CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — Apple unveiled several new products earlier this week and rolled out iOS 14 for existing devices. However, one new iOS 14 feature is confusing some users.
What does the orange dot mean?
A new security feature included in iOS 14 will display an orange dot at the top of your iPhone when an app is actively using your phone’s microphone. A green dot indicates an app is using your camera. The dots also display in the control center.
“An indicator appears at the top of your screen whenever an app is using your microphone or camera. And in Control Center, you can see if an app has used them recently,” Apple explained in a press release.
Users will also need to give an app permission to use the microphone or camera on the phone.
The software upgrade serves as a refresh for iPhone 6 and later models and is described by Apple CEO Tim Cook as a “huge release that will transform the core experience of iPhone.”
The new iOS includes new ways to organize apps, a new feature called App Library, and even the ability to unlock your car (at least if you own a BMW) with your iPhone.
There are also changes to group chats in the form of pinned messages, mention notifications and group photos.
Earlier this week, Apple introduced a cheaper version of its smartwatch, its latest attempt to broaden the appeal of its trend-setting products while many consumers are forced to scrimp during the coronavirus pandemic.
The scaled-down Apple Watch follows on the heels of a budget iPhone the company released five months ago as the economy cratered and unemployment rates rose above the levels reached during the Great Recession more than a decade ago.
Apple also took the wraps off a new high-end watch model, a next-generation iPad and a couple of new subscription services during a virtual event held Tuesday. The company normally also rolls out its new iPhones at this time of year, but production problems caused by the pandemic have delayed their release until at least October.
CEO Tim Cook didn’t mention iPhones during Tuesday’s one-hour presentation recorded at the company’s massive, but now mostly empty, headquarters in Cupertino, California.
The Apple Watch has never come close to rivaling the iPhone’s popularity, but it does dominate the market for smartwatches. Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley estimates about 51 million Apple Watches will be sold this year, a 5% increase from last year. The research firm GlobalData pegs Apple’s share of the $64 billion smartwatch market at roughly 60%.
The new discount model, called the Apple Watch SE, will sell for $279 and be available beginning Friday. The price is a markdown from the $399 that Apple is asking for the next version of its higher end watch, the Series 6. Apple watches have been selling for an average of $377, based on Walkley’s calculations.
Apple added more features to help the watch monitor its owner’s health, including a sensor that can read blood oxygen levels. The feature, specific to the Series 6, could be timely, given that COVID-19 frequently attacks the lungs.
Apple also announced a new fitness subscription service tailored for its watches for $10 per month, as well as a new option that will bundle its existing music, video, news and gaming services into a package that will cost $15 to $30 per month.
Tens of millions of people already subscribe to Apple’s various services, helping the company double its revenue during the past four years within a division that creates products for the more than 1 billion iPhones, iPads, watches and other devices that the people already use.
The services division also includes Apple’s app store, which is under regulatory scrutiny for charging a commission of up to 30% for products sold through other companies who have no other option but to use the store to reach the mostly affluent consumers who buy iPhone products.