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What do the orange and green dots mean on your iPhone in iOS 14?

Apple's latest privacy-minded tweak isn't obvious at first

iOS 14
An example of the orange dot in iOS 14
(Image: © Apple)

iOS 14 is here, and it brings with it a wealth of upgrades for your Apple handset. There are widgets, a new app drawer, and even the ability to finally change your default browser or email client.

One of the more understated features, however, has to do with the little orange and green dots that can appear on the top of your device's screen, with the latter likely leading to some confusion when it pops up when unlocking your phone.

Here's what each dot means, and why they're important.

What does the orange dot mean?

The orange Dot is a new way of informing the user that their microphone is in use, and is recording what's going on.

That means if you see the dot, you could be dictating something, or using Siri. If you're not doing anything that requires the microphone on, it could be that a sneaky app is recording in the background without your permission.

By pulling down control centre from the top of your screen, you can identify the offending app - and potentially uninstall it if that's a dealbreaker for you.

What does the green dot mean?

iOS 14

You can see the green dot in the top right corner in iOS 14 (Image credit: Apple)

The Green Dot is incredibly similar, except it's used to identify when your camera is in use, hence why you'll see it when unlocking your phone with Face ID.

You'll also see it when using video call apps like FaceTime or WhatsApp, as well as if you're snapping a selfie.

The dot will also appear if your rear camera is in use, which means you'll be able to monitor the camera's usage from both the front and rear, meaning no apps can snoop and see what you see.

Again, if you see the dot without expecting it, then it's worth opening control centre sifting through your open apps to find the culprit.

Apple has always placed a great deal of emphasis on privacy, and if you're wondering which apps have permission to use your microphone or camera, there's a handy way to find out before installing them.

Each app in the App Store is now required (as of iOS 14) to present its privacy policy, either as a part of the listing on the platform, or as an external link. If you're worried about what an app means for your privacy, be sure to scroll down to the "Privacy Policy" section to ensure everything is to your liking before clicking install.