Why do apps need microphone access?

Discussion in 'iOS 7' started by snerkler, Jun 14, 2013.

  1. snerkler macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 14, 2012
    #1
    Barring something like voice memo (which isn't there anymore) why would an app want access to the microphone? I've had several apps ask me for permission (can't remember which off the top of my head), but some seemed a bit odd. Just curious.
     
  2. virginblue4 macrumors 68000

    virginblue4

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    #2
    Depends on the app. 'Heads Up' is a game that records your friends as you play, so obviously needs to have access to the microphone.
     
  3. darngooddesign macrumors G3

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    #3
    Can't say for sure without knowing which apps they were.
     
  4. acosmichippo macrumors regular

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    #4
    My guess is it's just an inconsistency with apps that aren't updated for iOS7. Who knows, maybe it's related to the absence of voice memos.
     
  5. Menel macrumors 603

    Menel

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    #5
    I had one that turned Airplay into an intercom to a AirportExpress/TV.

    Also Talkatone for Google Voice/Skype.

    Some games have voice chat.
     
  6. virginblue4 macrumors 68000

    virginblue4

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    #6
    Voice memos will be back. It has been shown on an official Apple developer video. It is also noted in the iOS beta 1 notes that it is not present in this beta.
     
  7. snerkler thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Ahh right, didn't know some apps did that.

    ----------

    Yeah my memory's getting worse. Honestly, talk about early senility :eek:
     
  8. Gjwilly macrumors 68030

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    #8
    Shazam is one that needs microphone access.
    How else is it going to listen for and identify songs?
     
  9. ErikGrim macrumors 68040

    ErikGrim

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    #9
    Snapchat uses it to detect surreptitious screenshots (at least that's the method it used in the past).
     
  10. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    Oct 17, 2011
    #10
    Out of curiosity, how does the microphone fit into that detection?
     
  11. xero9 macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    YouTube was one of the apps that wanted access to my microphone. I never tried, but maybe you can record and upload videos straight from the app. Personally, I think it should ask for permission if you try to record something. Maybe once the app has been updated properly for 7 it'll behave that way.
     
  12. acosmichippo macrumors regular

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    #12
    Right, I just meant maybe they left it out of this beta because they hadn't updated it yet to work with this new microphone permission popup.
     
  13. Jakimo macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Sleep Cycle is the only alarm app in the App Store that always goes off, regardless of the state of the iPhone (as long as it's on).

    Many alarm developers are quite jealous, they haven't figured out how he does it. Well, used it for two days now and it requests microphone access! So that's the trick! The red bar comes on and keeps it active like a voice recorder.. and yet the app has no need for a mic, it's just a trick to get the OS to leave it running it seems... clever huh?
     
  14. zipster macrumors 6502

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  15. ErikGrim macrumors 68040

    ErikGrim

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    #16
    I presume by listening for button presses / shutter sound.
     
  16. KieranDotW macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    YouTube offers the option to search by voice; it has since it was first released.
     
  17. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    #18
    Perhaps, although if your phone is on silent there's no shutter sound, and pressing buttons can be done fairly quietly in most cases.
     
  18. Joe HS, Jun 17, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2013

    Joe HS macrumors 6502

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    #19
    I thought it was done by monitoring the change in colour of what's displayed on the screen (It flashes white when you take a screenshot).

    Addition: By the way... Snapchat uses the microphone for the video functionality – hold the shutter button down for a maximum of 9 seconds.
     
  19. gslrider macrumors 6502

    gslrider

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    #20
    So to get this straight. If you deny an app access to the microphone, it will not record audio? So if chose for one of my video editing apps to not access the microphone, and I record a video, it will not have audio?

    What if the app records you anyway without your knowledge or consent, after allowing it to access the microphone. It's a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" scenario. Sure it's covering Apple's ass. But not ours. Unless we don't want to audio in our videos, or voice recordings.
     
  20. bigcstyle4 macrumors 6502

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    Sep 22, 2012
    #21
    I believe that it detected it by the state of touch events. In previous versions of iOS, touch events were "cancelled" when you took a screenshot. When you lift your finger off of the screen normally, the state was "ended." Supposedly this changed in iOS 7 but I'm not sure (I don't use Snapchat, just heard about this).
     
  21. elistan macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    Funny, I just loaded Discovery's app for the first time after updating to iOS 7, and the OS prompted me to confirm microphone access for the app.

    Far as I know, the app doesn't do anything that I think would need microphone access.

    Werid, huh.

    I wish Apple had built in optional access to the cameras like this, too. How do we know when they are being access by an app?
     

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  22. mrgraff macrumors 6502a

    mrgraff

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    #23
    I can't recall the names right now, but I too have had some apps ask for microphone access for no apparent reason. Sometimes I wonder if the app just has some unused microphone API in it's code, maybe left behind copy/pasted from somewhere or actually used for some reason early in development and taken out prior to release.
     
  23. gslrider macrumors 6502

    gslrider

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    Nov 4, 2005
    #24
    For security reasons, as a rule of thumb, if I know the app doesn't require the microphone I deny access. As annoying as those messages are (since most of my apps doesn't require the microphone), I'm actually glad Apple included this notification. At least I know which apps, and have the option to say "no".
     
  24. eclipse01 macrumors 68020

    eclipse01

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    #25
    i was kind of shocked the game "songpop" needed microphone access :-/
     

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