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What is the orange dot on my iPhone? Meaning behind new iOS 14 green and orange lights at top of the screen

2 min read

Apple has launched iOS 14, its latest iPhone operating system, and it comes with a host of long-awaited updates.

Among them are the ability to customise your home screen with widgets and change your default browser for the first time.

An important change that has flown a little under the radar relates to the orange and green dots you may have seen occasionally light up at the top of your screen since the update.

Here is what they mean…

What does the orange dot mean?

If there is an orange dot in the top right of your screen, above the signal icon, it means your microphone is on and recording.

This is why you may have noticed it lighting up when using Siri.

The alert is designed for privacy reasons – so that you know when you are being recorded.

If the light is on and you are not deliberately using your microphone, it may mean an app is recording you without your express permission.

Apple's iOS 14 brings a fresh look to the things you do most often, making them easier than ever. New features help you get what you need in the moment. And the apps you use all the time become even more intelligent, more personal, and more private. (Photo by Apple)
Apple launched its new iPhone operating system earlier this month (Photo: Apple)

You can find out if this is the case by going to your control centre, where you can see which app is using the microphone.

You can then choose to turn off microphone access for that particular app, ore delete it entirely if you want to be extra cautious.

What does the green dot mean?

The green dot is almost exactly the same, except it indicates that the camera is being used.

It will light up for both the front and rear camera, meaning you will see a green light when you are taking photos or videos, when speaking on FaceTime and when unlocking your phone with Face ID.

Much like with the orange dot, if it is lit up when you are not deliberately using your camera, you can check which app is accessing it using the control centre.

Fears over TikTok and YouTube

People have reported the orange light coming on while using TikTok and YouTube, leading to fears the apps are listening to them.

It is not clear whether the apps are spying on users, or whether the light is a glitch.

Instagram made the orange light appear during the beta stage of the iOS 14 launch, which turned out to be a glitch that was later fixed.

“Y’all TikTok is listening to us this orange dot appears whilst on the app then disappears when I leave TikTok,” one Twitter user wrote.

Another said: “I just now realised I have the orange dot whenever I go on TikTok even tho I’m not recording any video.”

People have said the same thing happens when they go on YouTube – though it is not happening for everyone, on either app.

All content in this article is for informational purposes only and in no way serves as investment advice. Investing in cryptocurrencies, commodities and stocks is very risky and can lead to capital losses.

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