Ultra wideband technology: iPhone 11 and 11 Pro come with improved AirDrop

Apple's new iPhones include a special chip that allows new wireless applications. The so-called U1 in the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max supports the ultra wideband technology (UWB). It allows for significantly closer proximity detection than other methods such as Bluetooth or WLAN.

Originally, experts assumed that Apple will be presenting UWB-enabled iPhones along with new Bluetooth trackers called Apple Tags. However, these are still pending. The "Apple Tags" could work much like Tile products – you can attach them to an object, such as a wallet or a key, and then locate them precisely in the room. Currently, the U1 comes according to Apple data but only for a new function to use: He should help to make the file exchange technology AirDrop more accurate.

According to Apple's website, phones equipped with the U1 can pinpoint other devices with the chip thanks to "Spatial Awareness": "Think of GPS for your living room," writes the manufacturer. If you want to share a document or a photo with another user, it should be sufficient in the future to direct his iPhone on his smartphone, so you are in the transfer list at the top. The more precise AirDrop should be part of iOS 13, which will be released in September – but probably will be released only with the update to iOS 13.1, which comes at the end of the month.

The U1 chip will lead to "great new possibilities," Apple said in a promotional text. "It's as if the iPhone has another sense." The UWB technique is a low-power short-range radio method that promises a more precise location than previous methods such as Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) or simple WLAN. The distance between a smartphone and a day should be calculated up to a hundred times more accurate than the older techniques. How much the "Apple Tags" cost and if they will be used with older iPhone models – then possibly less precise – is so far unclear.

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