A TikToker has gone viral after revealing a “hidden feature” on the iPhone that lets you listen in on conversations. User Michelle Guo (@woahguo) posted the video in which she shared her efforts to eavesdrop on a conversation after leaving the room.
“Thinking back to when I turned on ‘live listening’ on my iPhone and left my phone on the table and walked away with my AirPods so I could listen to what everyone was saying without me being in the room”, the overlay text reads . Guo uploaded the TikTok to the current trending sound “Crazy” by Patsy Cline.
“What a wonderful little tool,” Guo added in the caption.
The video has since garnered over 280,000 views since it was posted on March 15, with many commenters asking Guo to teach them how to do this.
“Settings > Control Center > add hearing > connect AirPods > turn on live listening > put phone down, walk away and listen,” Guo replied to a handful of comments. By following these instructions, the Daily Dot was able to confirm that the feature worked well.
“That’s smart,” one viewer commented on the video.
“What a wonderful life hack!” another user wrote.
Guo told the Daily Dot that she discovered the “live listening” feature on Apple’s website and wanted to try it out.
“So I tested it with my friends,” she wrote via a direct message on Instagram. “That’s the example video I was referring to.”
Guo said she posted the video so other people can learn more about the feature in case they are interested in using it.
This isn’t the first time someone has gone viral on social media for sharing the ‘snoop-friendly’ feature. In 2019, Twitter user @arnoldcrndo shared how to use the feature in a sneaky way and his trick went viral.
Apple added the “live listening” feature in the iOS 12 update in September 2018. According to Apple, With Live Listen, your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch can act as a microphone that sends sounds to your AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, Powerbeats Pro, or Beats Fit Pro. According to a article of Forbes released in 2018, the feature has been around for four years for some hearing aids. However, the iOS 12 update made the feature available for AirPods.
Some commenters under Guo’s video were hesitant to use the feature in case they heard unsightly things about them.
“I don’t want my feelings hurt,” one viewer said.
“I’m afraid of what they’ll say!” another user replied.
Apple claimed The goal of Live Listen was to help amplify conversation in a busy or noisy room. Still, some TikTok users are using it for arguably nefarious reasons since the feature was removed.
“I went, done,” wrote one viewer.
“I did in my old job,” another user replied. “And it always amazes me how nice people are to your face and then do a 180 when you leave the room.”
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*First published: March 16, 2022, 1:50 p.m. CDT
Gisselle Hernandez is a freelance journalist based in Belize, where she writes about travel and internet culture. She enjoys watching anime, playing video games, and covering all things TikTok.