Here’s the deal on the Ultra Wideband U1 chip in Apple’s iPhone 12 and HomePod mini

Apple keeps adding the U1 chip to more and more products, including the iPhone 12 family, HomePod mini, and Apple Watch Series 6. The company is clearly amidst an effort to make Ultra Wideband a major feature of its device ecosystem. AppleInsider offers a breakdown of UWB, what it does now, and what it can do for you.

Apple U1 Ultra Wideband (UWB) chip
Apple U1 Ultra Wideband (UWB) chip

Malcolm Owen for AppleInsider:

Commonly referred to as UWB, Ultra Wideband is a wireless protocol for communications, which functions using radio waves. At its most basic, it can be used to transmit messages between devices, making it somewhat analogous to Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

As it has potential applications for personal area network communications, namely allowing devices on a person to communicate with each other, there is a lot of crossover with the more established Bluetooth. However, the way it operates means it can offer some more functionality the other two communications types cannot provide.

The main feature it enables is highly-accurate location tracking, with devices using UWB potentially able to identify the distance and even the location of other hardware relative to itself to within a few inches. This means it has potential uses for device tracking services, like an enhanced form of the Find My app.

MacDailyNews Take: The more UWB around, the better Apple’s AirTags will work.

These Apple devices have U1 chips:
• iPhone 11
• iPhone 11 Pro
• iPhone 11 Pro Max
• iPhone 12 mini
• iPhone 12
• iPhone 12 Pro
• iPhone 12 Pro Max
• HomePod mini
• Apple Watch Series 6

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

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