Apple has revived its Walkie-Talkie app with the release of watchOS 5.3. The software update also expands ECG app availability to users in Canada and Singapore.
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To remind, the Cupertino outfit disabled the Walkie-Talkie app a couple of weeks ago due to eavesdropping concerns. Apple apparently discovered a bug that could allow someone to listen through another customer’s iPhone without consent.
Introduced about a year ago, the Walkie-Talkie app allows you to do instant voice communication over the air, just as you would do on a traditional walkie-talkie. It works over cellular or Wifi and has high audio quality.
The vulnerability issues have been fixed now, all the security holes have been plugged. Users can now restore the Walkie Talkie function by upgrading their smartwatch to watchOS 5.3 and smartphone to iOS 12.4.
The notes accompanying the watchOS release state that the update “provides important security updates including a fix for the Walkie-Talkie app”. iOS 12.4 also makes a mention. It says the update “includes a security fix for the Walkie-Talkie app on Apple Watch and re-enables Walkie-Talkie functionality”.
The software refresh also makes the ECG app available to more countries. Users in Canada and Singapore have now been added to the 27 countries that already have the functionality. The two countries are also getting access to irregular heart-rhythm notifications.
At last year’s launch, Apple obtained the nod of approval from the FDA for the ECG feature, but not from regulatory bodies in other countries. It has gradually been adding other countries since then.
To update your watch, open up the iPhone Apple Watch app and tap on the My Watch tab. Choose General/Software update and download the software. Make sure the battery level on your watch is above 50%, plug it into the charger and wait until the progress wheel indicates the update has finished.
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