Apple is stepping up protection against apps that try to use your iPad’s camera or microphone without permission. Just like your Mac has an LED near the webcam that lights up whenever the camera is in use, your M4 iPad Pro will now show an indicator light whenever apps are using the microphone and webcam. This feature was discovered by Guilherme Rambo, an app developer and security researcher based in Brazil.

Rambo says the new feature is called a Secure Indicator Light and is available on the M4 iPad Pro. There’s no additional physical LEDs for this feature, which instead lights up a few pixels on the display to alert you that apps are using your camera or microphone. Rambo says this is baked right into the hardware, which makes it much harder for malicious software to hijack your M4 iPad Pro’s camera or microphone without your knowledge. 

It’s worth noting that this feature comes in addition to the software-based alerts that iOS delivers whenever an app uses your device’s microphone or camera. Currently, your iPhone and iPad will show you a green dot in the top-right corner of the display if the camera is in use, and an orange dot if the microphone is being accessed, but these notifications require signals from the OS to run. Having an extra layer of security with the more automatic hardware-linked Secure Indicator Light is a welcome move, because it’ll alert you about unauthorized access even if malware finds a way to hide the software-based green or orange dots.

As with many other great Apple product features, it’s a bit of a shame that this is restricted to the top-end iPad Pro. It’s plausible that it may rely on the M4 chip, but I hope that other future iPads and iPhones get this useful feature as they’re released.