Android Smartphones Expected to Follow iPhone With Ultra Wideband Technology Starting Later This Year

Following in the footsteps of the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, the first Android smartphones with Ultra Wideband technology will be released starting later in 2020, according to Barclays analysts.

In a research note obtained by MacRumors, the analysts said Android smartphones will be equipped with an all-in-one Ultra Wideband, NFC, and Secure Element chip introduced by Dutch chipmaker NXP Semiconductors last year. It is unclear which Android smartphones will adopt Ultra Wideband first, but Samsung did join a consortium with NXP last year to help develop the technology.

iphone 11 u1 chip

iPhone 11 lineup features Ultra Wideband technology

In a press release last year, NXP said Ultra Wideband will give mobile devices several new and interesting capabilities, such as being able to unlock a car's doors when the device comes in close proximity of the vehicle, potentially foreshadowing a feature that could come to the iPhone down the road.

"With the SR100T, mobile devices will be able to communicate with connected doors, points of entry, and cars to open them once approaching," said NXP in a press release. "Lights, audio speakers, and any other connected device with UWB sensing capability will be able to follow users from one room to another, and smart connected technology will intuitively be embedded in people's lives."

iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max models are equipped with an Apple-designed U1 chip with Ultra Wideband, allowing the devices to understand their precise location relative to other nearby U1‑equipped Apple devices. On iOS 13, for example, there is a directional AirDrop feature where you can point an iPhone 11 at another iPhone user to instantly share files with them.

On its iPhone 11 Pro page, Apple teases that the directional AirDrop feature is "just the beginning" of what is possible with Ultra Wideband, adding that "amazing new capabilities" are coming later.

Last year, MacRumors uncovered evidence of Apple working on Tile-like item trackers in iOS 13 code. The so-called AirTags will also support Ultra Wideband, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, suggesting that iPhone 11 models will be able to locate the tags with precise accuracy in both indoor and outdoor areas.

airtagsetup2

MacRumors exclusive: Find My app with hidden "Items" tab for AirTags

The distance between two Ultra Wideband devices can be measured precisely by calculating the time that it takes for a radio wave to pass between the two devices, with much more accuracy than Bluetooth LE and Wi-Fi.

It is unclear when Apple plans to announce its item tracking tags, or if development of the product has been abandoned.

In any case, it appears that Ultra Wideband really is just getting started.

Top Rated Comments

dannyyankou Avatar
15 months ago

bringing ultimate laziness one step closer. Technology at its finest. It's just so hard to flip a switch or turn a key with that thing on the end of your arm called a hand
Completely unfair to equate convenience with laziness. Why don’t we just go back to manual car keys where you have to turn it to unlock it? Or car windows you have to wind down?
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ericinboston Avatar
15 months ago

I hope it's not abandoned and I sure hope this also comes to the Apple Watch. I would love to be able to open doors and unlock my car with my Apple Watch.
Right. Because the way we've been unlocking car doors the past 90 years is difficult. </sarcasm>

I, for one, have absolutely no need for this garbage. Others may. It's just more mishmosh and junk to manage as I constantly need to upgrade iOS and then the app...or I can't update the app without updating iOS (I've had this problem with bank apps and I stopped using them). Then the battery (on the other device) dies or needs charging. Blah blah blah.

What's next? Flush the toilet from my iPhone using the free iFlush app with ads? It's easy! Just swipe open your phone with your dirty finger, tap the iFlush app with your other dirty finger, watch the 15 second ad about 1/2 price colonoscopy screenings in your area, then choose which toilet you want to flush, then hold down the "drop" icon for 4 seconds to flush urine or hold down the "log" icon for 9 seconds to flush fecal matter. You can also spend $5.99 to rid the ads and be able to shake your iPhone 4 times for urine or 9 times for fecal.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bbednarz Avatar
15 months ago

bringing ultimate laziness one step closer. Technology at its finest. It's just so hard to flip a switch or turn a key with that thing on the end of your arm called a hand
This is the dumbest thought process on this stuff.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Pupi Avatar
15 months ago

Right. Because the way we've been unlocking car doors the past 90 years is difficult. </sarcasm>

I, for one, have absolutely no need for this garbage. Others may. It's just more mishmosh and junk to manage as I constantly need to upgrade iOS and then the app...or I can't update the app without updating iOS (I've had this problem with bank apps and I stopped using them). Then the battery (on the other device) dies or needs charging. Blah blah blah.

What's next? Flush the toilet from my iPhone using the free iFlush app with ads? It's easy! Just swipe open your phone with your dirty finger, tap the iFlush app with your other dirty finger, watch the 15 second ad about 1/2 price colonoscopy screenings in your area, then choose which toilet you want to flush, then hold down the "drop" icon for 4 seconds to flush urine or hold down the "log" icon for 9 seconds to flush fecal matter. You can also spend $5.99 to rid the ads and be able to shake your iPhone 4 times for urine or 9 times for fecal.
That seems needlessly cynical. The way we've been unlocking car doors isn't difficult but requires a physical key that can get lost, stolen, forgotten, etc. Digitalizing more and more of our daily objects like keys, cards, IDs into the devices we use everyday, especially the phone, reduces clutter, increases convenience and safety. Do you also hate Apple Pay?




-----
That aside, shouldn't Apple have built UWB into AirPods Pro case at least? AirPods tracking isn't worth a damn and yet they are working on small tracking tags lol.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jason2000 Avatar
15 months ago

bringing ultimate laziness one step closer. Technology at its finest. It's just so hard to flip a switch or turn a key with that thing on the end of your arm called a hand
What a clueless comment. I guess you would rather wind your car up to start it like the old days. Just because technology makes something easier does not automatically make you lazy for using it. It does make you lazy when you make a baseless comment like you did without first thinking about it.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
benshive Avatar
15 months ago

bringing ultimate laziness one step closer. Technology at its finest. It's just so hard to flip a switch or turn a key with that thing on the end of your arm called a hand
"People these days are so lazy!! We used to have to get up and walk over to the TV to change the channel!"

"My flip phone from 2007 can make a phone call. What do I need all of these other fancy schmancy features for?!"

Sorry, it's not a matter of laziness. Just because I think it'd be cool if my phone could automatically unlock my car door when I approach it doesn't mean I wouldn't be willing to use a key.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

whatsapp privacy banner

WhatsApp Reveals What Happens to Users Who Don't Agree to Upcoming Privacy Policy Changes

Sunday February 21, 2021 1:11 am PST by
WhatsApp has revealed how it will gradually limit the features available to accounts held by users who do not accept the platform's impending privacy policy changes, due to come into effect on May 15. WhatsApp's new banner explaining the privacy policy changes According to an email seen by TechCrunch to one of its merchant partners, WhatsApp said it will "slowly ask" users who have not yet...
new airpods leaked image 52audios

Alleged Leaked Image Claims to Show Third-Generation AirPods and Case

Sunday February 21, 2021 2:49 am PST by
A new image claims to offer our first real world look at Apple's next-generation AirPods. The image, shared by 52audio, showcases both AirPods and the charging case for what the site claims to be the third iteration of the wireless earbuds. 52audio has in the past shared images claiming to showcase different parts of the third-generation AirPods. Most notably, the site in November shared...
2021 mbp sd slot feature2

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models With HDMI Port and SD Card Reader to Launch Later This Year

Monday February 22, 2021 8:52 pm PST by
Apple plans to release two new MacBook Pro models equipped with an HDMI port and SD card reader in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who outlined his expectations in a research note obtained by MacRumors. The return of an SD card reader was first reported by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman last month. "We predict that Apple's two new MacBook Pro models in 2H21 will have...
mac security privacy

Apple Takes Step to Prevent Further Spread of 'Silver Sparrow' Malware on Macs

Monday February 22, 2021 6:13 am PST by
Over the weekend, we reported on the second known piece of malware compiled to run natively on M1 Macs. Given the name "Silver Sparrow," the malicious package is said to leverage the macOS Installer JavaScript API to execute suspicious commands. After observing the malware for over a week, however, security firm Red Canary did not observe any final payload, so the exact threat to users remains a...
iphone 12 pro display video

BOE Rumored to Supply iPhone 13 Display Panels After iPhone 12 Failures

Monday February 22, 2021 9:54 am PST by
Display manufacturer BOE will be one of the main suppliers of OLED panels for iPhone 13 models, according to a new report today from Taiwan's Economic Daily News. BOE is said to be working with touch panel manufacturer General Interface Solution (GIS), part of the Hon Hai Group to develop OLED panels. Multiple iPhone 12 rumors suggested that BOE would supply some panels for the devices,...
pink squares macos

Apple Investigating Issue With 'Pink Squares' Appearing on Displays Connected to M1 Mac Mini

Sunday February 21, 2021 11:08 am PST by
In an internal memo this week, obtained by MacRumors, Apple informed service providers that it is aware of and investigating an issue that may result in "pink squares or pixels" appearing on displays connected to an M1 Mac mini. Image via Twitter user @FatihVidyograf This issue has been reported by users across the Apple Support Communities, MacRumors Forums, and Reddit since the M1 Mac mini...
Top Stories 47 Feature

Top Stories: More iOS 14.5 Beta Changes, iPhone 13 Rumors, Apple Watch Charging Issue Fixed

Saturday February 20, 2021 6:00 am PST by
Apple is continuing to tweak things during the iOS 14.5 beta testing period, and it looks like there will be some nice changes coming in the update when it's released to the public in a month or so. This week also saw the release of a watchOS bug fix update for Series 5 and Series SE owners, addressing a serious issue where their watches may not charge after entering Power Reserve mode,...
google chrome macos big sur

Chrome Used 10X More RAM Than Safari on macOS Big Sur in Recent Test [Updated]

Saturday February 20, 2021 12:52 pm PST by
Under normal and lightweight web browsing, Google Chrome uses 10x more RAM than Safari on macOS Big Sur, according to a test conducted by Flotato creator Morten Just (via iMore). In a blog post, Just outlines that he put both browsers to the test in two scenarios on the latest version of macOS. The first test was conducted on a virtual machine, and the second on a 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro...
m1 mac mini

M1 Mac Users Report Excessive SSD Wear

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:07 am PST by
Over the past week, some M1 Mac users have been reporting alarming SSD health readings, suggesting that these devices are writing extraordinary amounts of data to their drives (via iMore). Across Twitter and the MacRumors forums, users are reporting that M1 Macs are experiencing extremely high drive writes over a short space of time. In what appear to be the most severe cases, M1 Macs are sai...
maxresdefault

Revisiting Apple's MagSafe Leather Wallet After 3 Months of Usage

Saturday February 20, 2021 8:04 am PST by
Back in November when Apple's MagSafe-compatible Leather Wallet first launched, MacRumors videographer Dan took a look at the accessory and ended up disliking it because of the weak magnetic connection. Dan kept using the Leather Wallet despite its flaws, and after three months with the accessory, his opinion has changed and he wanted to share some new thoughts on it. Subscribe to the ...