Apple’s 2020 iPad Pro might not be a big upgrade for those who already have the 2018 model, but it does have an important security feature that many might not know about.
Depending on who you are, it could be enough to force and upgrade all on its own – the iPad Pro will disconnect its microphone via hardware.
This is a feature that is designed to help prevent eavesdropping by an app or service and it’s one that is already built into some Macs. This is the first time that it has been included in an iPad Pro, as spotted by 9to5Mac.
Apple updated its Platform Security document to outline the feature and how it works. The killswitch will be activated when an MFi case or keyboard case has been closed.
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.
If you’re someone who is concerned about eavesdropping for whatever reason, this could be a huge deal. There are few reasons to upgrade to the 2020 iPad Pro if you’re already using the 2018 model, but this could be a big reason for those who have concerns. Whether that’s of a business or personal nature.
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