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In a bid to make its hardware more secure, Apple started adding a hardware microphone disconnect to some of its Macs last year. Now the same feature is present in the latest iPad models.

As Techcrunch reports, confirmation of new iPads including the same disconnect feature comes via an Apple support page update. The hardware disconnect was first introduced on Macs carrying the T2 security chip, which includes the 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, as well as the 15-inch MacBook Pros from 2019 onwards.

On a MacBook, the hardware disconnect happens when the lid is closed. As it’s done in hardware, it doesn’t matter if a hacker manages to get root or kernel privileges on the machine, the microphone remains off limits to them. For iPads, there is no lid to close, so Apple had to come up with an alternative method. Any 2020 iPad and beyond can engage the hardware microphone disconnect feature as long as it is fitted with an MFI compliant case. When the case is closed, the disconnect happens automatically.

The camera doesn’t need to be disconnected on either a MacBook or iPad, because in both cases, closing the lid or tablet case completely obstructs its view, so attempting to view footage is pointless. The stream or recording will just be a blank video image.

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