KEY POINTS

  • Google Pixel 6 could come with a special feature also found in the iPhone 12 and Galaxy S21, a report says
  • Ultra-wideband support is not a certainty for the Google Pixel 6
  • Google Pixel 6 may be trying to keep pace with high-end handsets from Apple and Samsung

Little is known about what the Google Pixel 6 will offer. There have been various rumors about what it may feature, and the latest one involves something that is present in the iPhone 13 and the Samsung Galaxy S21: ultra-wideband (UWB) support.

The tip that Google Pixel 6 could arrive with UWB capabilities built in comes from Mishaal Rahman of XDA Developers.

This is a feature that raises different points, although it would be best to note that UWB support is limited to high-end units. For those who may be learning about UWB for the first time, it is a wireless communication protocol that offers a longer range than Bluetooth. The feature can help users pinpoint objects by a few inches rather than a few feet.

Other than that, the suggested feature for the Google Pixel 6 could also come in handy for those with smart home devices. Location tracking could also get a boost from UWB. And since this is something that has been limited to high-end phones, it could help Google keep the handset in step with the iPhone 13 and the Samsung Galaxy S21.

For now, this is a feature that has been adopted to a few handsets. That list includes the iPhone 11 and 12 and the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, Plus and Note 20 Ultra. On the part of Google, Rahman claimed that the technology is now being tested on “raven,” a codename tied to the Google Pixel 6.

It would also be best to note that there are no phones on Google’s end right now that have support for UWB. That could change moving forward, although there is no official word if the company has plans to have its smart tracker.

Google may only be trying to scratch the surface of adding this feature, something that other mobile phone companies are busy trying to figure out. Based on the viewed documentation from 9to5Google, it appears Google is indeed exploring the feature and has been working with UWB hardware.

Other than that, information is limited, such as how it will be used. However, it was stated that open source UWB code for Android 12 includes dealing with the calculation of distances and angles between devices using the built-in technology although it is something that will be limited in the system app and cannot be used by third-party Android developers.

Apps can make anyone's smartphone a trading desk Apps can make anyone's smartphone a trading desk Photo: AFP / ADEK BERRY