Apple Opening U1 Chip to Developers With New 'Nearby Interaction' Framework
Introduced last year, the U1 chip in iPhone 11 models enables Ultra Wideband support for improved spatial awareness, but Apple has so far only used the technology to power a directional AirDrop feature in iOS 13.
In the upcoming months, that should change, as Apple has announced that it is opening up its U1 chip to developers with a new "Nearby Interaction" framework for iOS 14. This framework can stream distance and relative direction between U1-equipped devices, paving the way for some interesting new spatial-related user experiences.
Apple provides some examples:
- A multiuser AR experience places virtual water balloons in the hands of its participants
- A taxi or rideshare app employs a peer user's direction in real time to identify the relative locations of a driver and a customer
- A game app enables a user to control a paddle with their device and respond to a moving ball on the peer user's screen
"Nearby Interaction" will function on an opt-in basis, with users having to grant permission for their iPhone to find and be found by nearby devices each time they open an app that incorporates the framework. Random identifiers are generated for each session.
In its video overview of the framework, Apple noted that both iPhones should be in portrait orientation to ensure accurate measurement of distance and direction. If one iPhone is in portrait orientation and the other is in landscape, this could limit the measurement capabilities, as can walls, people, pets, objects, and other obstacles between the devices.
Apple has added "Nearby Interaction" support to its Simulator tool within Xcode 12 so that developers can experiment with the framework.
Apple has "started to record" its virtual September event, where it's expected to announce the upcoming iPhone 14 lineup, the Apple Watch Series 8, and a new "rugged" Apple Watch model, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Writing in his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman says the event, which is expected to take place in the early part of September, is already under production, implying...
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models are rumored to be available in a refreshed range of color options, including an all-new purple color. Most expectations about the iPhone 14 lineup's color options come from an unverified post on Chinese social media site Weibo earlier this year.
Overall, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro's selection of color options could look fairly similar to those of the ...
With the fifth beta of iOS 16, Apple has updated the battery icon on iPhones with Face ID to display the specific battery percentage rather than just a visual representation of battery level. The new battery indicator is available on iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models, with the exception of the 5.4-inch iPhone 12/13 mini. It is also available on the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, XS and XS Max, and...
Apple this week brought back one of the most highly requested features from iOS users since the launch of the iPhone X in 2017: the ability to see your battery percentage directly in the status bar.
Ever since the launch of the iPhone X with the notch, Apple has not allowed users to show their battery percentage directly in the status bar, forcing them to swipe down into Control Center to...
Apple today seeded the fifth beta of iOS 16 to developers for testing purposes, introducing some small but notable changes to the iOS operating system.
Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We've rounded up everything new in the fifth beta below.
Battery Percentage in Status Bar
The battery icon in the status bar now displays the exact battery percent, a feature that ...
The camera bump on the upcoming iPhone 14 Pro Max is expected to be the largest rear lens housing Apple has ever installed on its flagship smartphones, and a new photo offers a rare glimpse at just how prominent it is compared to Apple's predecessor device.
iPhone 14 Pro Max dummy (left) vs iPhone 13 Pro Max All iPhone 14 models are expected to see upgrades to the Ultra Wide camera on the...
While the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8 are expected to be announced in September as usual, there are several more Apple products rumored to launch later this year, including new iPad and Mac models and more.
Beyond the iPhone and Apple Watch, we've put together a list of five Apple products that are most likely to be unveiled by the end of 2022.
Second-Generation AirPods Pro