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The Tile app

Tile is one of the coolest new tech innovations I have seen in the past few years. Tile is an iOS app, paired with a physical hardware component, that lets you find and track things. How many times have you lost your keys, misplaced your phone, or lost your wallet? Tiles are small, Bluetooth, low energy devices that track your belongings. A Tile has an adhesive side, which allows you to stick it to virtually anything. Then, the location of the Tile pops up on the iOS app. If you have lost an item in your house, the Tile will beep when activated from the app so you can go and find the misplaced belonging. For each account, you are allowed to track up to 10 Tiles. A really cool part of this whole thing is that if you lose a belonging, you can log in to the Tile app from another person's phone, and try and locate it. If it's out of your 150-foot range, the way it locates the belonging is that other phones using Tiles receive a "cry for help" and if they are around your missing item, they will anonymously send the location of it to your account. Brilliant. The idea is incredibly fascinating, and the coolest part about this whole thing is that the people behind Tile used a Kick-Starter, a crowd-funding method, for financing.

Tile set out to raise $20,000 and to date, it has raised just over $1.7 million. This is one of the next big things and Tile makes it easy to never lose your keys ever again.

Apple in your car

Apple is diving into a new market: your car. Apple has recently acquired a patent that would eliminate all manual controls in your car and put them into a digital dashboard. This isn't a whimsical decision by Apple; the patent was filed in 2011. In the new mobile operating system iOS7, there are many rumored features that would work nicely in your car. These features revolve heavily around connecting your phone to your car and having a digitally enhanced dashboard. This may sound simple, but I feel that the Apple car technology will basically be a really customized iPad lodged in the dashboard. The name "iOS in the Car" has been used by tech bloggers and it's expected to be available sometime in 2014. I believe this system will rely heavily on Siri and if that is true, Apple has some work to do on improving that. The experiences I have had with Siri have not been the best.

In 2014, if you were picking between two cars, and one had an Apple touch screen display, and the other didn't, would that be a huge factor in your buying decision? Tweet me @thedavidbell.

Android growing

In the early days of the iPhone vs. Android battle, the Apple fan-boys would say, "yeah, well we have more apps!" As of late, Apple fanboys can no longer say that. Google CEO Larry Page announced the mobile store for Android, Google Play, recently had its 50-billionth app downloaded. On May 17th, Apple announced that it had its 50-billionth app downloaded. The two stores are basically neck and neck, with Apple having a slight upper hand. Android has grown so quickly lately and I don't see it stopping anytime soon. I really do like Android, but I think at the end of the day, I do prefer Apple. What are you using? An iPhone or some Android device? Send me an email letting me know why you chose what you did - db@thedavidbell.com

Surface failed

I've been covering the slow decline of Microsoft's tablet The Surface over the past few weeks and sharing my opinion that it was going to fail quite soon. I believed the reason it was going to fail was because of its insanely high price point. Last week, Microsoft started blowing out the devices at 30 per cent off in hopes of getting some inventory off of its hands. It didn't seem to work. It's now been officially announced the Microsoft Surface is landfill material. The company has decided to write off $900 million worth of inventory adjustments. The Surface was a pretty fascinating concept, but due to a poor distribution concept and a ridiculously high price point it was destined to fail since Day 1.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 21, 2013 ??65521

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