So you just updated your iPhone to the newly released iOS 14? Great! If you’re just getting started with the new update, you should check out our list of iOS 14 features. However, if you’re on this article, chances are you’ve seen an orange or a green dot on your status bar, to the right side of your notch, and are wondering what it’s all about. Well, here’s what the orange and green dots in the status bar mean in iOS 14.
What Does the Orange Dot in iOS 14 Mean
First let’s talk about the orange dot. When you see this dot on your iPhone’s status bar (see screenshot below), it indicates that an app is using your iPhone’s microphone. This dot will usually show up when you talk to Siri, or use the Voice Notes app, or if you’re making a WhatsApp audio call, or sending someone an audio message. Basically, any time an app uses your microphone, this orange dot will show up to alert you of it.
This is great, because apps can’t sneakily use your microphone anymore to spy on you because your iPhone will show this orange dot.
So what if you see this orange dot at a time when you’re not actually using an app where you expect this dot to show up? First off, it’s important to identify which app is using the microphone. To do this, simply open up your Control Centre, and you will see a label on the top that mentions which app has used the microphone, or is using the microphone.
From here on out, you can do two things.
- First, head into Settings, scroll down and tap on the name of the app that’s using the mic when it shouldn’t be, and disable the microphone permission. This way, the app will no longer be able to access your mic.
- Next, let the developer of the app know about the issue, and ask them why their app is behaving this way. Hopefully these issues will just be bugs and not some creepy tracking method built into apps.
What Does the Green Dot in iOS 14 Mean
Now, let’s take a look at the green dot in iOS 14. When this dot shows up on your iPhone’s status bar (see screenshot below), it indicates that an app is using your iPhone’s camera (rear or front). This dot will show up when you use the Camera app, Snapchat, or when you open Instagram’s camera page to add new stories. Basically, this green dot shows up when any app is using your camera.
Once again, this is great because apps will not be able to sneakily use your camera to track you and collect valuable advertising information.
So, what if you see this green dot at a time when there’s no app that should be using the camera? Well, first off, similar to the orange dot, you can open the Control Centre and it will show you which app was, or is, using the camera.
From here on out, you should do two things.
- First up, launch Settings and disable the camera permission for the app that’s accessing your camera when it shouldn’t be.
- Then, email the developer, or contact them on Twitter and ask them why their app is behaving this way. Chances are, it will be a bug that will get fixed soon. Also, spread the word so that more people are aware of the issue.
Use the Green and Orange Dots of Privacy in iOS 14
These little green and orange dots might feel like small additions to iOS 14, but they make a big difference in ensuring user privacy. Apps can no longer sneakily use your camera or microphone without you knowing about it right away. Plus, the control centre even helps you find out which app was using the camera or microphone. Then you can publicly name and shame such apps so that developers either fix the app, or take it down completely. Basically, these tiny dots are helping in keeping you more aware of how apps are using your phone’s camera and microphone, and I, for one, am all for it.