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Upcoming HomePod 14.4 Software Update to Add New HomePod Mini U1 Features

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Apr 12, 2001
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The iOS 14.4 beta that was introduced today didn’t appear to include any new features, but an accompanying HomePod 14.4 beta will introduce new HomePod mini functionality that takes advantage of the U1 ultra wideband chip in the device.


The HomePod beta software is not made available to developers like iOS and macOS software and is instead provided to a limited number of Apple-selected testers. One of those testers shared the details on Reddit, along with screenshots, which were highlighted on the MacRumors forums.

When the HomePod mini launched, Apple said that an update “later this year” would bring visual, audible, and haptic effects when songs are transferred from one device to another. Personalized listening suggestions are also designed to appear on the iPhone when next to the HomePod mini, complete with instant controls that are available without having to unlock the iPhone.

According to the Redditor, when an iPhone is near the HomePod mini, it begins a soft haptic touch rhythm that gets faster and faster as the iPhone gets closer until the interface to transfer a song between the HomePod mini and the iPhone opens.
Starts the process when you’re like… 12” away from the HomePod? When it works correctly. First beta is pretty buggy and may not be the best one to explain

Basically when your phone gets 12” away from the HomePod the banner shows and any minuscule phone movements result in haptic feedback which gets stronger as you move towards the HomePod. If you move away it gets weaker, get too far away and it stops and the banner goes away.

Get closer and closer and the haptics will get stronger until it’s so close that you must purposely be doing it and want to engage in handoff, at which point the banner expands into the full platter shown in the last photo.
This functionality will make handoff quicker and more reliable on a HomePod mini and an iPhone 11 or iPhone 12, all of which are equipped with U1 chips that let the devices better understand where they are in relation to one another.

Article Link: Upcoming HomePod 14.4 Software Update to Add New HomePod Mini U1 Features
 

BWhaler

macrumors 68040
Jan 8, 2003
3,139
3,773
I have found the hand off doesn’t work well at all....a highly limited angle the devices had to be near each other for the transfer to work.

does this new update fix this problem, or is it purely cosmetic?
 
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applicious84

macrumors regular
Sep 1, 2020
216
505
I have found the hand off doesn’t work well at all....a highly limited angle the devices had to be near each other for the transfer to work.

does this new update fix this problem, or is it purely cosmetic?

Hopefully, it will work better--at least, that's what they suggest:
This functionality will make handoff quicker and more reliable on a HomePod mini and an iPhone 11 or iPhone 12, all of which are equipped with U1 chips that let the devices better understand where they are in relation to one another.

I just hope that they spend all of iOS 14.4 ironing out bugs--like lag when typing in iMessage. Glad they're not focusing on features for that one.
 
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Gorms

macrumors 6502a
Aug 30, 2012
555
1,513
UK
I would like it if handoff worked with the Watch. I usually have music playing after a run, wave my hand over the HomePod before remembering it doesn’t work and start looking for my phone to start the more cumbersome process of starting whatever I was listening to from there
 
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M115CLE

macrumors member
Aug 29, 2016
62
35
"According to the Redditor, when an ‌iPhone‌ is near the ‌HomePod mini‌, it begins a soft haptic touch rhythm that gets faster and faster as the ‌iPhone‌ gets closer until the interface to transfer a song between the ‌HomePod mini‌ and the ‌iPhone‌ opens."

IMO. That is definitely how your iPhone will find your keys/items that have the AirTags attached to it.

For someone that would lose their head if it wasn't attached to their shoulders, #IloveIt
 
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The Game 161

macrumors Penryn
Dec 15, 2010
24,936
13,806
UK
I have found the hand off doesn’t work well at all....a highly limited angle the devices had to be near each other for the transfer to work.

does this new update fix this problem, or is it purely cosmetic?
mine works but not flawlessly though I mean the old HomePod you could do it by holding it on the HomePod so wouldn't say this is a massive difference but still very useful to have
 
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RamGuy

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2011
996
1,151
Norway
Basically when your phone gets 12” away from the ‌HomePod‌ the banner shows and any minuscule phone movements result in haptic feedback which gets stronger as you move towards the ‌HomePod‌. If you move away it gets weaker, get too far away and it stops and the banner goes away.

This sounds more annoying than anything else if you ask me. But at only 12-inches I suppose this won't happen without you actually want it to do so.
 
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RamGuy

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2011
996
1,151
Norway
It works you just need to make sure it's touching the top of the HomePod so it works for that just the mini is suppose to work by just putting it near it as you know I'm sure

You don't need to touch it. I have my wireless charger about 20 cm from the left HomePod Big-Boy in my office (it's the left one in a stereo pair) and pretty much all the time I listen to podcasts or music when putting my iPhone on the charger it automatically or ask me if I want to hand it off to the HomePod. I'm not even close to touching it.

I think the U1 in the mini is just supposed to make it smarter and more seamless so you can pretty much point your device in the direction of the HomePod mini to use hand-off instead of being in close proximity like you have to with the Big-Boy.
 
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Braderunner

macrumors 65816
Oct 2, 2015
1,333
2,828
Tralfamadore
For me...Intercom quit working from HP mini to iOS devices after iOS 14.4 beta. Does work from iPhone/iPad/Watch to HP, but not the other way.
 
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MauiPa

macrumors 68000
Apr 18, 2018
1,618
2,278
I have found the hand off doesn’t work well at all....a highly limited angle the devices had to be near each other for the transfer to work.

does this new update fix this problem, or is it purely cosmetic?
works fine for me, so I'm not sure what problem to fix
 
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