Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has apparently made the “on” setting for Bluetooth the default for the iPhone. Forbes staff writer Kashmir Hill noticed a number of complaints about this issue from Apple users who keep Bluetooth off, both for privacy reasons and to conserve battery power. Apparently the setting turns back on automatically after the user updates to the newest version of the operating system.

Apple iOS

Apple users say it’s new in iOS 7

This isn’t something which used to happen with the iPhone, and according to iPhone users, the new default setting appeared along with iOS 7. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) isn’t exactly saying just why it made the change, and Siri apparently didn’t have much of an answer either. The digital personal assistant pulls up a web search, which offered a troubleshooting link for those whose Macbook’s Bluetooth continues to turn off.

One reason Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may have decided to change this default setting is because without Bluetooth, the iPhone’s iBeacon feature will not work. The new addition to the iPhone basically makes the handset a homing beacon, which is pretty creepy, if you ask me. It enables retailers to know when there’s an iPhone owner nearby.

How iBeacons work

The goal of iBeacons is to send “helpful” information to users’ phones. The feature wakes up apps so that they can send messages or coupons to the iPhone or other information about the person who’s holding the phone to other people. Apps are now able to get a location on someone even if they are not open on a device.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) said the Bluetooth in the newer iPhones is extremely low power, so it isn’t supposed to use up a lot of battery life. Apple just recently rolled out the latest iOS update, and many users have said that iBeacon works better now, cutting out a several minute delay that had been there before. Those minutes are very important for retailers who utilize real-time marketing.

So while Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is essentially trying to force iBeacon on iPhone users, the good news is that those who don’t want retailers following every step they take can simply turn Bluetooth back off after updating their phone.