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

iphone 6 in hand

Apple Faces Another iPhone Lawsuit Over 'Programmed Obsolescence'

Monday March 1, 2021 6:44 am PST by
Apple faces a new class-action lawsuit that accuses it of deliberately releasing iOS updates that slowly reduce the performance of an iPhone, forcing customers to upgrade their devices. The lawsuit comes from the Portuguese Consumer Protection Agency, Deco Proteste (via Marketeer), which in a statement says that it will proceed with a case against the Cupertino tech giant because it...
PIA23764 RoverNamePlateonMars web

NASA Mars Perseverance Rover Uses Same PowerPC Chipset Found in 1998 G3 iMac

Tuesday March 2, 2021 3:21 am PST by
NASA's Perseverance rover, which recently made history landing on the surface of Mars, is powered by the same processor used in an iMac more than 23 years old. Image Credit: NASA As reported by NewScientist (via Gizmodo), the rover includes the PowerPC 750 processor, the same chip used in the G3 iMac in 1998. The main chipset is the same; however, there are differences between the...
magsafe charging brick feature

Prosser: iPhone 12 MagSafe Battery Pack to Feature Reverse Charging

Monday March 1, 2021 1:18 pm PST by
Apple is working on MagSafe-compatible battery packs that will be compatible with the iPhone 12 models, and leaker Jon Prosser today said on the Genius Bar podcast that one version of the battery pack will feature "reverse charging." According to Prosser, Apple is working on two versions of the battery packs, one that's a standard version and one that's a premium version with reverse...
iphone 12 pro display video

iPhone 13 to Include 1TB Storage Option and LiDAR Across the Board, Says Wedbush Analyst

Monday March 1, 2021 4:00 am PST by
Apple's forthcoming iPhone 13 could include a 1TB storage option for some models and LiDAR Scanners across the entire lineup, according to a report from Wedbush analysts. In a new note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said that initial Asian supply chain checks gave the firm "increased confidence" that Apple's 5G-driven product cycle would extend well into 2022,...
Top Stories 47 Feature copy

Top Stories: MacBook Pro, iMac, and AirPods Rumors, macOS 11.2.2, MagSafe Wallet Revisited

Saturday February 27, 2021 6:00 am PST by
March is right around the corner, and that means our first good opportunity for Apple product launches in 2021 as the company frequently has significant launches in March or April each year. We're hearing rumors about MacBook Pro, iMac, AirPods, and more, although many of these will be coming out at different times over the course of the year. This week also saw a macOS update to address a ...
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...
iphone 12 120hz thumbnail feature

Kuo: iPhone 13 Lineup to Feature Smaller Notch and Larger Batteries, 120Hz Display for Pro Models, and More

Monday March 1, 2021 7:50 am PST by
iPhone 13 models will all feature a smaller notch, while the two Pro models will be equipped with low-power LTPO display technology for a 120Hz refresh rate, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a research note obtained by MacRumors. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Several other sources have previously claimed that some iPhone 13 models will support a 120Hz refresh...
maxresdefault

HomeKit Essentials Worth Checking Out

Saturday February 27, 2021 7:05 am PST by
HomeKit was slow to take off after its 2014 launch, but now that it's been around for seven years, there are hundreds of HomeKit products available, ranging from doorbells and speakers to TVs, lights, and cameras. In our latest YouTube video, we rounded up some of our favorite HomeKit products that we find most useful. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. HomePod...
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....
Apple Prefer Lightning Over USB C Feature

iPhone Sticking With Lightning Port Over USB-C for 'Foreseeable Future'

Tuesday March 2, 2021 9:32 am PST by
Apple will retain the Lightning connector on the iPhone for the "foreseeable future," with no intention of switching to USB-C, according to reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In spite of much of the industry moving toward USB-C, Apple will not be using it to replace the Lightning connector on the iPhone 13, or indeed on any iPhone model for the time being. In a note seen by MacRumors yesterday,...