If you’ve ever wondered how to get the same privacy feature on Android that iOS 14 offers with its orange and green dot indicators, then look no further. While Android doesn’t have a built-in feature for this, there is a third-party app called “Access Dots” that can mimic the iOS 14 functionality. With this app, you can be alerted whenever an app is using your camera or microphone in the background. Here’s how to set it up.
Before we begin
Before we dive into the details, it’s important to note that Android 11 has addressed this issue by eliminating location, camera, and microphone access in the background. This means that apps can no longer request these permissions while running in the background. Similarly, in Android 10, a location pin appears at the top-right corner of the screen when an app uses location in the background. With that said, let’s get started with “Access Dots.”
How to Spot Camera and Microphone Usage in the Background
Access Dots is an app developed by the creator of popular apps like Energy Bar and Energy Ring. It displays a small green or orange dot on your screen when your camera or microphone is being accessed. Here’s how to set it up:
- Download the “Access Dots” app from the Play Store. The app is free with optional in-app purchases.
- Once you open the app, toggle the switch next to “Access Dots” to enable it. This will take you to the Accessibility settings.
- Under Accessibility settings, tap on “Installed services.”
- Tap on “Access Dots” and turn on the toggle switch on the next screen.
Once you’ve completed these steps, Access Dots will display a green dot in the top-right corner of your screen when the camera is being accessed and an orange dot when the microphone is being used. If your device has a notch or punch-hole display, the dot will appear next to it. The app automatically detects the type of device you’re using.
If an app is using both the camera and microphone, the access dots will turn bi-color, with an orange dot and green strokes indicating usage of both.
The size of the access dots in the Android app is slightly larger than the indicators in iOS 14. The app offers limited customization options for free users, such as changing the color and position of the dots. Premium versions of the app provide additional features like ad-free usage and the ability to customize the dot size.
While there are no third-party apps that offer the same functionality as Access Dots, some OEM skins like Color OS and MIUI 12 provide this feature natively. In these skins, a camera and microphone icon appear at the top of the screen when an app is using them. However, for users of other Android devices, Access Dots is the best option available.
If you have any other questions or issues, feel free to leave a comment below.