How To: Here's Why You're Always Seeing Green & Orange Dots on Your iPhone

Here's Why You're Always Seeing Green & Orange Dots on Your iPhone

You feel like you have a pretty good handle on your iPhone these days. So what is the deal with those green and orange dots? They weren't there before, and now, you see them everywhere. Sorry to say you can't stop these dots from appearing, but when you know why they are there, you might just want to keep them around.

You're right — those dots weren't always on your iPhone. In fact, they're new to iOS 14. They're just one of the more than 200 brand new features and changes that Apple made to iPhones this year. Still, that doesn't explain why those dots are ever-present on your device. Let's get into it.

One of Apple's big goals with iOS 14 is improving user privacy, especially by adding more transparency to how your iPhone uses your data. Those dots are indicators that an app on your iPhone is currently using your camera (green) or microphone (orange).

In cases when an app is using both video and audio — which happens quite a bit since most video recordings use audio as well — you might see the orange dot flash briefly before being replaced by the green one.

Orange dot for audio (left); green dot for video (middle); orange dot to green dot for both (right).

Many times, it'll be quite obvious that your iPhone is using the camera or microphone. Filming in Snapchat? Green dot! Recording a note in Voice Memos? Orange dot!

Where the feature really comes in handy is when you see a dot without there being a clear reason why. If you're scrolling through a social media app, and all of a sudden you see an orange dot, that'll get you wondering why that app needs to be using your microphone.

In those moments, you can access the Control Center to see a more detailed explanation. You see the app that is or was using your camera or microphone.

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Cover image, screenshots, and GIFs by Jake Peterson/Gadget Hacks

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