What do the green and orange lights on your iPhone mean?

The orange dot in the top right corner means the microphone is active (Image: Apple)

If you’re glued to your phone, you might be surprised to see colored dots suddenly appear on the screen.

Ahh!! What do those lights mean? Is your phone dying? Or is something fishy going on?

God forbid someone, somewhere, is looking at you through a camera without your knowledge – secretly capturing your double chin in a mammoth roll.

Don’t panic. These lights are supposed to be there, signaling when certain features of the phone are in use.

Here’s what they’re for, plus how they differ in terms of Iphone and Android equipment…

What does the green light on your iPhone mean?

On iPhone, a green light simply means the camera function is in use.

If you’re not sure where it is, it’s a small dot that shows up in the right corner of the screen, near where the front-facing camera is.

No camera, no blue dot (Image: Getty)

When the camera is not in use, you won’t see a green dot at all.

So if it shows up unexpectedly, like when using a third-party app, for example, you should be aware of it. This probably means the app has access to your camera.

You can always change what said app can access on your device through your iPhone’s Settings. Just click ‘Privacy’ and then see the ‘Camera’ list.

This will show you which apps can access it. Change the permissions by tapping the green button, grayed out – it means the app can no longer access your camera roll or camera.

For other Android phone, what the green flashing light means really depends on the phone model you have. It could be a notification or an indication that the battery is charged.

But for users Android 12″ OS, which just launched in October 2021, has another consideration.

If you see a green icon in the right corner, with a small image of the camera and microphone inside – that means your phone is currently using those features.

What does the orange light on your iPhone mean?

One orange dot on iPhone, meanwhile, shows that the device’s microphone is in use.

You should see this dot in the same place as the green dot, in the right corner of the screen, at the top.

It will usually show up when you ask Siri a question, record a voiceover, or use voice notes.

An orange light means a microphone, but both green and orange will flash while you’re recording video (Image: Getty)

If you’re recording video with your iPhone’s built-in camera, the green dot in the corner will briefly flash orange, to show the microphone in use, before continuing to turn green again.

And if it shows up when you least expect it or while using a third-party app, you now know what’s going on. Again, you can adjust what apps are accessible through Settings.

But don’t worry: it has nothing to do with your battery level!

What other phone light colors can you see?

Normally with an iPhone, you’ll only see green or orange dots.

The same goes for the camera-microphone warning which is now standard with the Android 12 update.

The Samsung Galaxy S9 has a bunch of notification lights (Image: Getty)

However, some Android phones may use colorful LED lights to let you know about notifications.

Example: Samsung Galaxy models (S9 and below) use strobe lights in this way – as well as the Galaxy Note9 (or earlier) and the Galaxy Alpha. Their explanation is quite simple.

Glow green means the phone is connected to a charger and fully charged. If the green light starts blinking, it tells you that it is fully charged.

When your phone is charging, it will have a glowing red light. If that red link starts flashing, it means you missed a call or text message, or another notification – or your phone is recording.

Finally, a blinking blue light means your phone is connected to the charger but not charged. And when you turn off the relevant Samsung Galaxy model, there will be a blinking blue light.

To find out if your Samsung Galaxy is one of the older models, see Samsung Notification Guide.

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Huynh Nguyen

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