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

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.

homepod mini 14 4 u1 chip
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.

Related Roundup: HomePod mini
Buyer's Guide: HomePod Mini (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

M115CLE Avatar
17 weeks ago
"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
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RamGuy Avatar
17 weeks ago

Incorrect again. The HomePod mini does NOT have a U1 chip inside.
Wait, what?

Wireless

* 802.11n Wi-Fi
* Direct guest access4 ('https://www.apple.com/homepod-mini/specs/#footnote-5')
* Bluetooth 5.0
* Thread5 ('https://www.apple.com/homepod-mini/specs/#footnote-6')
* Ultra Wideband chip for device proximity6 ('https://www.apple.com/homepod-mini/specs/#footnote-7')


Apple seems to be claiming otherwise? I'm not in the market for the HomePod mini so I don't really care but it seems to be there?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Gorms Avatar
17 weeks ago
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
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
danny842003 Avatar
17 weeks ago

so not for regular HomePods?
they don’t have the hardware for this to work.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RamGuy Avatar
17 weeks ago

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.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
danny842003 Avatar
17 weeks ago

Worked for me when I tried it on one of my HomePod a few weeks ago (iPhone to HomePod, iOS 14.1 IIRC).
no idea why you feel the need to dislike a question ?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

siir apple event april 20

Siri Reveals Apple Event Planned for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 12:04 am PDT by
Siri has apparently prematurely revealed that Apple plans to hold an event on Tuesday, April 20, where the company is expected to reveal brand new iPad Pro models and possibly its long-awaited AirTags trackers. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Upon being asked "When is the next Apple Event," Siri is currently responding with, "The special event is on Tuesday, April...
apple event spring loaded

Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Officially Announced for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Following an overnight leak by Siri, Apple today officially announced that it will be holding a special "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with all of Apple's 2020 events, the April 2021 event will be a digital-only gathering with no members of the media invited to attend in...
pixel watch prosser leak

Google Pixel Watch Allegedly Leaks with Circular Design, Rumored to Launch in October

Monday April 12, 2021 2:49 am PDT by
Renders of Google's first smartwatch, codenamed "Rohan," have been shared by Jon Prosser, showing that Google plans to adopt a circular design for its flagship wearable watch. Prosser shared the renders in an episode of his YouTube show "Front Page Tech," in which he claims they were made based on marketing material he had seen from a source within Google. The renders show that the Pixel...
Google maps feaure green

Google Maps App for iOS Finally Updated After Four Months

Monday April 12, 2021 10:03 am PDT by
Following the completed rollout of App Privacy labels for its App Store apps, Google today updated the Google Maps app for the first time in four months. Apple in December began requiring all new app submissions and app updates to include App Privacy labels, detailing the data that is collected by the app so consumers know what they're sharing. Google didn't begin implementing App Privacy ...
AppleTV and HomePod Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on New Apple TV With Integrated HomePod Speaker and FaceTime Camera

Monday April 12, 2021 3:32 am PDT by
Apple is working on a combined Apple TV with HomePod speaker that has a camera for video calls through a connected television set, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. From the report: The company is working on a product that would combine an Apple TV set-top box with a HomePod speaker and include a camera for video conferencing through a connected TV and other smart-home functions,...
samsung experience 1

Samsung's 'iTest' Lets You Try a Galaxy Device on Your iPhone

Thursday April 8, 2021 12:42 pm PDT by
Samsung has launched "iTest," an interactive website experience that's designed to allow iPhone users to test out Android on a Galaxy device, or "sample the other side," as Samsung puts it. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iTest website is being advertised in New Zealand, according to a MacRumors reader who came across the feature. Visiting the iTest website on...
epic iap feature 3

Tim Cook Says App Store Would Become a 'Flea Market' if Third-Party Payment Systems Were Allowed

Monday April 12, 2021 9:41 am PDT by
In a recent interview with the Toronto Star, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about a wide variety of topics, ranging from App Tracking Transparency to Apple's ongoing legal battle over App Store policies with Fortnite creator Epic Games. Notably, Cook said that Epic Games' desire for Apple to let developers offer their own payment systems in apps "would make the App Store a flea market":At the...
tim cook toronto star

Tim Cook Says Apple is 'Not Against Digital Advertising' Ahead of iOS 14.5 Launch With App Tracking Transparency

Monday April 12, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
Starting with iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, and tvOS 14.5, Apple will be requiring apps to receive a user's permission to track their activity for targeted advertising purposes, as part of a privacy measure known as App Tracking Transparency. Ahead of App Tracking Transparency being enforced, Apple CEO Tim Cook has participated in a privacy-focused interview with the Toronto Star, telling the...
a13 bionic mockup

Apple Made Sudden Security Changes to its Chips in Fall 2020

Monday April 12, 2021 8:15 am PDT by
Apple made unusual mid-production hardware changes to the A12, A13, and S5 processors in its devices in the fall of 2020 to update the Secure Storage Component, according to Apple Support documents. According to an Apple Support page, spotted by Twitter user Andrew Pantyukhin, Apple changed the Secure Enclave in a number of products in the fall of 2020:Note: A12, A13, S4, and S5 products...
HomePod G4 Feature

Bloomberg: Future HomePod May Feature iPad Connected Via Robotic Arm to Track Users Around The Room During FaceTime Calls

Monday April 12, 2021 3:50 am PDT by
In a report outlining a possible Apple TV with a combined HomePod and camera, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that Apple is exploring a future high-end HomePod speaker that could include an iPad connected via a robotic arm that tracks and follows users around a room. From the report: The Cupertino, California-based technology giant, is also mulling the launch of a high-end speaker with a touch ...