The HomePod mini uses the proximity-sensitive U1 chip that vibrates certain iPhone models when they come close. This allows you to “transfer”
If the vibrations and notifications are driving you crazy, you can turn the feature off.
Turn off proximity features
You’ve probably noticed this feature if you have a HomePod mini and a recent iPhone like the iPhone 12, 12 Pro, 11 and 11 Pro. These devices can take advantage of the U1 chip in the HomePod mini and automatically detect when the smart speaker is in range.
When you get close to a HomePod mini, certain iPhone models will vibrate. These vibrations will increase in intensity as you get closer, and the screen will fade and give you audio controls instead. Any music you play will be transferred to the speaker.
To disable the feature, first launch the Settings app and tap General.
Scroll down and select “AirPlay & Handoff” from the list of available options.
Finally, uncheck the “Transfer to HomePod” option to disable the feature altogether.
You can also do this on older iPhones if you want to disable the audio transfer prompt that appears when you get close to a HomePod or HomePod mini.
What functionality are you missing?
With the vibration turned off, you may be interested in how this setting will affect your HomePod usage in the future.
The “Transfer to HomePod” feature allows you to transfer music to your HomePod by holding your iPhone close to the smart speaker. This works with both the regular HomePod and the HomePod mini, although the regular HomePod lacks the U1 chip and thus your iPhone won’t vibrate.
When you turn the feature off, you can no longer do this by holding your iPhone closed. Instead, you need to tap the AirPlay icon and choose the HomePod you want or control the HomePod directly from the Control Center.
There will be more proximity functions
While the HomePod mini implementation isn’t to everyone’s taste, Apple has been building devices that take advantage of the ultra-wideband technology seen in the U1 (and its eventual successors) for years.
The feature is already being used to make AirDrop, Apple’s wireless file transfer protocol, more reliable. The iPhone uses this technology to locate and display nearby devices in order of proximity, assuming that nearby devices can take advantage of the feature.
Apple’s much-rumored AirTags can put the U1 to the test, letting you use your iPhone to find tagged devices simply by walking around. The closer you get to the tag, the more your iPhone will vibrate. This can eventually be extended to headphones and other accessories.
For now, it seems that Apple may need to add a “no vibrate” option that preserves music transfer functionality without causing a constant flicker.
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