iOS 14 may have brought a whole new suite of design changes, but to this day we’re still learning things about our iPhones. A question that many have oft wondered is “what does that orange dot mean on my screen?”
Well, reader, that dot is there for a very important reason.
The orange dot
At the top of your iPhone screen, you’ll see a number of symbols. Depending on how your phone is set up you’ll have the time, your WiFi and reception signal strength and your battery level. Occasionally, however, you might notice an orange dot up there too.
The orange dot, in the simplest of terms, is an indication of whether your phone’s microphone is being used by an app. According to Apple Support, this may also appear as an orange square if the ‘Differentiate without Color’ setting is active.
You’ll probably see this dot when you’re making a call or on a video conference such as FaceTime or Zoom. Some other apps that may use your iPhone’s mic include Shazam, Snapchat and Uber.
The green dot
While we’re here, I may as well explain what the green dot means.
The green indicator means that your iPhone’s camera, or camera and microphone, are being used by an app. This could simply be the in-built camera app or it might appear if you’re on a video call.
These indicators serve as a privacy feature from Apple to help users be more aware of an app that is actively using recording features on their phone. The same goes for the iPad.
How to figure out which apps are using your camera and microphone
If you notice the orange or green indicators and have no idea why they’re operating a quick way to shut this down should be to force close all the apps on your iPhone.
You can also check which apps have access to your phone’s camera and audio settings and manually switch off their access.
To do this go to Settings > Privacy then select either Camera or Microphone and you can review and toggle each app.