Apple disables Walkie-Talkie app as it works to patch eavesdropping vulnerability

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

Apple has disabled the Walkie-Talkie app for the Apple Watch after learning of a vulnerability that could allow it to be used for eavesdropping purposes.

The Walkie-Talkie app was introduced last year with the launch of watchOS 5. As the name suggests, it enables push-to-talk functionality similar to what phones like those from Nextel and Motorola used to offer.

In a statement provided to TechCrunch, Apple said specific conditions and sequences of events could lead to someone listening through another customer’s iPhone without consent. Cupertino added that it is not aware of any use against a customer in the wild and that disabling the app was the right course of action.

Apple apologized for the inconvenience and said they are working to quickly fix the issue.

The Walkie-Talkie app will remain installed on devices but will not function until Apple fixes the vulnerability and re-enables it.

Back in January, a FaceTime bug was discovered that let users see and hear people on the other end of a call before they answered.

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TS Addict
This is such a gimmick. I played with it the day I got my Apple Watch and haven’t used it since. I’m sure there are people who use it in some niche scenarios but really, just give someone a call if you want to speak to them!