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A whole lot of people like you and I sometimes wondered what the meaning of symbols, status icons that enjoys display on iPhone status bar along with the screen. Some of those little symbols can be a mystery even to the old iPhone users, while some make perfect sense. Although there are some obvious symbols like cell bar signal which if enable can change to numerical signal and the likes of battery, Wi-Fi, 4G, LTE indicators are self explanatory, but what is the meaning the little circle you sometimes see as well, the two interlinking circles, or even the moon icon and the little arrow that points up and right.

All these and many more will no longer be a mystery as Apple has provided in their official User Guide a nice little table to answer most our questions. This table consists of the various icons there meaning and for quick reference, the table is shown bellow.

List of iPhone symbols and meaning:

cell-signal-iphone-iconCell Signal – Looks like a staircase. This displays if you’re in range of a cell signal. The more cell bars you have the better.


airplane-mode-iphone-iconAirplane mode – When you have airplane mode on you cannot use the phone to make calls, get online or use Bluetooth.


4G-iphone-icon4G – Shows 4G network is available.


3G-iphone-icon3G – Shows 3G network is available.


edge-iphone-iconThe letter E – Shows Edge network is available.


gprs-gsm-cdma-ihpone-iconLooks like a small circle. GPRS/1xRTT – Shows GSM or CDMA network is available.


wifi-iphone-iconWi-Fi – iPhone is connected to a Wi-Fi network.


personal-hotspot-iphone-iconLooks like two oval linked together. Personal Hotspot – iPhone is connected to another iPhone.


syncing-itunes-iphone-iconSyncing – iPhone is syncing with iTunes.


network-activity-iphone-iconNetwork Activity – Network activity.


call-forwarding-iphone-iconCall Forwarding – The iPhone is setup for call forwarding.


vpn-iphone-iconVPN – iPhone is connected to a VPN network.


lock-iphone-iconLock – iPhone is locked.


tty-iphone-iconTTY – Set to work with TTY machine.


audio-play-iphone-iconPlay – Some type of audio is playing (song, podcast, audiobook).


portrait-mode-iphone-iconPortrait orientation lock – iPhone screen is locked in portrait mode


alarm-iphone-iconAlarm – Alarm is on.


location-services-iphone-iconLocation Services – An app is using location service.


bluetooth-iphone-iconBluetooth – Bluetooth is on and paired with a device.


bluetooth-battery-iphone-iconBluetooth Battery – Level of battery on a supported Bluetooth device.


battery-iphone-iconBattery – Battery level


The inability of the user to take cognizance of the User Guide is because it’s a PDF, and some even don’t see it at first.

One of the major things to note in the table above is some of these icons have a bit overlap, on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch also, and the deference occur from whether the last two of the devices, that is, iPad and iPod touch has cellular capabilities or not. Although some of the icons changes a little in iOS 7, but Apple won’t abandon existing precedent and these changes are minor for the status icon to be well recognize by the users.

Other features that are not in the table above are;



  1. James February 8, 2014

    Exactly what I was looking for.
    Thanks! 🙂

  2. Becky March 19, 2014

    iPhone “\” for setting up my e-mail account…where is it? I only see “/”

  3. Lee April 2, 2014

    hey, good stuff for my cell

  4. Shad May 18, 2014

    Thanks explanation was helpful.

  5. Florence June 1, 2014

    Very useful. Thank you.

  6. Jay June 23, 2014

    Helped me and my friends, I’m a geek now, lol

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