iPad Pro Adds Mac-Like Microphone Disconnect Feature

iPad Pro on a red background

MacBooks with a T2 Security Chip have their microphones disabled when the lid is closed. Now the iPad Pro models released this year have the same feature, an Apple support guide mentions.

Disconnect Microphone

This capability can be found on the 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models with the T2 chip, as well as the 15-inch MacBook Pro from 2019 and later. Although Apple makes no mention of the iPad Pro having the T2 chip, the microphone can still be disabled.

iPad models beginning in 2020 also feature the hardware microphone disconnect. When an MFI compliant case (including those sold by Apple) is attached to the iPad and closed, the microphone is disconnected in hardware, preventing microphone audio data being made available to any software—even with root or kernel privileges in iPadOS or in case the firmware is compromised.

This can be seen as a both a privacy and security feature, since even if your iPad Pro is compromised by malware, it can’t spy on you, at least under specific circumstances.

Further Reading

[How the iPad Has Changed My Life]

[Zoom’s Encryption is Linked to Chinese Servers]

One thought on “iPad Pro Adds Mac-Like Microphone Disconnect Feature

  • Andrew:

    I hadn’t planned on purchasing a 2020 iPad Pro, because the CPU is the same chip (8 core, I believe, but don’t quote me on that) as in the 2018 device. They both also have the same number of GPU cores, except that in the 2018 model, one of them is not active, but is activated in the 2020 model. Apart from the wide angle camera and LiDAR, the devices appear to be identical. And if one has the 1 TB model from 2018, then one has 6GB RAM, as in the 2020 model. Unless one is really going to exploit that LiDAR for augmented reality or use the heck out of that wide angle lens, which most people are not, then there is little to practically distinguish these devices.

    This security feature, however, is substantive, at least in my view and gives one pause. Unless and until there is news of a credible and practical exploit, I’m staying the course on keeping my 2018.

    Still can’t wait for that Magic Keyboard.

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