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Google Pixel 6 could get ultra wideband feature from iPhone 12

Google is reportedly working on bringing ultra-wideband (UWB) connectivity to its Pixel line of smartphones in the near future. The feature will allow Pixel phones to connect to other Google ecosystem devices.

twitter-logoSarthak Dogra | May 3, 2021 | Updated 19:12 IST
(Image: Daniel Romero/ Unsplash)

Highlights

  • Google is said to be testing support for Android 12's UWB API on "raven."
  • Raven is a code-name for an upcoming Pixel smartphone.
  • The device will be powered by Google's GS101 processor.

In a step towards increasing the connectivity among its family of devices, Google is planning to bring ultra-wideband (UWB) compatibility to its Pixel line of phones. The support is expected to be made public with the Pixel 6 lineup.

New reports indicate that the tech major is experimenting with UWB as of now. For those unaware, UWB is short-range, wireless connectivity options like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. It operates at very high frequencies and hence can be used to capture highly accurate spatial and directional data.

The technology has already been embraced by top smartphone makers in the past. It basically allows smartphones to connect to other devices by these companies. For instance, UWB on the iPhone 12 series helps connect to HomePod Mini and AirTag wirelessly. Similarly, Samsung uses UWB for its own SmartTags and smart keys functionality for compatible vehicles.

It is hence, expected that the technology would be more widely available for other smartphone offerings in the market soon. Mishaal Rahman, editor-in-chief at XDA developers, has now confirmed that it is under works for the Pixel phones.

As per Mishaal, Google is testing support for Android 12's UWB API on "raven." Raven is one of the code names for the GS101-powered next-gen Pixels, believed to be part of the Pixel 6 family.

The only other speculation that Mishaal paid heed to was that the GS possibly stands for Google Silicon processors that are poised to make their way to the next line of Pixels. Whether Raven stands for Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 XL is yet unknown.

If or when Google introduces UWB on the Pixel phones, it is likely that the company will push the technology on the Nest devices too. As of now, no Nest hardware offers that technology.

The fact that it will indeed bring UWB is supported by 9to5Google based on documentation viewed by the publication. In a report, the publication says that the UWB hardware being used by Google has been developed by Qorvo.

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