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Google Pixel 6 May Feature UWB Connectivity, Reports Suggest

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Google is reportedly testing ultra-wideband (UWB) connectivity for the next generation of its Pixel phones.

The UWB connectivity is the latest hot trend for smartphone manufacturers, and they’re using it to add location-related features to their smartphones. Apple is using UWB in its iPhone 12 for connecting it to HomePod Mini. Also, Apple AirTag is the latest Apple product that uses UWB to send spatial data. Moreover, Samsung SmartTags are another UWB connectivity user.

With more companies going to use UWB, Google does not want to fall behind. Recently, XDA’s Mishaal Rahman has revealed Google’s plans for bringing UWB to the next generation of Pixel phones.

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“Google is testing support for Android 12’s Ultra-wideband (UWB) API on “raven”, one of the code names that could belong to the GS101-powered next-gen Pixels,” Rahman said.

We do not yet know what stage Google’s UWB development is at, but Pixel 6 or 6 XL are the most probable candidates for receiving this feature. The “Raven” is a codename that Google used to refer to its device that will receive UWB.

9to5Google mentioned Qorvo as Google’s partner in developing UWB connectivity. Qorvo is a semiconductor company that specializes in developing radio-frequency systems and wireless communications for applications.

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The open-source UWB code for Android 12 contains some information about connecting two UWB devices. However, we should wait for more announcements from Google about bringing UWB to its Pixel 6 family.

What is UWB connectivity, and why it is important

Like Bluetooth, UWB is a short-range, radio-based wireless communication protocol. However, unlike Bluetooth, it supports much higher data transfer speeds and, most importantly, allows for accurate tracking and location detection. As a result, it will enable smart devices to detect their surroundings.

Galaxy S21+, S21 Ultra 5G, and Note20 Ultra are currently using UWB connectivity. Galaxy SmartTags and Samsung’s SmartThings app relies on UWB to function accurately. Moreover, all Apple smartphones from iPhone 11 onwards feature UWB technology.

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UWB is the future of data transfer technology, and more companies will definitely tend to use it on their smartphones. We can safely say that the UWB is the replacement for infrared waves in phones.