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  • Writer's picturejosh linney

iOS 14.4 released with support for HomePod minis new U1 Handoff feature

Apple announced last September the HomePod mini, and its been a huge success to the original full sized HomePod! Starting at £99 its a great way to get into the smart home world and have great multiform audio.

One feature that Apple announced at the event was that the HomePod mini would include a U1 chip. This chip is important because it can understand the distance between 2 devices and precisely locate them in a room. Apple announced that the HomePod mini would introduce in a later update a new handoff experience using the chip. It explained that bringing a iPhone close to the HomePod mini would start to vibrate the phone. the closer the phone to the HomePod the stronger the haptics. Get to close and POP! You gain control of the HomePod mini or transfer your audio phone of device to the other.

iOS 14.4 has been in beta since December and included this new experience which we have been testing out. In the first beta it was very hit and miss, but since the public release of iOS 14.4 the feature works great. Video below!

To get the new handoff experience working, you will need a iPhone 11 or later and a HomePod mini. The reason the bigger HomePod isn't included in this list is due to the lack of the U1 chip. but you can still transfer music across by tapping your phone nearby.

Make sure both iPhone and HomePod mini are up to date for the feature to work and thats it. No need to mess about with any settings, it just works!

It has been said that the U1 chip will still bring many new experiences to the apple eco system including rumoured AirTags. Hopefully in the future you will be able to locate where your apple devices are in your home depending on how close it is to a HomePod. I can't wait to see what Apple can achieve! Are you going to use the new handoff feature? let us know in the comments!

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