This is how you turn an iPhone into a snooping device
I spy with my... AirPods! That's right, you can now snoop and be all creepy eavesdropping on secret conversations thanks to Apple's Live Listen feature in iOS 12.
Here’s how it works: Your iPhone turns into a directional mic and transmits audio to your AirPods. If you want to eavesdrop on a conversation, all you need to do is activate Live Listen and place the iPhone in the same room where the conversation is taking place. With the help of paired AirPods, anyone could listen to everything that is being talked inside a closed room. Leave your iPhone in a room, walk out with your AirPods, and you can hear what people are saying (clearly). Crazy, right?
The feature works best in a noisy environment or picks up those softly spoken words and relays them to the person wearing the AirPods, as long as the iPhone is placed close to the person one is having trouble hearing.
I tested out how far the feature works. You'll be surprised-- up to 50 feet away! That is extra sneaky because you can't even tell the phone is on when it's paired if you put on your lock screen. Simply turn up the volume on the iPhone's microphone to listen in clearly.
PRO TIP: The next time you see an untended iPhone or even an Apple Watch lying around on the table, be vigilant of the fact that a built-in iOS feature can allow someone outside the room to listen to your conversation. This is scary, considering that everyone I know owns both iPhones and or AirPods.
Imagine... an employee can sneak in an iPhone to the boss's chambers and snoop in on conversations pretty easily.
It’s sad what people can do to a great piece of Tech. The reason for the AirPods long range was for lectures. You leave the phone on a lecture and can hear from the audience. It’s part of Apple’s education push, but it’s being used for the wrong purpose now. What's sad is that Apple introduced this new feature to help the hearing impaired, but people are misusing it and exploiting something that was designed to help those hard of hearing ( you can use Live Listen as a hearing aid). I'd say that once more people learn about this, Apple's Live Listen feature will do more damage than good. Clearly, it is not Apple's intention for the feature to be used in this way and they take privacy very seriously.
Here's how easily it can be activated when necessary:
Just go to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls > Add Hearing. Then, when you connect a Bluetooth headset and turn on Live Listen feature from the control center.