Google Pixel 6 may get this groundbreaking iPhone 12 feature

Highlights
  • The Pixel 6 could ship with an ultra-wideband chip.
  • It will be the first Google-branded smartphone to support the functionality. 
  • Several Apple and Samsung smartphones ship with a UWB chip, but the industry is yet to adopt the feature en-masse. 

Over the past few weeks, we’ve heard a lot about the upcoming Google Pixel 6. Among other things, it will be the first to run Google’s in-house silicon. The Pixel 6 could also have another surprise in store for us. XDA Developers‘ Editor-in-Chief Mishaal Rahman stumbled upon an interesting Pixel 6 feature. It seems that Google is playing around with a new API that allows for ultra-wideband (UWB) functionality. While it isn’t a new feature in itself, UWB support on the Pixel 6 could open up possibilities for a new range of Google hardware; maybe even Pixel-branded object trackers to take on Apple’s AirTags and Samsung’s Galaxy SmartTags

9to5Google further corroborates Mishaal’s information. The publication has viewed some documentation about the matter and confirms that Google is indeed bringing testing ultra-wideband functionality on Android 12. Given that no piece of Google hardware supports the technology, it stands to reason that the Pixel 6 will ship with a UWB chip. Other Google hardware such as smart speakers could use the technology, too. A UWB chip can serve multiple purposes and isn’t just restricted to object trackers. Theoretically, it is also possible to use it for high-speed data transfer, but no OEM has attempted it so far. 

Other expected Google Pixel 6 specs include an under-display selfie camera. We don’t know a whole lot more about the smartphone, but we can expect it to ship with a high-refresh-rate AMOLED screen, two (or three) camera sensors, and 5G. Google has a lot riding on the Pixel 6, as its predecessor was a phenomenal failure. Will the Google Pixel 6 be able to right its antecedent’s wrongs and recapture some market share in the high-end smartphone market? Only time will tell.