Apple releases iOS 14.4 with UWB handoff for HomePod mini

(Pocket-lint) – Apple has rolled out iOS 14.4 with a companion update for its HomePod mini, enabling the ultra-wideband (UWB) handoff feature  allows U1-equipped iPhones to easily pass music, calls, and podcasts between the two.

The ultra-wideband handoff feature was announced alongside the HomePod mini, with Apple promoting a late 2020 release. Although the Cupertino-based company missed that target timeframe, it’s now making good on its promise.

By default, the HomePod mini automatically installs new software updates, but you can check for updates in the Home app.

The HomePod and the HomePod mini both could already hand off music, but the mini speaker features a U1 ultra-wideband chip that makes it more seamless to transfer content from an iPhone 12 or iPhone 11. The added U1 capabilities also introduce visual and haptic feedback and offer the option to show listening suggestions when your phone is nearby the speaker.

The U1-enhanced functionality will also display media controls on your iPhone without needed you to unlock it first.

You need a HomePod mini with the latest software and an U1-equipped iPhone, such as iPhone 11 or iPhone 12, running iOS 14.4 to use Apple’s ultra-wideband handoff feature. Keep in mind the HomePod lacks the U1 chip required.

Writing by Maggie Tillman.

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