iPhone: what does the green or orange dot at the top of your screen mean?

You have just seen a green dot or an orange dot appear at the top right of your iPhone or iPad screen. Find out why.

Let’s take stock of the colors. © Apple

This green or orange point concerns users who have updated their devices with the latest version of Apple’s operating system: iOS 14. The purpose of these new points is to protect the privacy of users, by informing them when applications use their camera or microphone.

What does the green dot mean?

If a green dot appears at the top right of your screen, above your network bar, it means that an application on your iPhone or iPad is using one of the cameras on your device, and maybe also its microphone because the two are often associated. For example, you will see this dot appear when you make a video call on a messaging app like Messenger or video conferencing like Zoom.

What does the orange dot mean?

If the orange dot appears, then an app is only using your iPhone or iPad microphone. For example, you will see this dot appear if you are using Siri or another app that requires you to hear yourself such as WhatsApp.

Why is this important?

These green or orange dots logically appear when you are using audio or video functions, but if you see them appear when you have no activity that requires the use of the camera or the microphone, it alerts you that it is possible that a malicious application “listens” without your permission.

If you think there is abnormal activity, you can go to the Control Center, your iPhone or iPad will tell you which app caused the dot to appear so you know whether or not your privacy is being respected.

Note: an app can use your camera or microphone when it shouldn’t, sometimes this is simply the result of a bug, not malicious intent. In this case, it is possible to notify the developer of the application and perform the necessary updates.

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