Latest iOS 13.3.1 Beta Includes Toggle for Disabling U1 Ultra Wideband Chip

The second beta of iOS 13.3.1, released earlier this month, includes a toggle for disabling the Ultra Wideband chip in the device.

Found by Twitter user Brandon Butch (via 9to5Mac), the toggle can be found by opening up the Settings app, selecting Privacy, choosing Location Services, selecting System Services, and then toggling off the "Networking & Wireless" option.

appleu1chiptoggleios1331
Disabling this feature warns that Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Ultra Wideband performance will be affected.

Apple added this toggle in the beta after it was discovered that the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max continue to track user location even when location services toggles are disabled.

Apple said that this was expected behavior due to the Ultra Wideband chip and that the iPhone was operating as designed explaining that location data needed to be used because there are international regulatory requirements that mandate the U1 chip be disabled in certain locations.

Ultra wideband technology is an industry standard technology and is subject to international regulatory requirements that require it to be turned off in certain locations. iOS uses Location Services to help determine if ‌iPhone‌ is in these prohibited locations in order to disable ultra wideband and comply with regulations.

The management of ultra wideband compliance and its use of location data is done entirely on the device and Apple is not collecting user location data.

Apple at the time promised to add a toggle to allow customers to disable the U1 chip entirely, and that toggle will be available to everyone after the release of iOS 13.3.1.

Top Rated Comments

69Mustang Avatar
34 months ago

Yeah except when Apple Services is using location services it stays on device. Just saying, there's a reason I'm not as anxious to restrict location access for all of iOS as I am for third-party apps and services.
Whether or not the location data stays on the device or gets sent to Apple is not the point of contention. If a user disables location services, they have every expectation to believe that disable location services means exactly that, disable location services. It clearly didn't and that was the point of contention. Caveats, if there are any, should be clearly explained. This issue itself is trivial imo, but the "discovery" of the UWB exception and the subsequent explanation and toggle solution makes it look worse than it is.

The ounce of prevention (acknowledgement of the UWB exception beforehand ) would have been better than the pound of cure (explanation of why it does what it does afterwards and toggle solution).
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SDJim Avatar
34 months ago
Yeah except when Apple Services is using location services it stays on device. Just saying, there's a reason I'm not as anxious to restrict location access for all of iOS as I am for third-party apps and services.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jyby Avatar
34 months ago
Science Rules!
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Duane Martin Avatar
34 months ago

I don’t want to use this chip and I appreciate that they are letting us turn it off. I wish the neural engine were also a chip that I could turn off. Every time I see that it’s been snooping around in my pictures again, I want to open my phone, find the little beast, and gouge its eyes out with a sharp object. I think it’s strange that Apple forces face recognition and other artificial intelligence intrusions upon us. It’s an invasion on my privacy, even if it’s only phycological.
First, use the default spell check. Second, if you don’t want a smartphone, don’t buy a smartphone. All of this is done on your phone, it doesn’t leave your phone, so how is it possibly an invasion of privacy? If you have psychological issues with this, get help. How could Apple, or anyone, possibly anticipate every possible psychological issue?

And this is such a non-issue. The claim that this particular use of location services drains your battery in any significant way is unsubstantiated; seriously, show me this one function makes more than 1 second difference in a day and I would be shocked. The fact the location information doesn’t leave your phone makes the invasion of privacy argument moot. And the argument that Apple should have explained this to everyone in the first place ignores the fact it is a complete non-issue that, despite being now explained in full, a significant number of MR readers still can’t grasp the basics.

PLEASE STOP demanding that Apple anticipate every paranoid delusion.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
69Mustang Avatar
34 months ago
Since Apple controls the hardware and software stack, I think it would be neat if you could ask Siri about processes on your phone. Something like: "Siri, has my GPS been in use within the last xx timeframe?" If the answer is yes, Siri lets you know when and by what app or process. Seems like something that's within the realm of possibility.

/resists urge to make Siri joke
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
now i see it Avatar
34 months ago
Why is it that it always takes an Internet tech blogger to identify some hidden, undocumented, sneaky behavior in the iPhone (iOS 10 battery throttling etc) and then apple suddenly coming to the rescue to fix the "intended behavior" once they're found out?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Dummies 1 Feature

Everything Rumored for Apple's September Event: iPhone 14, Apple Watch Pro and More

Friday August 12, 2022 2:34 pm PDT by
There's just about a month to go until Apple holds its annual September event focusing on new iPhone and Apple Watch models. We thought we'd take a quick look at everything that's rumored for Apple's September event to give MacRumors readers a rundown on what to expect when the first fall event rolls around. iPhone 14 The iPhone 14 can probably be described more as an "iPhone 13S" because...
z fold 4 1

Hands-On With Samsung's Latest Foldable Smartphones, the Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip

Friday August 12, 2022 12:46 pm PDT by
Samsung this week launched its fourth-generation foldable devices, the $1,000 Galaxy Z Flip and the $1,800 Galaxy Z Fold. Though there's no sign of a comparable Apple foldable device on the horizon, rumors suggest prototypes are in the works, so we thought we'd take a look at Samsung's newest smartphones to see what Apple needs to measure up to when a foldable iPhone does come out. Subscribe ...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Rear Flat MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro: Analyst Believes Storage Will Continue to Start at 128GB Despite Rumored Price Increase

Friday August 12, 2022 7:04 am PDT by
It wouldn't be the month before an iPhone launch without a few back-and-forth rumors, with the latest debate concerning iPhone 14 Pro storage. iPhone 14 Pro render by Ian Zelbo While research firm TrendForce forecasted that iPhone 14 Pro models could start with an increased 256GB of storage, Haitong International analyst Jeff Pu today forecasted that the upcoming Pro models will continue to...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive feature

iPhone 14 Is Just a Few Weeks Away: Three Tips to Prepare for the New iPhone

Wednesday August 10, 2022 4:08 am PDT by
The launch of the new iPhone 14 is just a few weeks away, meaning millions of iPhone customers will soon upgrade their existing iPhone or perhaps get an iPhone for the first time. Exclusive MacRumors iPhone 14 Pro renders by graphic designer Ian Zelbo Whether upgrading from an older model or this is your first iPhone, we've rounded up a few tips to help you prepare for the next flagship...
iPhone 14 Pro Lineup Feature Silver

Kuo: Apple to Increase Prices of iPhone 14 Pro Models

Wednesday August 10, 2022 8:22 am PDT by
Apple plans to increase the prices of iPhone 14 Pro models compared to iPhone 13 Pro models, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo did not reveal exact pricing for the iPhone 14 Pro models. However, in a tweet today, he estimated that the average selling price of the iPhone 14 lineup as a whole will increase by about 15% compared to the iPhone 13 lineup. In the United States, the iPhone...
top stories 13aug2022

Top Stories: New Battery Percentage Icon in iOS 16, USB-C AirPods Rumor, and More

Saturday August 13, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
This week brought some shocking news for iOS 16 beta testers, with Apple bringing back the iPhone battery percentage to the status bar after a number of years. Other news and rumors this week included word that Apple has started recording portions of its media event planned for next month to introduce the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8, claims about iPhone 14 Pro pricing and Apple's...