Zoom Keeps Mic Open, Even When Muted (iOS)

As most have read, Zoom’s video conferencing security safeguards remain a work in progress. And now, via Apple’s iOS 14 privacy protections, we can clearly see Zoom keeps a “muted” mic open on iPhones and iPads.

As you can see in the image above, my microphone is supposedly disabled (lower left), yet iOS indicates a hot mic given the yellow indicator (top right). Audio may not actually be recorded or transmitted anywhere in this scenario, but the app is certainly keeping that connection live. Hopefully, what we’re witnessing is merely inelegant programming or a debatable design decision (see comments). But, while I don’t have the means to research it, it’s also possible that our supposedly muted audio is being recorded and/or transmitted somewhere. Which wouldn’t be cool.

15 thoughts on “Zoom Keeps Mic Open, Even When Muted (iOS)”

  1. I have noticed the same thing in MacOS. If I sneeze while muted, it lets me know that I’m muted. I suppose that’s their justification for still listening even though you’re muted. It would theoretically work the same way if I start talking in a meeting but I’m still muted.

  2. Just had a thought, a muted mic that isn’t actually muted. Gee, that wouldn’t get anyone fired…. LOL (Yeah I know the article said it might still be muted, but thought that would be hilarious!) Oh, and love the facial expression.

  3. I believe Skype does this too — it’s likely to enable the handy on-screen reminder when you are trying to speak but you are still muted.

  4. aardWolf, Steve, Interesting. And creepy. Not that I’m one to talk given a house outfitted with a number of Amazon and Google listening devices. :) I’m not much of a Zoom user, but noticed the icon when my wife and I attended a school townhall thingy and found it disconcerting.

  5. Microsoft Teams definitely does this also. While muted, the icon shows muted and nothing is transmitted to the conference, but if you make any sound it pops a warning as as reminder saying hey you are muted. One can only assume it goes no further than the local device.

  6. I dunno. Seems like they (Zoom, MS, whoever else) should just cut the mic when requested and let us figure it out. Perhaps enough feedback from the uninitiated, like myself, in conjunction with Apple’s tools will force some to rethink. Also, when testing this with Adam (in the photo) multiple times, Zoom never prompted me to unmmute when I was talking while muted – so it doesn’t even work as some assume it’s designed. Ah well.

  7. It doesn’t bother me personally, but I can certainly understand why it might make people freak out a bit. It’s things like this that have me use the Alexa Show with the hardware lens cover in my bedroom.

  8. I sell two competing Collab solutions (Microsoft Teams and Webex) and both do this…in fact old Skype for business will even tell you in your ear that you’re muted when you try and talk

  9. Hm, we use WebEx in the office. Wonder if we have a custom config, because I often engage in long winded monologues before realizing (on my own) that I’m muted. Guess the functionality makes sense. Could benefit from explaining to the slower folks, like myself. ;) Also doesn’t seem to prompt on iOS Zoom.

  10. > Wonder if we have a custom config, because I often engage in long winded monologues before realizing (on my own) that I’m muted.

    You might, but you weren’t supposed to notice… :-D

  11. It may also be an OS security feature. In order to totally disconnect from the mic when it’s muted and thereby turn the indicator light off, you would have to have the app completely break its ties with the mic. But then, in order to reconnect (unmute), the app would have to ask your permission to reconnect to the mic. I don’t know that this is the case. I’m just speculating.

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