Earlier this week, Apple released the iOS 14 software update for iPhone’s. iOS 14 included several new features and visual updates but one particular feature has caught the attention of Apple users across the globe. There is a small dot in the top right corner of the display in the status bar appearing in orange and green colors.
As it turns out, these are part of the Privacy improvements Apple has rolled out to the iPhone users. In a nutshell, the orange and green dots are indicators to let users know when an application on their iPhone is accessing the phone camera or microphone. This nifty update is brought by Apple to let users easily know the apps that are accessing the device camera or microphone unnecessarily.
What does the orange dot mean?
The orange dot shows up when the microphone on your phone is being used by a particular application. In regular instances of using the microphone, like using Siri or sending a voice note, the orange dot can just be ignored. The orange light will only appear when something you’re doing requires the microphone. Most importantly, this will help you identify if an app uses the microphone without your prior knowledge.
What does the green dot indicate?
The green dot appears when an application on your phone is using both the camera and the microphone. This dot will generally show up when you use your camera to take photos. However, it can also help you identify if applications are using your phone’s camera system without your knowledge.
iOS doesn’t know why an app needs access to the camera hardware, so the best course of action would be contacting support in case of any suspicions. The green light being on does not mean that the camera feed is being recorded and saved. It only tells you that the app can access the camera feed and it does not know what the app is doing with data.
Control center will also notify you…
The control center will also be showing the apps which have recently used the Microphone or Camera Apps. If you pull down on the Control Center, within a few minutes of the camera or microphone being used, Control Center UI can tell you what happened. It will show the type of access (either microphone or camera) and the name of the app that used the sensor. This provides an extra layer of transparency, in case you happened to miss the small circular dot indicator.
The fact that Apple has made this update shows how much they care about user privacy and how focused they are in protecting it. When iOS exposes the apps that are accessing the camera and microphone, those apps that are unnecessarily accessing it will be brought to user’s attention. Hopefully, that will encourage the app makers to not ask for unwanted permissions and the whole ecosystem will become a lot more safer for users.