The orange dot is an indicator that an app is using your iPhone’s microphone. The green dot means an app is accessing the camera on your iPhone.
If you have updated your iPhone or iPad to iOS 14 or iPadOS 14, you may have noticed something new pop up on the top right of the display every now and then. Just above where the mobile network, Wi-Fi and battery indicators are located. These new pop-ups that you may occasionally see may include an orange dot or a green dot. Don’t worry: These dots don’t signal some sort of malicious SpyWare, nor are they proof that Apple engineers are spying on you. Instead, these dots are meant to warn you about some app behavior on your iPhone, known or unknown.
With the new iOS 14 software update, Apple has integrated these notifications for when an app on your iPhone is accessing the microphone or the camera, front or back. Often, you may actually be using an app for video calls, posting a photo on social media and more, but there may be times when app may misbehave or there may be malicious apps trying to access your iPhone’s camera or microphone. You will immediately receive a warning, that something is amiss.
When that green or orange dot pops up, Apple is simply giving you more information about how the app is accessing the sensors on your iPhone. From there, it’s up to you to decide whether you want to keep those permissions on, or keep the mic and camera to yourself. The orange dot is an indicator that an app is using your iPhone’s microphone. These could be apps that you may be using at the moment, like WhatsApp for voice calls, Zoom for audio calls or even recording something using the Voice Memos app. These are just some examples. A green dot is an indicator that an app is accessing the camera on your iPhone. The dot may appear when you are making a FaceTime video call, a Skype call, trying to post something on Instagram or taking a photo. The thing is, you will not see the orange and green notification dots simultaneously. If you are using your iPhone to record a video, for instance, you will only see the green notification for camera access.
“An orange indicator means the microphone is being used by an app on your iPhone,” is what Apple says in the support documentation, and adds, “A green indicator means either the camera or the camera and the microphone are being used by an app on your iPhone”.
These are features that should help you figure out if an app installed on your iPhone is trying to access the microphone (to possibly snoop on you) or the iPhone’s camera (to photograph or video graph you or the place you are at) without your consent. That would be a significant brach of privacy, and if it wasn’t for these colorful dots, there really wouldn’t be any way of knowing about app behaviour, particularly in the background. At this point, Bring up the control center by swiping down from near the top right of the iPhone Display to see the details on which app is trying to access your iPhone’s camera or microphone. This is indeed a fantastic way to know if an app is behaving suspiciously or trying to snoop on you.