iMessage and FaceTime are Apple users’ favorite ways to communicate. Although the services have always been exclusive, iOS 15 saw, for the first time, an extension to include Windows and Android users.

Ever since their introduction a few years back, Apple users have always relied on them to catch up with other Apple users. However, the fact that Apple keeps on adding more features is what keeps the experience refreshing.

It might not always be significant features; the big waves only come around so often. However, minor improvements and additions are always appreciated. But sometimes, when you encounter something new, it’s also natural to get confused. Case in point, there’s a green join button or a green video camera button in your iMessage sometimes. And it has many people confused. So, what exactly is it?

The Green Join Button Demystified

If you open an iMessage chat with anyone and look to the upper-right corner of the screen, you’ll generally find a video-camera icon there.

And if you tap it, it’ll give you two options: you can either start a FaceTime audio call or a FaceTime video call with the contact.

But sometimes, instead of the normal video camera icon, you’ll find either a green-colored camera icon or an altogether different green color ‘Join’ button. There’s no need to worry, though. It’s not a mystery. There’s a method to this madness.

The green-colored Join button or the green camera icon indicates an ongoing FaceTime call.

The Join Button in a Group Chat

If you open an iMessage group chat and see the ‘Join’ button lurking in the upper-right corner, it simply means that other members of the group are on a group FaceTime call. The ‘Join’ button only appears when the group call is started from the group itself.

As long as the call is ongoing, the Join button will appear. You can tap it at any time to join the group call. You’ll also be able to see how many people are active in the group call at the moment. So, even if you missed the call alert, you can hop in and join the fun any time.

The Green Camera Icon in an iMessage Chat

Now, if you’re on a FaceTime call with someone and you open up their iMessage chat, you’ll find a green video camera icon there instead. Tapping the camera icon will take you back to the FaceTime call or expand the FaceTime screen if you’re using Picture-in-Picture.

The camera icon will only appear green as long as you’re on the call with them. As soon as you disconnect the FaceTime call, the video camera icon will return to normal.

Or, ideally, it should.

The Bug that’s been Bugging People

Lately, there has been a bug in the system where the camera icon will stay green even after you’re no longer on the FaceTime call. The green camera icon would stay even hours after the call was over. Mostly, it happened when the call was dropped unexpectedly. For instance, if their phone battery died or something.

Whatever the case, seeing the green camera icon caused quite mayhem, planting seeds of doubt. “Did the camera icon mean that the contact was on another FaceTime call?” It became the most critical question many had in mind.

To clarify any doubts, it was a bug that is hopefully fixed by now. If you tap the green camera icon, one of two things will happen. You’ll either end up calling back the other person, or you’ll be the only one on the FaceTime call.

The only time when the Join button appears in the group chat is when there is a group call going on. Even if a few members of the group are separately on a call, the ‘Join’ button only appears if you start the call from the group.

And the green camera icon should only be there when you’re on a call with the other person. Even if they’re on a call with someone, the camera icon will never turn green. It just doesn’t work that way. That would be a terrible invasion of privacy.

If you’re experiencing this bug, update to the latest software release. If you are on the latest software and are still facing it, there’s nothing to do but wait till Apple fixes it.

In the meantime, you can rest assured that your partner is not on a FaceTime call with someone else at 3 am in the night. It’s just a bug. (Or, even if they really are, your iMessage is not telling you that. Because it just can’t.)

The green ‘Join’ or camera button on iMessage can be a mystery because of the bug that accompanies it. Under normal circumstances, it’s just telling you of an ongoing call with the group members or the other contact.