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.
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.
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.
Top Rated Comments
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).
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.
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.