Apple's Walkie-Talkie Apple Watch App Works Again Following iOS 12.4 and watchOS 5.3 Release

Nearly two weeks ago, Apple disabled the Walkie-Talkie app on the Apple Watch after discovering a bug that could allow the feature to be used to eavesdrop on others.

At the time, Apple said that it had just learned of the vulnerability and was taking the app offline while working on a fix. That fix is ready today in both iOS 12.4 and watchOS 5.3, which means the Walkie-Talkie app is once again available for use.

walkie talkie pair
When disabling the Walkie-Talkie app, Apple didn't pull it off of Apple Watches, leaving the app intact but rendering it non-functional. Today's software updates fix the vulnerability and bring the app back online.


Walkie-Talkie was one of the headline features in watchOS 5, released last September. Walkie-Talkie is designed to allow users to communicate with one another using a push to talk function, similar to a real walkie-talkie.

Apple said that it did not believe that the vulnerability in Walkie-Talkie was exploited to spy on anyone, but disabled the feature out of an abundance of caution.

We were just made aware of a vulnerability related to the Walkie-Talkie app on the Apple Watch and have disabled the function as we quickly fix the issue. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and will restore the functionality as soon as possible.

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 apologize again for this issue and the inconvenience.

Apple was quick to take down the Walkie-Talkie app as it suffered from another eavesdropping bug recently that received major media attention. A serious Group FaceTime bug was discovered back in January, and when exploited, it allowed callers to hear a user's audio even when the call had not been accepted.

In that situation, Apple did not remove the Group FaceTime feature until it had been publicized, despite the person who discovered the bug having submitted a report days before. Apple fixed the Group ‌FaceTime‌ bug after a week and a half, addressing it in iOS 12.1.4.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

agffth Avatar
23 months ago
I remember when everyone in my area had NexTel and walked around using their phones as walkie talkies. It was super annoying.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JosephAW Avatar
23 months ago
Except if you have a 10k Apple Watch gold edition.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PastaPrimav Avatar
23 months ago
I always hear this, but I've never had an issue with it not working
I use it all the time but it frequently just fails to find the other user, or doesn't send the first message in a sequence.
[doublepost=1563821702][/doublepost]
Except if you have a 10k Apple Watch gold edition.
You mean the $400 Watch inside a $9,600 gold case? Anyone with a little bit of intelligence would've seen this coming.
No one bought at 10k gold Apple Watch thinking: "I really hope this gets software updates so I get my money's worth"
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WRChris Avatar
23 months ago
Except if you have a 10k Apple Watch gold edition.
Yeah, Beyoncé is probably worried to death about that.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
glowplug Avatar
23 months ago
Good, we can all go back to being Dick Tracy.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AbblePC Avatar
23 months ago
I wonder if they already applied this same patch into the newest iOS 13 beta public/Dev builds.

I only have the iPad OS13 developer beta installed as the previous version were too buggy to have on the watch and iPhone IMHO, so unaware if the watch and iPhone beta version had this update or not.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

samsung experience 1

Samsung's 'iTest' Lets You Try a Galaxy Device on Your iPhone

Thursday April 8, 2021 12:42 pm PDT by
Samsung has launched "iTest," an interactive website experience that's designed to allow iPhone users to test out Android on a Galaxy device, or "sample the other side," as Samsung puts it. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iTest website is being advertised in New Zealand, according to a MacRumors reader who came across the feature. Visiting the iTest website on...
sonny 2021 ipad mini pro dummies

Leaked Dummy Units Show iPad Mini 6 With Thick Bezels and Home Button, New iPad Pro Models

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:11 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple will release refreshed versions of the iPad mini and iPad Pro models in the first half of this year, potentially as soon as this month, and a new leak today has provided us with a possible preview of what to expect in terms of the devices' overall design and camera prospects. Tech leaker and Apple blogger Sonny Dickson this morning shared images on Twitter showing dummy ...
fake airpods 3

Counterfeit 'AirPods 3' Hit the Market Prior to Official Announcement

Friday April 9, 2021 2:45 am PDT by
Apple is expected to launch the third iteration of AirPods in the third quarter of this year. Rumors and reports suggest the new AirPods will feature an updated design more in line with the AirPods Pro, but lacking in "Pro" features such as active noise cancellation. Despite AirPods 3 not yet being officially announced by Apple, counterfeit products of the unreleased earbuds have already hit ...
iMessage Android featured

Apple's Rationale for Not Bringing iMessage to Android Revealed in Legal Documents

Friday April 9, 2021 2:22 am PDT by
It's no secret that Apple sees iMessage as a big enough selling point to keep the service exclusive to Apple devices, however new court filings submitted by Epic Games in its ongoing lawsuit with the company reveal just how Apple executives have rationalized their decision not to develop a version of iMessage for Android. Apple clearly recognizes the power that iMessage has to keep users...
nba tracking prompt orange

Two-Thirds of iPhone Users Expected to Block Ad Tracking

Friday April 9, 2021 7:19 am PDT by
As many as 68 percent of iPhone users are expected to deny advertisers permission to track them thanks to Apple's App Tracking Transparency feature, in what is beginning to look like a significant blow to the advertising industry (via AdWeek). With the launch of iOS 14.5, apps will have to receive explicit user permission before accessing an iPhone's advertising identifier or IDFA, which is...
iPhone 13 Battery Life Feature

DigiTimes: iPhone 13 Pro Models to Feature 120Hz ProMotion Refresh Rate and 15-20% Less Power Consumption

Friday April 9, 2021 12:52 am PDT by
The two premium "Pro" models of the upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will be equipped with a low-power LTPO display, enabling the iPhones to have a 120Hz refresh rate, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese publication DigiTimes. According to today's paywalled report, Apple suppliers Samsung and LG Display are in the process of converting parts of their production capacity to produce LTPO ...
ehric

iPhone 12 Mini Missing From Top 5 Best Selling Smartphone List of January 2021

Friday April 9, 2021 4:58 am PDT by
According to market data compiled by Counterpoint Research, Apple's smallest iPhone since the 2016 iPhone SE, the iPhone 12 mini, struggled to obtain a spot in the top five list of best-selling smartphones in January of this year. According to the market data, the iPhone 12 mini came in eighth place for the best-selling smartphone worldwide in the first month of the year. However, the iPhone ...
Top Stories 56 Feature

Top Stories: 'Find My' Expansion, iPhone 13 Pro Mockup, Largest-Ever iMac?

Saturday April 10, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's AirTags may still be nowhere to be seen nearly two years after signs of them were first discovered, but Apple this week launched its Find My network accessory program that will let third-party devices integrate with the Find My app on Apple's platforms to make it easy to keep track of your items. This week also saw fresh rumors about the upcoming "iPhone 13" and new iMacs, while...
fortnite apple featured

Epic's Case Against Apple in Australia Might Be Over

Friday April 9, 2021 12:21 pm PDT by
Epic Games and Apple are involved in a highly public lawsuit in the United States, but Epic has also sued Apple in other countries, including Australia, in an attempt to boost its chances of getting a favorable ruling. Things aren't quite going Epic's way, however, as the justice overseeing the case today decided that he's going to let the two companies battle it out in the United States. ...
Apple TV Ray Light Teal Film

Apple Wants to Draw Subscribers to Apple TV+ With More Feature Films

Friday April 9, 2021 10:27 am PDT by
Apple is ramping up its efforts to produce feature films, according to a new report from The Information. Apple has a limited number of high profile films already, including "Palmer," "Cherry," and "Greyhound," and sees it as a way to draw more people into Apple TV+. Apple has been telling studio executives that it is aiming to do more than 10 to 12 original movies per year for Apple TV+,...