The trick was shared on TikTok by user @brycenor who was answering the question: ‘what’s a piece of information that feels like it’s illegal to know?’.
In the video, he explains: ‘I don’t feel like it should be illegal, but it’s shady.’
It involves using the iPhone’s accessibility settings to turn the phone into a spying device.
As the video explains: ‘You go to your settings go to your control centre then you find a little ear.
‘You push the plus sign. Then when you push the plus sign it’ll go where your flashlight, your calculator and all that is.’
On the video, which uses the green screen video option to show the process step-by-step as he opens up the AirPods settings, and activates the ‘Live Listen’ option which broadcasts whatever the phone’s mic picks up straight to the Bluetooth AirPods.
‘You can leave it in any room and you can listen to what anybody’s saying at any time, if your phone’s in that room, with just your ear buds in.’
Live Listen is actually an accessibility feature that Apple designed for those with hearing impairments who may not have a hearing aid.
The idea is that an iPhone can enhance audio for those who are hard of hearing.
If, for example, you’re in a crowded room and want to hear what just one person is saying, that’s when you would use the feature. You could lay your iPhone next to them and use it to pick up their voice and relay it directly into your ear to help you hear them.
But obviously, it can also be used for the more sneaky use of listening in on other people’s private conversations.
One user commented on the above video: ‘If u r worried about what your friends say when u leave the room you need new friends.’
Another simply said: ‘Don’t trust people with AirPods got it.’