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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 weeks ago


so not for regular HomePods?

they don’t have the hardware for this to work.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RamGuy Avatar
4 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
4 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

16inchmacbookpromain

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to Feature Flat-Edged Design, MagSafe, No Touch Bar and More Ports

Thursday January 14, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Apple is working on two new MacBook Pro models that will feature significant design changes, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note to investors that was obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, Apple is developing two models in 14 and 16-inch size options. The new MacBook Pro machines will feature a flat-edged design, which Kuo describes as "similar to the iPhone 12" ...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
prototype iphone 12 pro

Prototype iPhone 12 Pro Shown Off in Photos

Wednesday January 13, 2021 3:39 pm PST by
Developer Giulio Zompetti, who often shows off prototype versions of Apple devices, today highlighted a prototype version of the iPhone 12 Pro. The iPhone 12 Pro is running an operating system called SwitchBoard, a nonUI version of the iOS 14 update that Apple uses internally. We've seen SwitchBoard on prototype devices before, as Apple uses it to test new features. Zompetti's prototype...
find my app safari post

Safari Allows Users to Enable Hidden 'Items' Tab in 'Find My' App Ahead of AirTags Launch

Wednesday January 13, 2021 5:45 am PST by
As seen in screenshots obtained by MacRumors in 2019, Apple's long-rumored AirTags items trackers are expected to be managed through the Find My app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Now, any user can get an early look at this tab. MacRumors reader David Chu today alerted us that the hidden "Items" tab in the Find My app can be enabled on an iPhone or iPad by typing in the link findmy://items in...
pioneer carplay wc5700nex

The Best Apple-Related Accessories at CES 2021

Wednesday January 13, 2021 1:16 pm PST by
CES 2021 is taking place digitally this year, and it hasn't been as exciting as in past years because many vendors have opted out. That said, some companies are still showing off some interesting Apple-related accessories that are coming out this year and that will be of interest to Mac, iPad, and iPhone users. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Pioneer Wireless...
Hue module dimmer switch

Philips Hue Announces New Wall Switch Module, Dimmer Switch, and Outdoor Light Bar

Thursday January 14, 2021 3:11 am PST by
Philips Hue has announced a new wireless dimmer switch module that lets Hue bridge owners directly control the smart lighting from their standard wall switches. The new Philips Hue wall switch module is the ideal addition to any Philips Hue set up. Installed behind existing light switches, it allows users to turn their existing switch into a smart switch and ensures their smart lighting is...
macbook pro 16 inch thunderbolt

Bloomberg: Next-Generation MacBook Pro to Offer Improved Displays, Faster Charging Over MagSafe

Thursday January 14, 2021 11:36 pm PST by
Following today's report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo outlining major changes for the next-generation MacBook Pro models coming in the third quarter of this year, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has weighed in with his own report corroborating some of the details but seemingly differing a bit on others. First, Gurman shares more details on the return of MagSafe charging to the MacBook Pro, indicating...
cook cbs this morning

CBS This Morning: Apple to Make 'Big Announcement' Tomorrow Morning

Tuesday January 12, 2021 8:46 am PST by
CBS This Morning today shared a short clip of an upcoming interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook in which addressing last week's events at the U.S. Capitol, with Cook saying "it's key that people be held accountable for it." Following the clip, Gayle King of CBS noted that the interview with Cook was not specifically arranged to address the current controversy over Parler and other repercussions, ...
iOS 14

Apple Seeds Second Betas of iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Wednesday January 13, 2021 10:03 am PST by
Apple today seeded the second betas of upcoming iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new betas coming a month after Apple released the first betas. iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. Paired with the HomePod 14.4 beta that is...
caldigit thunderbolt 4 dock featured

CalDigit Introduces USB-C Dock With 10 Ports and Up to 94W Charging for Macs [Updated]

Wednesday January 13, 2021 9:16 am PST by
CalDigit today unveiled a new Thunderbolt 4 dock with a wide selection of connectivity options, including three USB-A ports, one USB-C port, two HDMI 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, an SD card slot, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The dock also has a Thunderbolt 4 port that allows it to be connected to a Mac with a single cable, with up to 94W of pass-through charging for the latest MacBook...