Is there an orange dot appearing in the top-right corner of your iPhone? Don't worry. It has nothing to do with connectivity or your iPhone's battery. It's simply a feature of iOS 14, the latest operating system which Apple rolled out to iPhones last year.
So what is the orange dot?
The orange dot appears if an app is using your iPhone's microphone. If you're recording something using Voice Memos or you ask Siri a question — the orange light will turn on.
A green dot appears if an app is using your iPhone's camera. For example, every time you open your camera app to take a photo or you answer a FaceTime call — the green light will turn on.
The orange and green indicator lights will not appear at the same time. If you're recording a video on your iPhone, which accesses both its camera and microphones, the green light will appear.
Both of these features are simply designed to protect your privacy. For example, if the orange light appears but the app you're using hasn't asked if it could record you — you should be suspicious.
How to check which apps have access to your microphone
If you see the orange dot when you don't expect it, or are just generally curious which apps on your phone currently have permission to spin up your microphone, it's easy to check and modify.
- Open "Settings"
- Select "Privacy"
- Pick "Microphone"
- Flip the switches next to apps as you see fit.
If you disable microphone access for an app that previously had it enabled, that app will give you a pop up when it finds its access has been revoked. You'll need to go back to settings to re-enable this access, so be judicious about what you disable. If you turn off Zoom's mic access, for example, you'll find yourself having to rush to Settings the next time you try and hop on a call.
The other main area where you can exert some control over your microphone is Siri. To disable your phone's ability to listen for the wake words "Hey Siri," simply:
- Go to "Settings"
- Select "Siri & Search"
- Disable "Listen for 'Hey Siri'"