The last Pixel models that you would call flagship devices were the Pixel 4
and Pixel 4 XL
. After a one-year vacation from challenging Apple and Samsung at the high-end of the smartphone market, it seems that Google
is once again positioning the new Pixel 6
and Pixel 6 Pro
as top-shelf handsets. And 9to5Google
has spotted a comment in the AOSP Gerrit that confirms the use of UltraWideBand for the new Pixels.
As many of you might know, Apple
included this technology with the iPhone 11 series and the iPhone 12 series. It is used to provide directional data with a high degree of accuracy. If you use an iPhone model with UWB in conjunction with the Apple AirTags, you'll be able to find the current location of them within one-half inch of their location using what Apple calls "Precision Finding." You'll see on your iPhone screen how far away an AirTag is from you, and which direction you must go to find it.
Comments posted on the AOSP mention the use of UWB for the Pixel 6 line
The AOSP found by 9to5Google for the Pixel 6 series specifically mentions UWB and there is a possibility that a version of UWB support will be available for non-Pixel phones when Android 13 comes around. While we don't know whether Google plans on developing a line that will challenge Apple's AirTags and Samsung's SmartTags, Google would like to see your Android handset replace your car keys which is something that can be done with NFC but can also be offered to Android users via native support with Google's mobile operating system.
Word that the Pixel 6 line might include UWB first leaked out in May. The new handsets will probably be introduced in October.