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I've noticed that at various times, the status bar in SpringBoard will occasionally change colors. When using the Voice Memos app on iPhone, it will be red. While in a call, it's green. Using personal hotspot, I'm seeing a blue.

Is there any significance to the colors, or is this a totally arbitrary choice by Apple?

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Red shows up when the mic is in use; Apple uses this to warn that an app could be monitoring you without your knowledge. I expect the others are arbitrary. –  timothymh Mar 18 '12 at 14:55
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up vote 4 down vote accepted

As far as I have seen, the color is supposed to tell you a little bit about what is going on, or what app is active.

Voice Memos is red, which is the color typically used for 'Recording'.
Calls are green, which is the color of the Phone app's icon and is used in several places in the app (e.g., the Accept button).
AirPlay is blue, which is the color that Apple typically associates with both wireless and music (AirPort and Bluetooth logos are blue, iTunes' icon is blue, the Remote app's icon is blue).
Personal hotspot is blue, which again is the color of 'wireless'.

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I suspect that there is nothing more to it than using colours that resemble the App icons for each function. So phonecalls=green (green call icon), recording=red (Red for generic recording as used everywhere, and the icons design used to be red until it went blue...), and hotspot=blue(think Safari/Mail and other "internet" related icons colours, and also it's just different to the others and completes the RGB colour scheme...)

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