The latest Apple update, iOS 14, will alert its users when their iPhone microphone or camera are in use. A small orange dot will appear on the iPhone’s display if the microphone is in use and will appear green when the camera is in use. It will be positioned at the top of the display, just next to the signal bars.
Apple’s new operating system, which was released this week, will therefore let you know if any of the other apps are spying or listening in on you without your knowledge or consent.
Also note that the dot will appear when you are using popular apps that access the camera or microphone, such as zoom and Facebook messenger. In such events, the dots should not be a cause for alarm. However, when not using the apps or camera and microphone actively, the dots should alert you that someone is listening in or watching in without your knowledge.
The dots are part of Apple’s increased focus on privacy on its latest iOS 14 update.
“Privacy is a fundamental human right and at the core of everything we do,” Apple says on its website.
“That’s why with iOS 14, we’re giving you more control over the data you share and more transparency into how it’s used. An indicator appears at the top of your screen whenever an app is using your microphone or camera.”
The iPhone’s control centre also contains information where you can find out what apps have had access to the microphone and camera. You can then deny permissions to particular apps with such tendencies or delete them.
One other privacy-focused feature on iOS 14 is the ability to share only an approximate location as opposed to exact location. Some users are wary of giving apps their exact location hence the option to approximate where they may be.
To activate this feature, you will need to go to the settings, Privacy and Location, services and then select the app from the list. Tap on ‘precise location’ and turn it off. Turning it on will allow the apps to get your exact location and vice versa.
iOS 14 was released on Wednesday during the “time flies” event where the Apple watch 6 and iPad Air 4 were unveiled.
One notable feature on the iOS 14 update is that you can now download your preferred browser and email, unlike the previous updates which only allowed users to use Safari and Apple Mail. Users who prefer Chrome and Gmail can download it in the new update.
The privacy-focused updates are also available on the iPadOS.
Apple users and fans are now looking forward to the release of iPhone 12 which is expected in a few weeks time. The company announced that it is going to make drastic changes on the iPhone home screen as part of its update this year, since the product’s release in 2007.