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Apple tests option to disable Ultra Wideband chip on iPhone 11 series with iOS 13 beta

Apple had promised to add toggle to disable UWB chip after a security researcher discovered the chip collects location data even when location services are disabled.

  • Updated: January 20, 2020 8:55 AM IST
Apple iPhone 11 Pro Review (5)

Apple has begun testing the option to disable UWB location toggle it promised to iPhone 11 users. Security researcher Brian Krebs had discovered late last year that Apple iPhone 11 Pro constantly checks for location. The researcher observed that iPhone 11 Pro collects location even when the location services are disabled by its owner. The iPhone maker was quick to note that it was because of the new ultra wideband chip found in the iPhone 11 series.


The chip, according to Apple, is still not universally approved and is found on iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max. The devices perform regular location checks so that it can switch off the UWB chip where it cannot be legally used. Apple also revealed that the company does not collect location data. The UWB check, Apple explained, takes place entirely on the device. However, the company also promised to roll out a dedicated toggle that would allow users to disable the UWB chip.

Watch: Apple iPhone 11 Pro Review

It seems like Apple has finally started rolling out that toggle for iPhone 11 users. The new toggle to disable Ultra Wideband chip was spotted by YouTube creator Brandon Butch and reported by 9to5Mac. This new toggle is marked as “Networking and Wireless” and is found under System Services settings. The setting can be location from Privacy Settings followed by Location Services. The screenshot posted by Butch shows that disabling the toggle triggers a prompt.

“Turning off location for Networking & Wireless may affect Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Ultra Wideband performance,” the prompt. Apple added the Ultra Wideband chip to iPhone 11 series for precise location mapping of its users. The chip can accurately point your location and help navigate within apps like Apple Maps. The same chip is also being used by Apple to find the right person to AirDrop in a room full of iPhone users. Apple has championed privacy in the past year and with the new toggle, it is reassuring its customers.

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  • Published Date: January 20, 2020 8:54 AM IST
  • Updated Date: January 20, 2020 8:55 AM IST