The U1 Chip Hints Apple's New Tracking System And Smart Tag

Dhir Acharya - Sep 12, 2019, 9:00 am IST


Yesterday, Apple didn’t unveil its long-rumored tracking tag, but it is likely laying the groundwork for this product in the iPhone 11.

During the iPhone 11 launch event yesterday, Apple didn’t unveil its long-rumored tracking tag; however, the tech giant is likely laying the groundwork for this product inside the latest iPhone lineup.

The company had put a new chip in its iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max, called the U1. Apple didn’t mention the chip on stage, but on both the product pages of the phone, it is building it up quietly, talking about a feature for spatial awareness. The U1 uses ultrawideband technology, which is said to increase accuracy when it comes to locating other Apple devices equipped with U1 by offering “GPS at the scale of your living room.”

Apple-launched-the-iPhone-11-lineup-yesterday-1
Apple launched the iPhone 11 lineup yesterday, but it didn't talk about its new chip

Apart from tracking, this technology will help boost AirDrop. With the U1 and iOS 13, iPhone 11 owners will have the ability to AirDrop files by simply pointing an iPhone at another. The new feature will come to iOS 13.1, set to arrive on September 30.

It’s expected that the new technology will power the long-anticipated tracking system, which lets users buy and attach small trackers to items such as a backpack, or keys so that they can later locate them via the Find My iOS app on their iPhone. Apple never announced this system.

With-the-U1-and-iOS-13-iPhone-11-owners-will-have-the-ability-to-AirDrop-files-more-easily-2
With the U1 and iOS 13, iPhone 11 owners will have the ability to AirDrop files more easily

However, the company teased that there are big plans for the U1, writing on the iPhone 11 Pro page that the U1 is “like adding another sense to [the] iPhone" and is "going to lead to amazing new capabilities.

Yesterday, Apple held its big event for launching the iPhone 11 lineup along with other announcements such as the Watch Series 5, Apple TV+, a new iPad, and iPadOS. As these products will soon be available, we won’t have to wait long for the first reviews on their quality.

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