The newly launched iPad Pro 2020 is coming with a security feature that disconnects hardware microphones when the lid of the device is physically closed. Though, this is not a new feature as Apple started using this security measure in 2018 with MacBook units equipped with Apple’s T2 security chip. The development was highlighted on Apple’s Platform Security document. To recall, Apple in March launched the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro units that are powered by the company’s A12Z Bionic chipset and feature Liquid Retina display.
According to Apple’s security document which and as first spotted by 9to5Mac, the ‘hardware microphone disconnect’ feature works when an iPad-compatible case attached to the device is physically closed. This security feature will essentially make it difficult for malware to tap into the iPad’s microphone. The new iPad Pro models are the first to receive the feature, though the security document indicates it will become standard in future models.
“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,” the company in the security document noted. Apple is in the security note also added that the camera hardware is not disconnected when the case is physically closed, “because its field of view is completely obstructed with the lid closed.”
Apple first introduced the security measure in 2018 with the T2 security chip that was included in MacBook Air and Mac mini. The T2 Security Chip was also present in the 2017 version of iMac Pro that essentially protected the device’s storage, fingerprint data, secure booth features, and encryption keys.
At the moment, Apple is to yet to announce the launch of the latest iPad units in India. The tech giant was also speculated to launch the new iPad between March and April, which may have been pushed further due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The prices for the new iPad Pro units start at Rs. 71,900 for the iPad Pro 11-inch Wi-Fi variant and Rs. 89,900 for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro Wi-Fi.