This terrifying Mac app will record your every word and action so you can search through your online life

Rewind app for Mac
(Image credit: Rewind)

A new Mac app by the name of Rewind wants to become "the search engine for your life" by using the power of Apple silicon to help you find "anything you’ve seen, said, or heard."

The app comes from developer Dan Siroker and a team of engineers boasting tenures at giants including Spotify and Twitter. Using the power of Apple silicon in devices like Apple's best MacBook, the MacBook Pro, Rewind (opens in new tab) can purportedly compress raw recording data up to 3,750 times, allowing you to store reams of audio and video recordings on your device so that you can search back through it later. 

Erm...

The new Rewind app is built on the back of Scribe, a bot that records meetings and makes them both searchable and shareable. Boasting 30,000 users, Scribe appears to be the foundation of Rewind, which the developer says is "a macOS app that enables you to find anything you’ve seen, said, or heard."

Rewind is purportedly "local and private by design". "We record anything you’ve seen, said, or heard and make it searchable." The recordings are all stored locally on your Mac so that only you can access them. As noted, this is done in part thanks to the magic of Apple silicon powering compression that can turn 10.5GB of raw recording data into just 2.8MB, and Rewind promises that even the smallest hard drive Apple offers "can store years of recording." 

The app also doesn't require any cloud integration as it uses native macOS APIs and Optical Character Recognition to index all the words that appear on your screen.

It also uses automated speech recognition that can detect things that you've said and heard, recording all of it so "you never have to worry about losing this content again." 

The idea is basically a way to stop you from forgetting things that happen over the course of your day and will allow you to search for things that you've encountered using just a word. Yet even with local storage and no cloud integration, there are some really unnerving possibilities this kind of tech could unlock. What if your Mac or the data gets stolen, or is maliciously accessed by a third party? What if you're involved in a legal problem, can this data be used as evidence against you? 

The group appears to have raised some $10m in fundraising, but I for one have deep reservations about the uptake of a product designed to record your every word and action in the age of privacy invasion. 

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9