Apple U1 chip allows these iPhones to detect its precise position with respect to other devices nearby. It has its usages, but there has been an expose that these iPhones track location data even when location services are disabled. So, if you are concerned and would like to know how to disable Apple U1 chip on your iPhone 11, follow this straightforward guide.
How to Disable Apple U1 Chip on iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max
Before you disable the U1 chip, it is essential to know a bit more about what this chip does on your new iPhone and why you should turn it off.
What Does The Apple U1 Chip Do?
The U1 chip uses a technology called Ultra Wideband for improved location and spatial awareness. Apple is so confident that it asks you to think of Ultra-Wideband as ‘GPS at the scale of your living room.’
In straighter terms, currently, the U1 chip makes the AirDrop experience better if another U1 chip equipped device is nearby. It also uses this chip to enhance Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections.
I can say that the U1 chip is the new addition to Apple’s house of special chips like the W1 chip, H1 chip, T2 security chip, etc. Most of these are built to work and integrate better with Apple devices.
Reasons to Disable Apple U1 Chip
A little backstory: In December 2019, security researcher Brian Krebs observed a curious behavior where he found that the latest iPhone 11 was seeking location data even when all location toggles were off, and all apps were closed.
Apple’s Answer to U1 Chip Expose
At first, Apple gave a vague answer with words like ‘We do not see any actual security implications’ and ‘The icon (location icon in top bar of iPhone) appears for system services that do not have a switch in Settings.‘
However, with iOS 13.3.1, Apple has added the option to disable the U1 chip completely.
According to 9to5Mac, as of now, ‘UWB chip in the new iPhones isn’t approved broadly around the world.’
Extra Info: ZDNet also mentions the countries where UWB technology (U1 Chip) is not active. They are Iran, Argentina, Russia, and Indonesia.
So, after reading what it is and how it works, if you have decided to disable or turn off the U1 chip on your iPhone 11 series, here is how to do it.
How to Disable Ultra Wideband U1 Chip on iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max
Step #1. Open Settings app on your iPhone 11, 11 Pro, or 11 Pro Max.
Step #2. Now, tap Privacy → tap on Location Services.
Step #3. Scroll to the bottom and tap on System Services.
Step #4. Turn off the toggle for Networking & Wireless to disable Ultra Wideband U1 chip.
What are your thoughts on this whole matter? Do you believe Apple should have informed its iPhone 11 users better? Share your thoughts in the comments down below.
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