After upgrading your iPhone or iPad to iOS 14 or iPadOS 14, you may have noticed a green or orange dot in your iPhone’s status bar. This has left some users confused as to what those colored dots mean and what causes them to appear in the status bar.
What many iPhone users don’t know is that the green or orange dot they see in the status bar is the recording indicator. This is a new privacy-focused feature that was introduced in iOS 14 or later.
The purpose of the recording indicator feature in iOS 14 is to notify users when an app is actively using the iPhone’s camera or microphone. The green dot indicates when the camera is in use while the orange dot will tell you when the microphone is in use by an app.
iOS14 has a new privacy feature that flashes a green light when an app is using your iPhone’s camera or an amber light when an app is using your microphone in the background. Unfortunately, Android does not have such a feature. However, the third-party Android app – Access Dots emulates the same iOS 14 functions and alerts users if the app is using the microphone or camera in the background. Here’s how to use it.
Before you start
It should be noted that Android 11 has largely solved this problem by completely eliminating access to geolocation, the camera and the microphone in the background. Simply put, apps cannot request these three permissions while working in the background. Similarly, in Android 10, if the app uses geolocation in the background, you will be notified by the geolocation pin in the upper right corner. With that, let’s see how to get started with the Access Dots app.
How to tell when the camera and microphone are in use in the background
Speaking of the app, Access Dots app is made by the same developer of popular apps Energy Bar, Energy Ring, etc. The app displays a small green and orange dot when the camera or microphone is reached. Let’s see how to configure it.
Above all, download the Access Dots app from the Play Store. The app is basically free with in-app purchases. When you first open the app, tap the toggle next to Access points. It will take you to the usability settings. Under Ease of use settings, click “Services installed.
After that, click on “Access pointsAnd on the next screen, enable the toggle under Access Dots.
Once done, Access Dots will by default show a green dot and an orange dot in the upper right corner when you access your camera or microphone respectively. If you’re using a phone with a notch or a perforated screen, a notification dot appears next to the notch. The app automatically detects the device type. For example, I tried it on the Galaxy Note 9 and Nokia 6.1 Plus. The Samsung device has a normal bezel screen while the Nokia one has a punch-hole screen. You can see the position of the access points on each of the screens.
If you are using an application that accesses both the camera and the microphone, i.e. in the case of video recording, the access points are two-color. An orange dot with green lines indicates camera and microphone usage.
Relatively speaking, Android app’s hotspots are a bit larger than iOS 14’s logging benchmark. The app provides an option to change the size of hotspots. However, it is behind the payment option, and speaking of that, let’s see the additional features inside the Access Dots app.
The app has very limited free customizations. Importantly, you can change the color of hotspots from the settings menu. Then you can change the position of the hotspots to – top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right. There is also a custom format option, but it is behind the paywall. Speaking of pricing, it’s very flexible. You can donate between $2.50 and $27.
Paid versions lock additional features like no ads, hotspot size customization, etc.
There is no alternative third party application similar to Access Dots. However, some OEM skins such as Color OS and MIUI 12 have this option built-in. You get the camera and microphone icon at the top when the app is using one of them. But, for everyone else, you have Access Dots.
For more issues or questions, let me know in the comments below. You can check out an overview of the best features of Realme UI.