| Cult of Mac

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

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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.

HomePod mini music handoffs just got better

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HomePod Software Version 14.4 debuted January 26.
The littlest HomePod isn’t being overlooked.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The recently released HomePod mini got a raft of new features in a software update released Tuesday. The process of handing off songs from an iPhone to the smart speaker now comes with some visual, audio and haptic effects. And media controls automatically appear on the iPhone when it nears the diminutive HomePod.

Tile prepares to take on AirTags with its own UWB tech

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Tile will speak out against Apple in Congress antitrust hearing
Tile might use UWB tech to improve future item-tracking tags.
Photo: Tile

Tile reportedly will move beyond Bluetooth for its future item-tracking tags, which will add support for ultra-wideband tech. The move could be prompted by a need to compete with Apple AirTags, the long-rumored item trackers that supposedly will employ UWB.

The upgrade also could signal that Tile joined a new Apple program that allows third-party trackers to connect to the Find My‌ network created by iPhones, Macs and other Apple devices.

HomePod mini and next-gen Apple TV could double as ultra-wideband hubs

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HomePod market share
The new HomePod could offer a neat new feature.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s upcoming HomePod mini smart speaker and sixth-gen Apple TV will both function as ultra wideband base stations, according to Apple tipster Jon Prosser.

This means they will be able to track your location as you move inside your house, if you are carrying another device boasting an Apple U1 chip (like an iPhone 11 or Apple Watch Series 6).