Creep alert: A feature in AirPods can let users eavesdrop on conversations

The feature was originally introduced to help people with hearing impairment.

View in App
Agencies
SAN FRANCISCO: A lesser-known feature of Apple AirPods, aimed at helping those with hearing impairment, can also be used to engage in eavesdropping, the media has reported.

Included in Apple's latest version of iOS 12 operating system (OS) and what appears like an ear icon once you activate it, "Live Listen" essentially helps the hearing impaired by allowing them to place their iPhone close to a person they're having trouble hearing.

"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 simply turn up the volume on their iPhone's microphone to listen through AirPods," The Sun reported late on Thursday.


Untitled-11

Live Listen can help you hear a conversation in a noisy area or even hear someone speaking across the room, according to Apple's website.

Several users have pointed out on discussion website Reddit and Twitter that "Live Listen" also means Apple users can listen to conversations going on in another room - as long as their iPhone is in the room, they have their AirPods in and "Live Listen" tool is turned on.

On Twitter, where the previously little-known feature has gone viral, people are suggesting it will be a game-changer when it comes to eavesdropping, according to the Independent.

ADVERTISEMENT
Foldable Phones, Notch-Free Display: Smartphone Tech To Watch Out For In 2019
1/7

While the Google Pixel 3 and iPhone XR continue to push the boundaries of a single smartphone camera, other companies have not stopped there. Dual cameras became a norm in 2018 and we’ve also seen them in sub Rs10k phones. Huawei was first with a triple camera smartphone (P20 Pro) and others followed suit. Samsung Galaxy A7, LG V40, Oppo R17 Pro and Huawei Mate 20 Pro were some of the phones with triple rear cameras. Samsung didn’t stop there and went on to launch a phone with quad cameras – the Samsung A9. For 2019, there are already rumours of a Nokia phone with five rear cameras and we expect more companies to follow the trend. You can expect all major brands to have phones with multiple cameras across price brackets. According to us, having multiple cameras only makes sense when you get good results and flexibility (wide, macro, tele lenses).

(In Pic: Samsung Galaxy A7)

While the Google Pixel 3 and iPhone XR continue to push the boundaries of a single smartphone camera, other companies have not stopped there. Dual cameras became a norm in 2018 and we’ve also seen th..
Read More

Battery technology simply hasn’t kept pace with smartphone development. One solution to this is to have phones with larger batteries but this also makes the device larger/heavier. The other logical solution is to make the batteries charge faster. OnePlus users have enjoyed the super-fast Dash Charge feature. A number of smartphones also come with Qualcomm’s QuickCharge 3.0. In 2018, we saw devices go beyond and develop their own ultrafast charging technologies. Oppo showed everyone how it’s done with SuperVooc charging on the Find X and R17 Pro. Huawei Mate 20 Pro has Super Charge 2.0, OnePlus launched WarpCharge on the OnePlus 6T McLaren edition while the Asus ROG has QuickCharge 4.0 support. These phones are capable of charging phones from 0 to 50% in less than 30 minutes which is good for about a day of battery life. In 2019, this ultrafast charging tech should be available on more smartphones.

(In Pic: ASUS ROG Phone)

Battery technology simply hasn’t kept pace with smartphone development. One solution to this is to have phones with larger batteries but this also makes the device larger/heavier. The other logical s..
Read More

We see new smartphone features every few months – starting from CES in January to various events through the year. We are also likely to see more of Qi wireless charging, phones without 3.5mm port, IR assisted face unlock, glass backs on entry-level devices, smaller, teardrop shape notches. Here are some of the favourites that are expected to be a lot more visible in the coming year.

(In Pic: The FlexPai from Royole)

We see new smartphone features every few months – starting from CES in January to various events through the year. We are also likely to see more of Qi wireless charging, phones without 3.5mm port, I..
Read More

While we first saw the notch in 2017, 2018 was when it came to even at entry-level devices. It’s now so prevalent that more people seem to hate it rather than understand why it’s there. Thankfully, we also saw smartphone brands take a step ahead with allscreen designs (without any notch). Phones like Oppo Find X and Vivo NEX and still on sale but you do have to pay a premium for the design. For 2019 we expect the all-screen design to take center stage as display prices come down. By the end of 2019, we should see mid-range smartphones with all-screen designs.

(In Pic: On the left is the Oppo Find X, and on the right is the Vivo NEX)

While we first saw the notch in 2017, 2018 was when it came to even at entry-level devices. It’s now so prevalent that more people seem to hate it rather than understand why it’s there. Thankfully, w..
Read More

Foldable smartphones have been a concept for a long time now with a few proof of concept devices being shown off at international events. Things escalated quickly in 2018 with Samsung and Huawei announcing that their foldable smartphones will debut in 2019. Samsung showcased a working prototype of their foldable smartphone at an event recently showing how close they are to a consumer device. Another little-known Chinese company called Royale surprised everyone by launching the world’ first foldable smartphone called FlexPai (it’s supposed to go on sale in China by the end of this year). We might just see the first foldable phone next year but you should expect it to be a halo product with a stratospheric price tag.

(In Pic: Samsung's foldable phone which is likely to hit markets in 2019)

Foldable smartphones have been a concept for a long time now with a few proof of concept devices being shown off at international events. Things escalated quickly in 2018 with Samsung and Huawei anno..
Read More

4G and VoLTE is commonplace now thanks to Jio’s cross country network (and their affordable data packages brought prices down for everyone). The DoT has announced that they expect to complete the process of 5G spectrum auction by August 2019 which means that there are chances we might see 5G rollout by end of 2019. While the network rollout is not clear at the moment, the hardware for 5G is already ready. Qualcomm has already announced that they have over 15 smartphone OEMs committed to 5G for 2019. A number of them including OnePlus, Oppo and Huawei have also announced 5G phones for 2019 (we’ll see the first wave of announcements at the Mobile World Congress 2019).

4G and VoLTE is commonplace now thanks to Jio’s cross country network (and their affordable data packages brought prices down for everyone). The DoT has announced that they expect to complete the pro..
Read More

As a personal choice, we prefer capacitive fingerprint scanners on smartphones (simply because they’re faster and more accurate). However, the next generation of fingerprint scanners (embedded in the smartphone display) are already a reality. We’ve seen in-display scanners on Vivo NEX, Vivo V11 Pro, Huawei Mate 20 Pro and the OnePlus 6T. Capacitive scanners also had their share of issues initially and the speed/accuracy improved over the years – we expect the same to happen with in-display fingerprint scanners. One of the things holding back the in-display scanners is that they can only work on devices with amoled screens (which are more expensive than LCD). Qualcomm recently announced ultrasonic in-display fingerprint scanning technology that can work on any type of screen and even through metal.

(In Pic: On the left is the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, and on the right is the OnePlus 6T)

As a personal choice, we prefer capacitive fingerprint scanners on smartphones (simply because they’re faster and more accurate). However, the next generation of fingerprint scanners (embedded in the..
Read More

Download
The Economic Times Business News App
for Live Elections News & Results, Latest News in Business, Share Market & More.
READ MORE
ADVERTISEMENT

READ MORE:

LOGIN & CLAIM

50 TIMESPOINTS

ET Business Listings
Generate Enquiries for your Business by Listing on Economictimes.com

More from our Partners

Loading next story
Text Size:AAA
Success
This article has been saved

*

+