The HomePod mini finally gets its ultra-wideband handoff feature

Homepod Mini
Homepod Mini (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • iOS 14.4 enables the new ultra-wideband (UWB) handoff feature for HomePod mini and iPhone.
  • Users will now experience visual and haptic feedback when handing off audio between devices.

With a release of iOS 14.4 earlier today, Apple has officially rolled out one of the biggest new features for the HomePod mini that was originally showcased at its special event in October 2020. The new ultra-wideband (UWB) handoff feature will enable newer iPhone models to more seamlessly transfer music, podcasts, audiobooks, and phone calls between the two devices.

As reported by The Verge, while the HomePod and HomePod mini have supported a level of handoff, the new feature takes it to a new level with visual and haptic feedback.

While both the original HomePod and the HomePod mini have supported handing off music for some time, the smaller device features a U1 ultra-wideband chip that promises to make it even easier to transfer content over from an iPhone 12 or iPhone 11 device. The new U1-enhanced functionality also adds additional features, including new visual and haptic feedback. The U1-based system also will give the option to show listening suggestions when you bring your phone close and display media controls on your iPhone without requiring you to unlock it first.

Apple Homepod Mini White Iphone Pairing

Apple Homepod Mini White Iphone Pairing (Image credit: Apple)

At its iPhone event in October, Apple had promised the feature would be available by the end of 2020. The company had obviously missed that goal, so it is good to see it wasn't delayed for too long. In order to experience the new handoff features, you'll need to have an iPhone 11 or iPhone 12 running iOS 14.4 as well as a HomePod mini running the latest update.

The iOS 14.4 update also includes other small features like categorizing Bluetooth devices and recognizing smaller QR codes.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.