Apple disables Walkie-Talkie app on Apple Watch after finding bug

Scary new Apple Watch vulnerability gets popular app disabled while a fix is being worked

Scary new Apple Watch vulnerability gets popular app disabled while a fix is being worked

The Apple Watch's Walkie-Talkie app has been disabled.

Apple has apologized for the privacy blunder, and says it is now working on a fix.

At the end of the day, although iPhone and Apple Watch users have every reason to be annoyed by these discoveries and the temporary deactivation of the Walkie-Talkie app, the important thing to remember is this particular vulnerability was never exploited (at least to Apple's current knowledge) and the functionality will be restored "as soon as possible".

Apple has disabled its "Walkie-Talkie" app for the Apple Watch after a vulnerability was discovered.

Apple told TechCrunch on Thursday that it had taken down the app after being alerted to the security flaw via its "report a vulnerability" portal.

But an unknown flaw means that the feature obviously didn't work as intended, and could be exploited by snoopers. The Walkie-Talkie suspension comes four months after Apple came under sharp criticism for its handling of an eavesdropping vulnerability in the FaceTime messenger app. FacePalm, as the vulnerability came to be known, allowed people to listen to audio from another device simply by initiating a FaceTime call and using a widely used Group feature for conference-call-style chats. The vulnerability was brought to light using Apple's own platform for reporting security issues and vulnerabilities.

The Walkie-Talkie feature, which came with 2018's WatchOS 5, lets you press a button and talk, then hear another person's voice come back at you. We concluded that disabling the app was the right course of action as this bug could allow someone to listen through another customer's iPhone without consent.We apologize again for this issue and the inconvenience.

Earlier this year, a flaw in Apple's FaceTime video chat app was found, which would allow people to listen in on people before picking up a call.