Have you noticed an orange dot appear on your iPhone screen? This is what it means and why it’s a good thing.
What the orange dot on iPhone means
iOS 14 and its subsequent updates have had a large focus on privacy and transparency. This has included things like the controversial move to force apps to ask your permission to track your activity across the web.
The orange dot that occasionally pops up is another example of privacy in action. In fact, it’s one of two dots, the other being green.
The orange dot on iPhone appears when your microphone is being used by an app on your device. For example, a voice recording app or even your camera if you have it set to video.
However, you may notice that with the latter the dot flashes orange before turning green. This is because a green dot indicates that either the camera or the camera AND the microphone are being utilised by an app.
Some examples of where you will see this pop up include Instagram, TikTok and Zoom, as well as any camera app — including the one built into your iPhone.
This is important because it means that as a user, you will be able to see if an app is accessing your mic or camera when it shouldn’t be.
Other colour meanings
Similarly, solid blocks of colour occasionally appear behind the time on iPhone X and later devices.
A blue block means that the phone is either screen mirroring, providing a personal hotspot or the location is being used by an app.
A green block means that you’re currently on a call. And a red block means your phone is either screen-recording or recording sound.
So be sure to keep an eye on your screen, especially if you’re using new apps, to make sure your privacy is protected.