At the top of your iPhone 14 display, you might notice some small green and orange dots appear. Here’s what those dots mean.
Apple’s MacBooks have a physical LED that sits next to the front camera module. When the camera is turned on, the LED is also turned on. This happens on a physical circuit and cannot be circumvented via software.
The iPhone does not have a dedicated LED for camera indicator. Instead, Apple fakes the appearance of that LED by rendering a dot on the OLED display.
What does the orange dot mean?
The orange dot means the microphone is currently being used by an app. For instance, the orange dot will be visible while making a phone call. The orange dot does not necessarily mean you are being actively recorded. It just means that an app has access to the microphone right now.
If you are not comfortable with an app accessing the microphone, you can revoke permission in Settings -> Privacy -> Microphone. The system listens for ‘Hey Siri’ voice activation even if the orange dot is not displayed. You can disable listening for the Siri wake word in Settings -> Siri & Search.
(If you are using the ‘Differentiate Without Color’ accessibility setting, the orange dot will be rendered as a square shape instead. This makes it distinct from the circular green dot, even if you cannot distinguish the colors from each other.)
What does the green dot mean?
The green dot means the camera is currently being used. This can include video from the camera and/or audio content from the microphone. The green dot does not necessarily mean your camera is being recorded, only that it could be.
Some apps preload the camera even if the viewfinder isn’t visible yet, for performance reasons. If you ever feel nervous about allowing an app access to your camera, you can revoke permission in Settings -> Privacy -> Camera.
How do I find out more about what is triggering the dots?
Typically, the foreground app will be using the camera and microphone. However, in some circumstances, apps can access these sensors in the background. For instance, Voice Memos continues recording your voice note even if the app is closed. If you are unsure about what is causing camera and microphone access to trigger, open Control Center and tap on the Privacy header at the top of the screen. This will reveal a list of recently used sensitive
Where do the dots appear?
On older iPhone models, like iPhone 13 that have a notch display cutout, the orange and green dots appear in the status bar, above the signal strength indicator, in the right ear of the notch.
On iPhone models with the Dynamic Island, like iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, these status indicator dots appear in the center of the island. With this placement, the dots look similar to the physical camera status LEDs on a MacBook.
However, if the Dynamic Island has active content, the middle of the island is blank and the orange and green dots appear to the right of the battery indicator. For example, in the screenshot above, you can see the Voice Memos UI is taking up the island so the orange dot is moved to the right edge of the screen next the battery icon.
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