Google is working on an Ultra-wideband (UWB) API for third-party Android apps
Last year, Google added a new API in AOSP to enable better support for ultra-wideband (UWB) devices. At the time, we learned that the API was restricted to system apps only. In other words, it was not accessible to third-party apps. But that should change soon as Google is now developing a separate public API for UWB, which third-party Android developers will be able to incorporate in their app.
According to newly discovered commits on AOSP, it appears Google is readying a public API for ultra-wideband (UWB). The public UWB API will allow third-party app developers to take advantage of ultra-wideband technology on supported devices, enabling new features and use cases.
Google is working on a public API for apps to use ultra-wideband (UWB) on supported devices.
This will enable new features in Android apps that require precise positioning.
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) February 7, 2022
The API should also help propagate the popularity of UWB-based tracking devices, which offer far superior location tracking than Bluetooth-based trackers. Tile has already confirmed its upcoming Tile Ultra tracker will be the first to offer UWB support on both Android and iOS.
For starters, ultra-wideband is a short-range wireless standard that offers precise tracking and positioning of IoT devices and high-speed data transmission over a high-frequency radio spectrum. UWB offers numerous advantages over Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and NFC and is widely considered to be the next big thing in the world of wireless technology.
Apple’s iPhone 11 was the first modern smartphone to come equipped with UWB support. On the Android side, Samsung was the first to bring this tech to the market with its Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra smartphones. Xiaomi has also announced plans to get onboard with UWB technology, showcasing how it aims to use the technology to control its smart home ecosystem.