve the dispute, Apple said that it was working on an option that would allow third-party developers to enable "Always Allow" tracking features right when an app is installed, but Tile today said that it is not satisfied with Apple's actions since the original congressional meeting.

"Despite Apple's multiple promises to reinstate 'Always Allow' background permissions option for third party apps' geolocation services, Apple has not yet done so," Tile said. Always-on location access is crucial for the Tile app's ability to locate nearby Tile hardware.

Tile also said that it appears Apple is working on a hardware product that will be added to the Find My app, referencing AirTags rumors. There is evidence that Apple is developing small, Bluetooth-enabled tracking tags that will be able to be attached to wallets, keys, and other items to allow them to be located in the Find My app.

AirTags will directly compete with Tile's Bluetooth tracking tags, which serve a similar function, but will have an edge because they'll be integrated right into the Find My app used by every iPhone, iPad, and Mac owner.

Apple opted not to comment on what Tile had to say, but pointed Reuters to its previous statement made in January.
Apple builds its hardware, software, and system level apps to protect user privacy and provide the best products and ecosystem in the world. Apple has not built a business model around knowing a customer's location or the location of their device.

When setting up a new device users can choose to turn on Location Services to help find a lost or misplaced device with ?Find My? ?iPhone?, an app that users have come to rely on since 2010. Customers have control over their location data, including the location of their device. If a user doesn't want to enable these features, there's a clear, easy to understand setting where they can choose exactly which location services they want enabled or disabled.

In regard to third-party apps, we created the App Store with two goals in mind: that it be a safe and trusted place for customers to discover and download apps, and a great business opportunity for developers. We continually work with developers and take their feedback on how to help protect user privacy while also providing the tools developers need to make the best app experiences.

We're currently working with developers interested in enabling the "Always Allow" functionality to enable that feature at the time of setup in a future software update.
Apple, along with other tech companies, continues to be under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department, the Federal Trade Commission, and attorneys general from dozens of states.

Article Link: Tile Claims Apple's Anticompetitive Behavior Has 'Gotten Worse, Not Better'
 

az431

Suspended
Sep 13, 2008
2,131
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Portland, OR
What else would they say?
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Buying out Dark Sky and killing the Android version and eventually the API is another example.

I wouldn't even mind so much if they at least kept non-Apple platforms around.

Give it a rest. There are a hundred other weather apps and APIs on the planet. 99.9% of the planet never heard of Dark Sky until Apple bought it.
 

mukiex

macrumors member
May 31, 2016
31
98
I love my Apple hardware, but I honestly hope they lose the ever-loving **** out of this case. They've left too much of a ****ing graveyard of companies by basically stealing their ideas outright and then effectively locking them out of the market they built via either pricing or kneecaping their featureset.

We really need a legitimate option for fully-third-party software. This arrangement where Apple markets their iOS devices like computers but then manages their software ecosystem like video game consoles isn't a great arrangement for anyone involved but Apple.
 

MacLawyer

macrumors 6502a
Aug 1, 2009
736
1,894
U.S.A.
I love my Apple hardware, but I honestly hope they lose the ever-loving **** out of this case. They've left too much of a ****ing graveyard of companies by basically stealing their ideas outright and then effectively locking them out of the market they built via either pricing or kneecaping their featureset.

We really need a legitimate option for fully-third-party software. This arrangement where Apple markets their iOS devices like computers but then manages their software ecosystem like video game consoles isn't a great arrangement for anyone involved but Apple.
I disagree, at least as far as competing with Tile. I'm a (was) a Tile user and it absolutely sucks.
 

now i see it

macrumors G3
Jan 2, 2002
9,749
19,621
if someone is so daring as to piggy back on the iPhone's success, they'd better have a Plan B when Apple copies your idea and pushes you out of business. It has happened numerous times over the years. If Apple really likes your product- you're pretty much screwed.
 
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ReanimationLP

macrumors 68030
Jan 8, 2005
2,779
32
On the moon.
Not gonna lie, the fact this was taken out is pretty damn annoying to me.

Part of my job involves operating a commercial vehicle. I have an iPad Air2 that has LTE connectivity that runs one application called GeoTab for electronic driver logs.

It constantly asks me do I want to allow the software to know the location :|
 
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mukiex

macrumors member
May 31, 2016
31
98
"Tile should make a better device"

Exactly how are they gonna do this when the ability to locate devices is entirely dependent on a user mesh network that Apple no longer allows to exist? I guarantee you, when Apple's bluetooth tag comes out, it's going to work, 100%, the same way Tile's does, in that users' iOS devices anonymously update the location info for the Apple tag the way the Tile app did in prior years.

Maybe Apple will actually resolve this issue. They could have an update in iOS 14 that allows apps to share non-user location data, by requiring a user data disconnect at the API level and also. User-paired bluetooth devices cannot be synced to their servers, but non-user-paired bluetooth devices with their own Vendor ID can. I really doubt Apple will go through the trouble, though.

But at the end of the day, the App Store walled garden problem will still be there. I'm 100% okay with people deciding that Apple's App Store is where 100% of their software purchases should go; I just wish that was a choice they were making and not one Apple was making for them.
 

sinoka56

macrumors 6502
Jun 13, 2013
297
525
Tile if you truly feel this way then produce better products. Remember competition drives innovation.

How can other companies compete with Apple products that violate their own app store terms? Imagine the Apple tags doesn't need to request for Always On Location Tracking (every few days or forever).

Having a notification ad for Apple Music which violates the app store rules. https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/18/18229492/apple-music-push-notifications-advertising
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mannyvel

macrumors 65816
Mar 16, 2019
1,208
2,076
Hillsboro, OR
But at the end of the day, the App Store walled garden problem will still be there. I'm 100% okay with people deciding that Apple's App Store is where 100% of their software purchases should go; I just wish that was a choice they were making and not one Apple was making for them.

You're making an assumption that's incorrect: that the walled garden is a problem. If it was a problem people would be using an alternate phone, like Android.

If you're crying out for an alternate app store, use Android. It's not hard. Even I have a couple of Android phones. Go ahead and jump out of the play store.
 

DeepIn2U

macrumors G4
May 30, 2002
11,709
5,917
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I get the feeling this won’t end well for Tile.

yeah kinda sounds like Tile is getting butt hurt over potential competition va just working with Apple and revising their own business model, market and software as a service offering.

HP has the DragonFly using Tile To help locate the laptop. But Tile is a locale service it should be a global type gps service and they should have a solid encryption for business lockout and recovery for the entire motherboard not just the storage or laptop itself.
 
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