Apple has intensified its defense mechanisms against unauthorized camera and microphone access on the M4 iPad Pro. Similar to the LED indicator on Macs that illuminates when the camera is active, the M4 iPad Pro now features an indicator light signaling when apps are utilizing the microphone and camera. This revelation was made by Guilherme Rambo, a Brazilian app developer and security researcher.

Named the Secure Indicator Light, this new feature utilizes a few pixels on the display to notify users when apps are accessing the camera or microphone. Unlike physical LEDs, this feature is integrated directly into the hardware, enhancing protection against potential hijacking attempts by malicious software.

This hardware-based alert system complements the existing software-based notifications provided by iOS, which display a green dot for camera usage and an orange dot for microphone access. While these software alerts are effective, the Secure Indicator Light adds an extra layer of security, ensuring users are promptly informed of any unauthorized access, even if attempts are made to conceal the software-based indicators.

Regrettably, this feature is currently exclusive to the top-tier iPad Pro models. While it’s possible that it relies on the M4 chip, it’s hoped that future iterations of iPads and iPhones will incorporate this valuable security enhancement as they are developed and released.