Before you update, be aware that iOS 14.3 could pack some Bluetooth issues, alongside the new features and bug fixes! This bug can cause AirPods and Apple Watch to unexpectedly disconnect from the paired iPhone! It appears that the iOS device is randomly dropping Bluetooth connections!
Considering that Apple is syncing the iOS 14.3 release with the new AirPods Max launch, this could turn out to be very important bug! The premium over-ear headphones connect to the iPhone via Bluetooth and an intermittent connectivity could definitely ruin the experience.
iOS 14.3 Bluetooth Issue Causes
In my experience, the Bluetooth problems in iOS 14.3 occur mostly outdoors. The first time I’ve noticed it, while shopping in my local grocery store. The AirPods unexpectedly disconnected from my iPhone!
Fact: Apparently, this Bluetooth bug is triggered by large crowds and we thing that it’s caused by an active contact tracing app!
How To Fix iOS 14.3 Bluetooth Issue
Although, I hate to admit it, because I’m a huge fan of Exposure Notifications, it seems that it’s the main trigger of the iOS 14.3 Bluetooth problems.
When your’re in a busy area the contact tracing app will exchange data with multiple smartphones in the same time, thus creating a large number of active Bluetooth connections. It seems that iPhones do have a maximum number of simultaneous Bluetooth connection that they can handle.
The COVID-19 contact tracing apps must have top priority in the list. This means that whenever the upper limit of Bluetooth connection is reached, third-party devices such as AirPods and Apple Watch are automatically disconnected.
Fact: They will re-connect back as soon as you get away from the crowds and the number of active Bluetooth connections drops.
1. Avoid Crowds
Considering the above findings, if you stay away from big crowds you will be also safe from Bluetooth issues, at least until Apple issues a software update fix.
2. Disable Contact Tracing
Turning off Exposure Notifications dramatically improves the iOS 14.3 Bluetooth problems. However, we don’t recommend you to go down this route, because disabling the notifications will also delete all your logs. You won’t be able to recover them if you decide to re-enable contact tracing later on. This will cause you to miss alerts about potential exposures to the SARS-COV-2 virus.
How To: Settings -> Exposure Notifications -> Turn Off Exposure Notifications -> Turn Off and Delete Data.
We noticed this bug during our brief testing phase of iOS 14.3 RC 2. Are you also experiencing intermittent Bluetooth connectivity in iOS 14.3? Use the comments section and let us know if you can confirm the above findings. Did we leave something out? Don’t hesitate to mention it!