It appears that evidently UWB, brief for ultra-wideband, would be the new buzzword for this yr, with increasingly more tech firms and gadget producers adopting the short-range wi-fi know-how in merchandise starting from telephones to good house home equipment to even vehicles. That mentioned, Apple already laid the groundwork for that fairly a while in the past with its U1 chip however it is just now that it’s turning on that performance for the HomePod mini that it promised could be prepared earlier than 2020 ended.
Apple truly launched its U1 chip again in 2019 with the arrival of the iPhone 11. The chip’s solitary goal was to allow ultra-wideband wi-fi communication that enabled extra exact location monitoring even indoors the place GPS barely works. It additionally provides a component of directionality that even Bluetooth couldn’t provide till the newest variations of the specification.
Only a few of Apple’s units supported UWB, specifically the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12, the Apple Watch Collection 6, and the brand new HomePod Mini. The latter, particularly, didn’t even have that performance enabled and Apple promised it will occur close to the top of final yr. Higher late than by no means, as they are saying, and the newest firmware replace lastly turns that on.
The changelog for the HomePod Software version 14.4 particulars the advantages that UWB brings to the desk. In fact, there’s the plain one among making music hand off from iPhones simpler. It additionally notes that when a supported iPhone is near the HomePod mini, personalised listening ideas and even media controls can be displayed, the latter with out even having to unlock the iPhone.
In fact, there are some onerous necessities for this comfort past having a HomePod mini. Along with updating the firmware to the newest 14.4 model, UWB solely works with the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 collection, at the least for now. Given its funding within the know-how, Apple will undoubtedly broaden and construct upon these foundations in future merchandise, together with the nonetheless to be launched Apple AirTags trackers.