After years of being a loyal Android user, I bought my very first iPhone this past 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. I was already under the impression that my phone was spying on me already, so this idea didn’t seem too far-fetched.
However, many of the comments I came across claimed that there was no ear button on their iPhone. So, who’s telling the truth?
It’s Very True
After doing some digging, it turns out 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 have to know how to get it.
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 allows you to turn your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch into a microphone that will send sound to a connected set of AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, Powerbeats Pro, or Beats Fit Pro.
(Note: The iOS or iPadOS device needs iOS or iPadOS 14.3 or later)
How It Works
To use the Live Listen feature, the first thing you have to do is add it to the control center on 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 .
- Tap Settings to save the changes.
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.
Live Listen might seem like a good idea, but 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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