macOS 12.3 suggests Apple's Ultra Wideband tech is coming to Mac

macOS 12.3 suggests Apple’s Ultra Wideband technology is coming to Mac


Apple Ultra Wideband
It would make missing Macs a lot easier to find.
Image: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple’s new macOS 12.3 beta, which rolled out to registered developers last week, suggests Ultra Wideband (UWB) technology is coming to Mac.

UWB, currently exclusive to iPhone models with the Apple U1 chip, allow precise location reporting to make missing devices much easier to find. UWB is also used to improve AirDrop and to enable Apple’s CarKey feature.

Apple prepares to bring Ultra Wideband tech to macOS

UWB made its debut in 2019 with iPhone 11. It has since carried over to iPhone 12 and iPhone 13, and it uses radio waves — a little like Wi-Fi — to better locate other Apple U1 devices, including AirTag, Apple Watch, and HomePod mini.

When you locate an Apple device compatible with UWB, you don’t just get a general idea of where the device might be. The technology uses intelligent spatial awareness to direct you to the device’s exact location.

And it looks like Apple is gearing up to bring the U1 chip — or the next version of it — to Mac, which will help make lost MacBooks easier to find.

UWB appears in macOS 12.3

“The latest beta version of macOS 12 includes the frameworks and daemons (which are parts of the system that runs in the background) needed to support ultra wideband technology,” reports 9to5Mac.

These are the same utilities already used by iPhone 11 and later to support UWB, and it’s a clear sign that Apple is preparing (or at least quietly testing) Ultra Wideband support for future Mac models.

That’s surprising given that Apple hasn’t brought the U1 chip to iPad or AirPods, which are more susceptible to getting lost, though it is likely working on that in secret, too. Eventually, UWB is likely to appear in all of Apple’s mobile devices.