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After years of being a faithful Android user, I purchased my first iPhone this summer. Well, my cell phone provider actually gave it to me as part of a promotion, but that’s not important. I bring this up because as a new iPhone user, I’m completely in the dark when it comes to about 95% of what my phone can do.
According to the young folks on TikTok, there’s a rumor going around that if you press the ear button on your iPhone, you can use it to spy on someone’s conversation. My phone was spying on me, and I knew it. Me already, so this idea didn’t seem too far-fetched.
Many of the comments I found claimed that their iPhones did not have an ear button. So, who’s telling the truth?
It’s Very True
After much research, it turns out that the rumor is true. Apple devices can be used as a microphone to secretly listen to conversations when you’re not in the room. It’s also true that there is an ear button. But you need to know how it works.
The feature is called Live Listen and, according to the Apple website, it’s designed to help you “hear a conversation in a noisy area or even hear someone speaking across the room.”
Live Listen lets you turn your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch into an audio microphone that sends sound to a connected set. AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, Powerbeats ProOr Beats Fit Pro.
(Note – The iOS or iPadOS device must have iOS or iPadOS 14.3 installed or later).
How it works
To use Live Listen, the first thing that you need to do is to add it in the control center of your device. This is why some people can’t find the ear button.
- Go to Settings > Control Center.
- Scroll down and tap the green “Add” button next to the blue “Hearing” button .
- Save the changes by tapping Settings
To use the Live Listen feature, just open the control center on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, and tap that “ear button.” Then, tap Live Listen and place the device in front of the person you want to hear.
As you’re listening to the conversation through your earbuds or headphones, you can use the audio levels in real-time. It’ll work up to 50 feet away, as long as your Bluetooth is turned on and your headphones are charged and connected to the device.
Although Live Listen may sound like a good idea at first, I have my doubts. As TikToker Elizabeth Henstridge says in her video about this spying iPhone feature, “A whole messy trail of broken marriages and relationships in 3, 2, 1…”
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