14 June 2021
The HomePod mini is a toned-down and affordable version of the main HomePod smart speaker but there is a feature that you will not get on the expensive model. It is an Ultra-Wideband (UWB) powered handoff feature that Apple announced at the launch event but was not available for use until the release of the latest update.
With the UWB-powered handoff feature, iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 users will be able to take their devices closer to the HomePod mini for a seamless transfer. It will work with music, calls, and podcasts that can be shared between the smaller smart speaker and supported iPhone. The feature will even show personalized listening suggestions and music playback controls on the phone without the need to unlock it.
It should be noted that HomePod mini's new feature will only work with iPhone 11 or iPhone 12 series models. This is because these are the only iPhone lineups that come with the new U1 chip. It is also the reason that the bigger HomePod does not support the feature as it does not have the needed hardware component.
You will also need to ensure that supported devices are running the latest software version. Apple released iOS 14.4 for iPhones yesterday and a new update for HomePod mini as well. It is advised that you install these updates as soon as possible and you will be good to go.