What does the orange dot mean in iOS 14?

iOS 14 has finally arrived, and with it comes a suite of new features and security measures. Among them is a curious little orange dot that sometimes appears up in the status bar. It’s an ambiguous sort of icon, but it has one clearly defined function. Here’s what the orange dot in iOS 14 means and what you should do when you see it.

iOS 14 | What is the orange dot?

ios 14 - what is the orange dot?

The orange dot you see on your iPhone status bar is a new feature added in iOS 14. The orange dot appears when an application is actively using your microphone, either to gather or record audio. You’ll see it when placing calls, recording memos, or talking to Siri.

In a nutshell, the orange dot is a privacy and security feature. When it’s displayed, something is listening through your iPhone’s microphone.

Under normal circumstances, this is no cause for concern. Plenty of applications need access to the microphone, including any app that records or “hears” voice input. This is the case for Siri as well as apps such as Snapchat or iMessage — anything that uses the microphone for input.

However, the orange dot is also meant to notify you when your mic is active even when you’re not trying to use it. In rare cases, less-trustworthy apps can listen in on what you’re saying or doing. If this dot appears when you’re not recording audio or issuing voice commands, it’s worth opening the Control Center. At the top of the screen next to the orange icon will be the name of the app using the iPhone microphone.

Simply put, the orange dot in iOS 14 is there to let you know something is listening to your microphone. You’ll see it appear any time you record or issue voice commands. However, if you see it while your phone is idle, take it as a warning of unexpected or even potentially malicious software behavior.