An Apple Watch app used to send voice messages between devices has been disabled due to a vulnerability which could be abused to snoop on iPhones.
The official software, known as Walkie-Talkie, uses a “push to talk” function to let smartwatch users send and receive small snippets of audio.
But the company says a bug was recently found which could let someone listen to another user’s iPhone without their permission.
Apple says it has no evidence the bug had been actively exploited by hackers and said a fix was now being developed for the app.
The firm said:
Although we are not aware of any use of the vulnerability against a customer and specific conditions and sequences of events are required to exploit it, we take the security and privacy of our customers extremely seriously.
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 apologise again for this issue and the inconvenience.
We apologise again for this issue and the inconvenience.”
Technical details of the software issue have not yet been released.
The Walkie-Talkie software will not fully disappear from smartwatches but its primary functions will not work until a patch has been pushed to customers.