This little-known feature of AirPods can be used for eavesdropping

Just don't use it for eavesdropping.

  • Published: January 14, 2019 11:18 AM IST

Apple AirPods has emerged as the surprise success for the Cupertino-based iPhone maker in the last two years. The AirPods have been selling better than iPod at its peak, CEO Tim Cook said recently. While the AirPods were introduced as truly wireless version of Earpods in 2016 and is due for a refresh, it does seem to be having some hidden features that you may not know about. The feature called Live Listen, which is aimed to help those with hearing impairment, can also be used to engage in eavesdropping.

The feature is included in iOS 12, the latest version of Apple‘s mobile operating system and it appears like an ear icon in the control center once you active it. With Live Listen, those impaired with hearing function can place their iPhone next to the person they are finding difficult to hear and the audio will be played back through their AirPods. However, the feature has been found to have other use cases including snooping on friends and business partners. It can be activated to listen in on conversation of their victim by placing their iPhone in the same room.

“But people can commandeer ‘Live Listen’ to snoop on their boss or partner by hiding their iPhone in the same room as their victim. Anyone using the tool can turn up the volume on their iPhone’s microphone to listen through AirPods,” The Sun reported. According to Apple, the Live Listen feature can help users hear a conversation in a noisy area or even hear someone speaking across the room.

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Some users have pointed out on Reddit and Twitter that ‘Live Listen’ can also be used to snoop on people having conversations in another room till the time their iPhone is placed in the same room and AirPods is in the range of transmitting audio. Since it came to light, the little-known feature has already become a most shared post on Twitter. Some people are even suggesting that it will be a great tool for eavesdropping even though the feature was not meant for such use.

  • Published Date: January 14, 2019 11:18 AM IST