Understanding iPhone status icons

As iOS get’s more powerful the number of iPhone status icons has increased. These can be more important than you might think, they may indicate data connection types, rotation lock, battery levels and so on. We have decided to break these down, into a handy reference guide. If you think of any more, be sure to comment and we will update this post!

Status icons
Status icons
  • Airplane Mode icon:  If you see this icon, its because you have enabled Airplane Mode and when this is active all communication protocols will be disabled. This mean’s you cannot use a data connection or make a call, but can you can still access apps like your iPod and apps that don’t require a connection. It was probably designed to allow you to use your device on flights, it is just as handy for some DND time.
  • Orientation lock icon: This icon shows that the orientation lock has been enabled, apps will not rotate if you tilt your phone to landscape. Very handy if you are looking at your phone at an different angle and don’t require an orientation change. Disable it via the ‘fast app switcher’.
  • Battery level percentage icon: Self explanatory, you can also enable and disable the percentage level for the battery.
iPhone Status icons
iPhone Status icons
  • ‘3G’ icon – You are currently connected to your cellular 3G network, this allows you to surf the internet at a reasonable speed.
  • ‘E’ icon – Edge This is 3G’s slower cousin. Your iPhone will use this if there is no 3G connection available or you have disabled the 3G function in the settings.
  • ‘o’ icon – A GPRS connection, which is an older way to connect to the internet and extremely slow.
  • WIFI  icon- This will show when you are connected to a wifi network. If you have enabled wifi, it will not show, you must actually be connected to a wifi network.
iPhone status icons
iPhone status icons
  • Play icon – This icon will show when you are playing music via the iPod or a music app.
iPhone status icons
iPhone status icons
  • Location tracking – This icon will appear to let you know the application is using your current location. An application has to ask you to do this, but you can always deny the application this privilege from the settings app.

Any more suggestions?

John Ryan

7 Responses

  1. Thanks john this information will be really helpful for many iphone users. can u please give some more information about the ipod touch. one pod touch provided me with a lot of information about kart rider itouch.

  2. I have a new icon on my iPhone 4 that appears when I connect the USB Cable to charge via a computer and then the iPhone “dings”. It appears beside the battery.

    It is a Square with a wireless style icon inside going from the bottom left the top right.

    There is no mention of this anywhere.

  3. Excuse the poor pic of a bar icon with arrow above it, to the left of the batt %.
    Any ideas anyone?

    • Hi Urippa, Bluetooth Headset battery indicator –  Shows battery level for the iPhone Bluetooth Headset when it’s connected

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