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Apple’s latest iOS update fixes a location tracking bug and makes Screen Time limits more secure

Stop the iPhone 11’s ultra-wideband chip from tracking your location

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Apple today released iOS 13.3.1, and the new update contains two important fixes. First, it eliminates a Communication Limits workaround that allowed younger iPhone users to add contacts without first having to enter a Screen Time passcode. That’ll come as a relief to parents.

For the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max, you’ll also now find a new toggle to disable location tracking by the U1 Ultra Wideband chip. Apple ran into some controversy last month when security expert Brian Krebs realized that the company’s latest phones were requesting location data even when customers had disabled such tracking in settings.

Apple said the iPhone 11’s new U1 chip — and international requirements that prohibit ultra-wideband technology from being used in certain locations — were to blame, adding that this location data was kept on device and not collected by the company. Nevertheless, iPhone owners now have a way to “control the use of location services by the U1 Ultra Wideband chip,” per iOS 13.3.1’s release notes.

The new iPhone and iPad update (iPad OS 13.3.1 is also being released today) contains a number of fixes for the Mail app. It gets rid of a bug that potentially allowed remote images to load in emails even when the option was disabled, and it also addresses an issue that caused “multiple undo dialogs to appear in mail.” Rounding it out are fixes for FaceTime, the Photos app (no more delay when editing Deep Fusion photos), CarPlay, and a bug that could prevent push notifications from being delivered over Wi-Fi. For HomePod owners, Indian English has also now been added as the latest Siri voice option. Minor software updates for macOS, watchOS, and tvOS were also released today.