IPad Pro 2024 Has A New Hidden Feature: What Apple Isn’t Telling You?

The new iPad Pro was released last month and received positive feedback—you can see my review here. However, there was a hidden feature that many missed because Apple did not announce it. 

This feature has recently been found: the indicators for the microphone and camera are now significantly improved.

These indicators are familiar: a yellow light shines on the display when the microphone is on, and a green light indicates the camera is in use. They serve as useful reminders. 

If you see these lights when you're not using the microphone or camera, it could mean there's a problem, possibly a hack. These indicators have now been enhanced.

IPad Pro 2024 Has A New Hidden Feature

Software expert Guilherme Rambo has noted a change in how certain lights are triggered. Rambo shared on Mastodon that the M4 iPad Pro is the first to adopt Apple's new Secure Indicator Light (SIL) system. 

This system shows a dot on the screen when the camera or microphone is active. The dot is shown directly through the hardware, making it hard for any malware or apps to use these sensors secretly.

This innovative approach enhances user security by ensuring that any activation of these sensors is visible and hard to manipulate. By integrating the indicator within the display and leveraging the M4 processor, Apple enhances privacy without relying on external hardware components like LEDs. 

This built-in feature directly addresses concerns about unauthorized access, providing users with a clearer, immediate visual confirmation of sensor use.

The important detail here is that this feature is “rendered in hardware.” It's made possible by the M4 processor, only found in the iPad Pro. Rambo also mentioned that these lights appear on the display, not as separate LEDs, but as images on the screen.

The inclusion of the secure enclave in the M4 chip represents a significant advancement in device security. This feature enhances protection by creating a barrier against potential threats from malicious applications. 

IPad Pro 2024 Has A New Hidden Feature

As it becomes a standard in Apple's future devices, users can expect more robust security across their devices, ensuring a safer and more secure user experience. This strategic update highlights Apple's commitment to user privacy and data protection.

The iPad Pro with the M4 processor is the only one with this extra consumer protection for now.

Other Apple devices are safe too. However, more security with camera and microphone use always adds more comfort. This added security feature provides users with greater control over their privacy, ensuring that their personal information is better safeguarded against unauthorized access. It's a step forward in making technology more secure and user-friendly.