That might come as something of a surprise, as Samsung has been pushing SmartThings quite a lot of late. It8217;s via SmartThings Find that you8217;ll be able to use the SmartTag, integrating with the SmartThings app and appearing alongside your other smart home devices.
It8217;s designed to have universal appeal, giving you somewhere to build and control your smart home, rivalling similar interoperable services from the likes of Amazon8217;s Alexa or Apple Home, with apps on Android and Apple devices.
I might seem silly, therefore, to not have your new tracker tag play its part in a system that you want build. Instead, it8217;s limited to Samsung Galaxy devices running Android 8 and higher 8211; and Samsung tells us that there8217;s 8220;no immediate plans to support other devices.8221;
If you try to connect to the SmartTag from a non-Galaxy phone, you8217;ll get a warning that it8217;s not compatible. You8217;ll be able to detect it via Bluetooth, but you won8217;t be able to pair with it. Even if you set it up with a Samsung phone, and then try to access it via another device using the SmartThings app, it doesn’t work.
The flip side of the equation is that Samsung is still the largest global smartphone manufacturer, so there are potentially a lot of devices that could use SmartTag, and a lot of users who could potentially find and locate lost devices too. Let8217;s face it, just about every café or restaurant will have a Samsung phone in it, but if you8217;re in a mixed-phone household, only the Samsung user would be able to detect the SmartTag.
We suspect that Apple will take the same approach with its rumoured AirTag. Apple is used to building behind its own walls and only serving its community, and the obvious problem here will be that Apple will use the Find My app which you only get on Apple devices.
For Samsung it8217;s a different situation, because SmartThings is a universal platform 8211; but there8217;s one important detail. SmartThings Find appears to be limited to Samsung phones. It doesn8217;t appear in the SmartThings app on other devices 8211; and this is the interface you use to detect your SmartTag. When it comes to detecting devices, this is actually controlled by Samsung8217;s Find My Mobile app and it8217;s here, in the settings, that you8217;ll discover the option for 8220;offline finding8221;, which is the part of the system that Galaxy phones will use to detect lost devices, which likely explains the limitation.
Of course there is a solution to this problem: get a Tile. Tile has a range of devices at different price points and has essentially built and dominated the Bluetooth tracker market up to this point. It also works both Android and iPhone, without the limitations that other brands like might encounter.