Mobile

iOS 13.3.1 Beta Offers U1 Ultra Wideband Chip Toggle

Disabling location services on Apple’s iPhone 11 will soon disable the U1 Ultra Wideband chip, 9to5Mac reports.

In the most recent iOS 13.3.1 beta, Twitter user Brandon Butch spotted a toggle that takes Apple’s specialized chip offline immediately. Now, users can disable location services without worrying about any form of tracking staying online. Previously, iOS couldn’t turn off the U1 Ultra Wideband chip while disabling other location-related features.

Apple will turn off the U1 Ultra Wideband chip in its latest iPhone models, but it won’t do so by default. Open the Settings app, and through the ‘System Services’ section under ‘Privacy’ and ‘Location Services’ you’ll discover the toggle. When choosing ‘Networking & Wireless’ to deactivate, iOS displays a small pop-up that mentions Apple’s U1 Ultra Wideband chip.

Upon disabling this capability, Apple warns that users might experience some performance-related issues with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections. Both should get completely disabled as well, though. It doesn’t appear that Apple will split the three types of wireless connections into separate toggles. So you’re potentially stuck turning off all of them even if you only want to the U1 Ultra Wideband chip disabled.

The U1 Ultra Wideband chip transfers large amounts of data in short ranges. With the technology in Apple’s iPhone 11 and 11 Pro, users can expect an enhanced AirDrop. There’s also a possibility that Apple uses the U1 Ultra Wideband chip in its long-rumored item tracker. Other products such as the iPad and the Mac should gain the U1 Ultra Wideband chip in future models, but right now it’s an exclusive feature on the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Software updates are often rolled out twice per month, and that means the stable version of iOS 13.3.1 might arrive sometime next week. Sit tight, and before you know it you’ll have a software update available in the Settings app.

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