June 21, 2024

Here’s what you need to know now

Apple has installed a new chip in many existing devices. What the iPhone manufacturer wants to use it for is still unknown. However, there is some speculation as to why this technology is now also found in Macs and iPads.

Apple HomePod mini and Mac on a desk next to a person

It’s not just Apple’s HomePod mini that has a smart home chip

When the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max were launched, a small detail caused a surprise. apple announced at the timeA thread chip has been added to smartphones. This aims to open up “future possibilities for home app integration.” What exactly was meant by this remains a mystery to this day. Upon closer examination the edge However, we now find that current Macs and iPads also contain a corresponding chip.

Apple mobile devices with smart home chips

The Verge noticed while searching Various documents The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has tested these radio chips in Apple devices for the smart home protocol. Thread is one of the foundations of the Matter standard, which is used by more and more devices in the smart home. These tests conducted by the FCC are not surprising at first glance.

But what was surprising was that this was implemented in current MacBooks, iMacs, and iPads. The hardware appears to have the necessary chip. Apple itself did not respond to The Verge’s inquiries. The company also does not include the chips in the technical data of the devices.

According to The Verge, the necessary wireless hardware is included in the following Apple devices:

  • iPad Pro 13-inch (M4, Wi-Fi + Cellular)
  • iPad Pro, 11-inch (M4, Wi-Fi + Cellular)
  • iPad Pro, 11-inch (M4, Wi-Fi)
  • iPad Air, 11-inch (M2, Wi-Fi + Cellular)
  • iPad Air, 13-inch (M2, Wi-Fi)
  • MacBook Air, 15-inch (M3)
  • MacBook Pro, 14-inch (M3)
  • MacBook Pro, 14-inch (M3 Pro or M3 Max)
  • MacBook Pro, 16-inch (M3 Pro or M3 Max)
  • iMac (M3, 2 ports)
  • iMac (M3, four ports)

Threads have been an integral part of Apple devices for several years. For example, the HomePod mini has had such a chip since its introduction. Allows you to control lights, sensors, or other smart home devices.

So it’s possible that in the future you might want to enable your own devices to operate these IoT devices directly via the Home app installed on your Mac or iPad. Another possible explanation is that Bluetooth and Wi-Fi chips are increasingly compatible with Thread. So it may be easier and cheaper for Apple to install these three solutions in one.

The Verge describes a third possibility. Thread’s characteristics of low power consumption and low latency also lend themselves to solutions outside of the smart home. For example, it can be used for smart watches, medical devices, or fitness trackers. But it’s also possible to connect AirTags, keyboards, or mice to Apple computers and tablets via Thread in the future.

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