Apple Releases 14.4 Software for HomePod With New U1 Features for Mini

Apple today released a new 14.4 software update for the HomePod, with the update coming over a month after the 14.3 software release that brought performance improvements and bug fixes.

HomePod mini iOS 14
Today's update introduces new U1 Ultra Wide band functionality between the HomePod mini and devices that have a U1 chip like the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 models.

Software version 14.4 includes bug fixes and the following new features with an Ultra Wideband (U1) equipped iPhone.
- Hand off music with visual, audible, and haptic effects from ‌iPhone‌ to ‌HomePod mini‌
- Get personalized listening suggestions on ‌iPhone‌ when it is next to ‌HomePod mini‌
- Media controls automatically appear without having to unlock ‌iPhone‌ when it is close to ‌HomePod mini‌

The update adds visual, audio, and haptic effects when songs are transferred from a ‌‌HomePod mini‌‌ to a U1-enabled ‌iPhone 11‌ or ‌‌iPhone 12‌‌. 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.

homepod mini 14 4 u1 chip
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.

The update also adds personalized listening suggestions on ‌iPhone‌ when it is next to the ‌HomePod mini‌ and it causes media controls to automatically appear without having to unlock the ‌iPhone‌ when it is nearby the ‌HomePod mini‌.

U1 chip functionality is unique to the ‌HomePod mini‌ and is not available on the standard ‌HomePod‌ because the ‌HomePod‌ does not have a U1 chip inside.

Related Roundups: HomePod, HomePod mini

Top Rated Comments

Kylo83 Avatar
5 weeks ago

HomePod mini can now be used as a stereo pair of computer desktop speakers with this update without any workarounds?
No macos doesn’t allow airplay 2 as main output shocking it’s still not a thing
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JustinTG Avatar
5 weeks ago

No macos doesn’t allow airplay 2 as main output shocking it’s still not a thing
I don’t understand this at all. This seems like a no brainer. There must be some kind of tactical thing that we’re not thinking of. If this were possible, I would buy at least two additional pairs. Especially with the big HomePods.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HiRez Avatar
5 weeks ago
They really need an option to set the audio playback and Siri voice volumes independently. I got 3 HomePod Minis a month ago and it's driving me nuts.

Also EQ that overrides EQ from the playback device would be nice. I play music from my iPhone to both the HomePods and various Sonos speakers. If I EQ for one, it totally messes up the other (personally I think the HomePods sound really muddy by default and would want to crank up the treble).
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
michaeldlord Avatar
5 weeks ago
Am I the only one who thinks Siri is getting dumber with each release? I used to be able to change the volume of other speakers in my house, or ask what the current volume is set to, but these days I get "I can't get volume information on multiple speakers" as a response.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
aussie-reader Avatar
5 weeks ago

I'm in the US with 110v power outlets. I have one on each side of the bathroom vanity, they are both GFCI outlets. Its very common in the US.

In countries with 220/240v power outlets this would be quite difficult to do safely.
Many countries allow them at 240V as long as you have an earth leakage circuit breaker installed monitoring the power points - usually at the switchboard, this turns off the power quickly if you are likely to get a shock. For example Australia this has been mandatory for decades, stops problems when you are drying your hair whilst in the bath...
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
imola.zhp Avatar
5 weeks ago
Have a homepod mini in my bathroom located on the right side of the sink/vanity.

House had 4 homepods playing music this morning, 2 mini's, 2 regulars all playing the same music.

My phone was laying on the left side of the sink/vanity, while brushing my teeth a notification came in. I picked up my phone with my left hand, unlocked it to view the notification. The app opened and shortly after that I got a notification that the music was being transferred from the homepod to the phone? Brushing with my right hand and viewing the phone with my left hand I did not swipe it away fast enough and all homepods stopped playing and the music started playing on my phone.

WTF?

So I tap the phone to the homepod and the music transfers back but only to that homepod, the other homepods in the house do not resume music. So I have to swipe down, going into control center to bring up the bathroom homepod and request that it play music on the other 3 homepods.

Awesome user experience Apple, so glad I have invested so heavily in your ecosystem.

/sarcasm
/rant
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

microsoft edge ios android

Bill Gates Says His Preference for Android Over iPhone is Due to Pre-Installed Software

Friday February 26, 2021 3:35 am PST by
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates this week participated in his first meeting on Clubhouse, the increasingly popular invite-only conversation app, where he fielded a range of questions as part of an ongoing book tour. Gates was interviewed by journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin, and given that the Clubhouse app is currently only available on iOS, naturally one of the questions that came up was...
First Look Big Sur Feature2

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 to Prevent MacBooks From Being Damaged by Third-Party Non-Compliant Docks

Thursday February 25, 2021 10:07 am PST by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.2.2, the fourth update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November. macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 comes two weeks after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.2.1, a bug fix update. The new ‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌ 11.2.2‌ update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences....
flat mbp 14 inch feature yellow

Redesigned 14-Inch MacBook Pro Expected to Feature Brighter Mini-LED Display With Slimmer Bezels and More

Thursday February 25, 2021 7:48 am PST by
Apple plans to unveil new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Mini-LED-backlit displays in the second half of this year, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. The report claims that Radiant Opto-Electronics will be the exclusive supplier of the Mini-LED backlight units, while Quanta Computer is said to be tasked with final assembly of the...
jon prosser imac 2021colors

Prosser: 2021 iMac to Come in Five Colors, Apple Silicon Mac Pro to Resemble 'Stacked' Mac Minis

Wednesday February 24, 2021 7:26 am PST by
Hit-and-miss leaker Jon Prosser has today alleged that the upcoming 2021 iMac models will offer five color options, mirroring the colors of the fourth-generation iPad Air, and revealed a number of additional details about the Mac Pro with Apple Silicon. In a new video on YouTube channel FrontPageTech, Prosser explained that the redesigned iMacs will come featuring options for Silver, Space ...
steam apple logo

Valve Ordered to Give Apple Information on 436 Steam Games As Part of Epic Games Legal Case

Thursday February 25, 2021 1:50 am PST by
Valve, the makers behind popular game distribution platform Steam, will be forced to hand over aggregate historical sales, price, and other information on 436 games hosted on the store to Apple, as part of the Apple vs. Epic Games antitrust case. As reported in a paywalled report by Law360, during a virtual discovery hearing on Wednesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson ordered that...
apple store macarthur center

Apple Store at MacArthur Center in Virginia Permanently Closing Following Years of Safety Issues at Shopping Mall

Thursday February 25, 2021 4:45 pm PST by
Apple today indicated that its retail store at the MacArthur Center shopping mall in Norfolk, Virginia will be permanently closing after over 14 years of business, although an exact closure date has yet to be announced by the company. Apple has assured that it will be offering all employees at the store other positions within Apple, and said that it looks forward to continuing to serve...
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...
apple refurbished m1 mac mini

Apple Begins Selling Refurbished M1 Mac Mini

Thursday February 25, 2021 6:42 pm PST by
Apple today began selling certified refurbished Mac mini models with the M1 chip for the first time in the United States and Canada, with prices discounted by approximately 15 percent compared to brand new models as usual. For example, a refurbished Mac mini with the M1 chip, 256GB of SSD storage, and 16GB of unified memory is available for $759, compared to $899 brand new. Other custom...
qualcomm snapdragon x60 5g

iPhone 13 Lineup Expected to Use Qualcomm's Snapdragon X60 Modem With Several 5G Improvements

Wednesday February 24, 2021 8:10 am PST by
Apple's next-generation iPhone 13 lineup will use Qualcomm's Snapdragon X60 5G modem, with Samsung to handle manufacturing of the chip, according to DigiTimes. Built on a 5nm process, the X60 packs higher power efficiency into a smaller footprint compared to the 7nm-based Snapdragon X55 modem used in iPhone 12 models, which could contribute to longer battery life. With the X60 modem, iPhone...
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...