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Android 6.0.0 Marshmallow Connectivity

The problem:

There is a known Android Bluetooth connectivity issue brought on by the release of Android 6.0.0 (Marshmallow) that is causing connectivity issues between Tile and devices running this OS. We became aware of the issue on October 12th and began investigating immediately.

In essence, this problem is about communication between Tiles and devices running Android 6.0.0 (Marshmallow). The way Tiles transmits the messages that allow them to be detected by your phone is different from the way Android 6.0.0 (Marshmallow) tells devices to listen for these messages.

As you know, Tile has historically worked very well with Android devices, as well as KitKat and Lollipop, and we are dedicated to providing our Android users with an incredible Tile experience.

What Tile is doing to solve this:

After we identified the root of the problem, we worked with Google to develop a patch, which was issued by Google on November 6th. This patch has already been implemented in the release of Android 6.0.1.

If you want to avoid interruptions in your Tile service, we recommend waiting to upgrade your OS until V 6.0.1 is available for your device.


10/5/2015: Android 6.0.0 (Marshmallow) started to roll out for Nexus users.

10/12/2015: Tile identified issues with our users and started to notice increasing customer care inquiries. Investigations started immediately.

10/24/2015: Tile concluded that there was a significant issue with Marshmallow, preventing Tiles to connect to Android devices.

10/30/2015: After two weeks of investigation and debugging the Android Bluetooth stack we identified the root cause: Tile uses a Random Static Address and it seems Marshmallow does not handle this the way previous OSs did. In summary, Marshmallow does not connect to any peripherals using Random Static BLE Addresses, which impacts Tile, as well as, many other Bluetooth products.

11/2/2015: Tile communicated the issue to Google and were invited for an on-site debug session.

11/5/2015: Tile had a debug session at Google where we confirmed the issue's root cause and a patch was discussed.

11/6/2015: Tile received confirmation that a patch would be implemented in the release of V 6.0.1. You can view the patch here.

11/6/2015: Tile tested and confirmed that the Google patch was successful.


Why isn’t my Tile connecting to my phone?

The Android 6.0.0 (Marshmallow) OS instructs your phone to “listen” for a particular kind of signal in order to communicate with BLE devices. Unfortunately, your Tile is sending a different signal -- one that your device can no longer recognize. This means that your device can no longer update the location of your Tiles, because it cannot communicate with them.

Can you explain the problem in layman’s terms?

Imagine your Tile is trying get into an exclusive club and your phone is that club. There is a doorman who is listening for a secret knock on the door, however, the doorman was not provided with a full list of all of the acceptable knocks to let people in. Your Tile is currently knocking on the door and the doorman is still listening, but your Tile won’t be able to get in, because the doorman has not been told to recognize your Tile’s knock.

What are the ways this problem can be resolved?

We have already worked with Google to provide a solution for this issue in V 6.0.1. If you are a Nexus user this OS is already being rolled out and will be available to you shortly. If you are an HTC One or Samsung user, we recommend holding off on downloading Marshmallow until V 6.0.1 is available for your device.

Did Google do something wrong?

As always, Google has created an awesome new operating system. The connectivity problems we’re experiencing are really about Tile being in sync with your phone. Your device is speaking and listening differently than it used to. This doesn’t mean they’ve done anything wrong, it just means that they’ve changed. We’re in touch with Google to try and create the easiest possible way for everyone to continue having a great Tile experience.

Did Tile do something wrong?

Tile has worked very well with the Lollipop and Kitkat, as well as many different Android devices.. In addition, Tile is working even better on devices that have already made the upgrade to V 6.0.1. The connectivity problems we’re experiencing is really about Tile being able to communicate with your phone. We’re in touch with Google to try and create the easiest possible way for everyone to continue having a great Tile experience.

If you have more questions please visit our Help Center.