According to the latest update, Google is reportedly working on using ultra-wideband (UWB) connectivity on Android hardware and it is presumably the upcoming Google Pixel 6 family. For the uninitiated, UWB connectivity is one of the hottest features on smartphones. It is what iPhone 12 series uses to connect with HomePod Mini as you can latch onto it simply by taking your phone closer to it. Moreover, the latest Apple AirTags use UWB capabilities to locate lost items. Even Samsung uses USB connectivity on SmartTags to locate items as well as unlock car doors if it supports it.
Google Pixel 6 to get UWB capabilities
XDA Editor-in-Chief Mishaal Rahman posted the information on Twitter stating that Google is working on incorporating UWB support on upcoming devices. He mentioned that a device with codename Raven will get the upgrade and the codename belongs to the upcoming Google Pixel 6. Along with that, another device with the codename Oriole which is likely a Pixel 6 XL will be made official soon. Both are powered by Google’s Whitechapel GS101 chipset. It is being manufactured by Samsung using a 5nm fabrication node. We will get to know more about it at the upcoming Google I/O Conference on May 18.
Adding ultra-wideband (UWB) capability to smartphones provides it with wireless communication protocol to connect spatial and directional data of the whereabouts of any device. In fact, UWB can detect the location of any device with high accuracy and no doubt both AirTag and SmartTag are using this feature.
According to a report, Pixel 6 will be using UWB tech developed by Qorvo although we don’t have any information about it and neither how the tech will work. This is also because no Nest hardware has UWB capabilities to use with the Pixel 6 and thus, we will have to wait for more information about the same.
Android 12 source code does reveal UWB code as well which determines how far the two devices with UWB capability can communicate with each other and at what angles. In any case, since there’s no information of Nest devices getting the UWB capability, the feature is limited to system apps only as of now. The UWB API was added back in January 2021 suggesting its usability.