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A Stalker-Proof Alternative to AirTags Is This Bluetooth tracker

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    Ten years ago, if you’d asked me what would be some of the most controversial devices that I'd test, I don’t think I would’ve answered “Bluetooth trackers.”

    As it turns out, small devices that are intended to help you keep track of your wallet or kid can also be used by abusers to stalk their victims. So when I got the opportunity to test Chipolo’s latest tracker, the Card Spot, I had to try it. At CES this year, Chipolo announced that the Card Spot is now compatible with Apple’s Find My app, which uses all 1 billion reported Apple users in Apple’s Find My network to help locate your lost or stolen devices.

    I slipped it into my husband’s wallet as he left for work one morning. Like me, my husband is an iPhone user, but he received no safety alerts that there was a tracker on him for two days. I also checked the Find My app repeatedly and saw that the Card Spot still marked its last known presence as my house, at the exact time my husband left that morning.

    Like a Tile, the Card Spot doesn’t have ultra-wideband (UWB) capabilities. It’s limited to the 200-foot Bluetooth range. If you’re an Apple user who finds the AirTag’s awesome locating powers to be a little scary—or if you find them hard to attach to your wallet—the Card Spot is the natural pick, and its much safer.

    Team Work

    Photograph: Chipolo

    The Card Spot is a slim, attractive little tracker that looks like a credit card. It’s 2.5-mm thick, about the same size as the Tile Slim and looks almost exactly the same. It has about the same Bluetooth range, too, and the battery reportedly doesn’t last quite as long—two years, compared to the Slim’s three. In fact, I had to slip my Tile Slim out of my wallet to replace it with the Card Spot.

    Its other specs are comparable as well. The Card Spot is IPX5-rated, which means it can resist sprays of water; the Slim has a slightly better water-resistance rating, at IP67. The main difference—and the reason you should get the Card Spot over the Tile Slim, if you have an iPhone—is the seamless integration with the Find My app.

    We can only speculate as to why Apple chooses which companies will integrate with Find My (Congressional antitrust hearings, cough, cough.) For whatever reason, Chipolo, and not Tile, is now the Bluetooth tracker integrated with the Find My app. For Apple users, it’s a no-brainer.


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