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.


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.

Related Roundups: iOS 13, iPadOS

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
20 weeks 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)
Avatar
20 weeks 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)
Avatar
20 weeks ago
Apple is so on top of things... most companies wouldn’t care enough about the consumer... most companies sell snake oil
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
20 weeks 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)
Avatar
20 weeks 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)
Avatar
20 weeks 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)

Top Stories

Apple's First MacBook Pro With a Retina Display Will Become 'Obsolete' in 30 Days

Monday June 1, 2020 7:50 am PDT by
If you are still hanging on to a Mid 2012 model of the 15-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina display, and require a new battery or other repairs, be sure to book an appointment with a service provider as soon as possible. In an internal memo today, obtained by MacRumors, Apple has indicated that this particular MacBook Pro model will be marked as "obsolete" worldwide on June 30, 2020, just over...

Tim Cook Addresses George Floyd's Death and Ensuing Protests and Riots as Apple Temporarily Closes Some U.S. Stores

Sunday May 31, 2020 8:04 pm PDT by
Amid unrest in numerous U.S. cities following last week's killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, Apple CEO Tim Cook has shared an internal memo with employees (via Bloomberg) addressing the pain that many are feeling and urging others to commit "to creating a better, more just world for everyone." Cook also announced that Apple is making donations to several groups challenging...

Apple Releases macOS Catalina 10.15.5 Supplemental Update With Security Fix

Monday June 1, 2020 10:56 am PDT by
Apple today released a supplemental update for macOS Catalina 10.15.5, the fifth update to the macOS Catalina operating system that was released in October 2019. The supplemental update comes a week after the release of the macOS Catalina 10.15.5 update. ‌macOS Catalina‌ 10.15.5 is a free update that can be downloaded from the Mac App Store using the Update feature in the System...

iOS 14 Again Said to Be Compatible With All iPhones Able to Run iOS 13

Monday June 1, 2020 2:08 pm PDT by
iOS 14 will be compatible with all iPhones and iPod touch models able to run iOS 13, according to information shared today by Israeli site The Verifier. The compatibility data was allegedly found in a leaked version of iOS 14 and confirmed by what The Verifier says is a "trusted source from the system development process." iOS 13 is compatible with the iPhone 6s and later, with a full...

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 13.5.1 With Fixes for Recent 'unc0ver' Jailbreak Vulnerability

Monday June 1, 2020 9:58 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 13.5.1, minor updates that come a little over a week after the release of iOS and iPadOS 13.5, major updates that brought the Exposure Notification API, FaceTime changes, mask-related unlocking updates and more. The iOS and iPadOS 13.5.1 updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the updates, go to Settings >...

Mockups Depict iPhone 12 Lineup Sizes, Relocated SIM Tray

Monday June 1, 2020 1:22 pm PDT by
A series of 3D printed iPhone 12 mockups designed based on leaked schematics and info from Apple's supply chain was today shared by Japanese site Mac Otakara, giving us a first look at what we can expect from the 2020 iPhone lineup. Rumors have suggested Apple will release four iPhone 12 models in 2020: A 5.4-inch iPhone 12, a 6.1-inch iPhone 12, a 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro, and a 6.7-inch...

Five Mac Apps Worth Checking Out - June 2020

Tuesday June 2, 2020 2:25 pm PDT by
Apps developed for the Mac often don't receive as much coverage as apps designed for iPhones and iPads, so we have a series at MacRumors that highlights interesting Mac apps that are worth taking a look at. This month's apps are designed to make working from home a little bit easier. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Meeter (Free) - Working from home often...

Apple Music Joins Music Industry's Blackout Tuesday Awareness Campaign

Tuesday June 2, 2020 1:31 am PDT by
Apple Music has cancelled its Beats 1 radio schedule for Blackout Tuesday and is suggesting that listeners tune in to a radio stream celebrating the best in black music. Blackout Tuesday is a campaign organized by the music industry to support Black Lives Matter after Minneapolis citizen George Floyd was killed by police in the course of his arrest. On launching Apple Music, many users...

6.1-inch 'iPhone 12' Production to Begin in July Ahead of Other 2020 Models

Monday June 1, 2020 2:36 am PDT by
Volume production of Apple's forthcoming 6.1-inch "iPhone 12" models will start in July-August ahead of the rest of the company's flagship iPhone lineup this year, according to a new report by DigiTimes. Apple is widely rumored to be launching four new ‌iPhone‌ models in the usual September or October timeframe, although supply constraints and delays in production ramp-up could cause a...

Apple Releases tvOS 13.4.6 for Fourth and Fifth-Generation Apple TV Models

Monday June 1, 2020 9:56 am PDT by
Apple today released tvOS 13.4.6, a minor update to the tvOS operating system that runs on the fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV models. tvOS 13.4.6 comes a little over a week after the release of tvOS 13.4.5. tvOS 13.4.6, a free update, can be downloaded over the air through the Settings app on the Apple TV by going to System > Software Update. Apple TV owners who have automatic software ...