“What does this iPhone symbol mean” is a question we hear a lot at Macworld. While the iPhone and iOS are as easy to use as possible, the iPhone shows many symbols, icons and alerts. Getting to know what these symbols will help you to understand Apple’s iOS operating system.
Here’s our guide to various iPad and iPhone symbols so you know what they mean:
What does a padlock with a circled arrow around it on my iPhone mean?
The iPhone orientation is locked so apps that support horizontal and vertical modes (like iBooks) will be locked to one or the other. Slide your finger up from the bottom of the display to open Control Centre and tap on the Orientation Lock icon (same shape) to to turn it off.
What does an E symbol on my iPhone mean?
This means you are on an Edge network rather than one of the newer 3G, LTE or 4G networks. Apps like Safari that use the internet may run a little slowly, but you should be able to use them (along with apps like Mail and Maps) just fine.
What does GPRS on my iPhone mean?
This means you are using an aging GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) network to access the internet. Internet services and apps will work, but slowly you might think they don’t. Try to connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot or move to a different area to get a better signal.
What does a crescent moon symbol on my iPhone mean?
Do not Disturb is turned on. Do Not Disturb is an iPhone mode that blocks unwanted phone calls and alerts (although people who call repeatedly will be put through in case it’s an emergency). Slide your finger up from the bottom of the display to open Control Centre and tap the Do Not Disturb icon to switch this mode off.
What does this small telephone with dots beneath it on my iPhone mean?
This means that the iPhone’s TTY (Teletype) service is active. TTY is a service that enables people with poor hearing to interact with phone calls. Sometimes inserting a SIM card from an unknown carrier turns TTY on by default. Tap on Settings > Phone and set TTY to Off.
What does a symbol with VPN inside a box on my iPhone mean?
You’re connected to a network using VPN (Virtual Private Network). This is where you browse to a small virtual network (which passes everything on from the wider internet). If you work for a larger company they may run their own VPN network, and you’ll need to be connected to one to use their services (like Contacts) on your phone. If not click on Settings > General > VPN and set VPN to Off.
What do two linked circles that look like a paperclip icon on my iPhone mean?
You have set up a Personal Hotspot and are sharing your internet connection from your iPhone to another device. This can be handy if you are using an iPad or Mac without its own internet connection, but if you’re not doing this you should turn it off. Tap on Settings > Personal Hotspot and set Personal Hotspot to Off.
What does an arrow on my iPhone mean?
This means that one of your apps is using Location Services to pinpoint your location. Often an app like Maps will use Location Services, but some apps like Motion GPSX track your location. Tap on Settings >Privacy > Location Services to see which apps are allowed to access Location Services.
What does a symbol made from two triangles that looks like an 8, or a letter B, on the iPhone mean?
This means that Bluetooth is turned on. Bluetooth is used to communicate with other devices, like wireless earphones, speakers and external keyboards. Slide your finger up from the bottom of the display to open Control Centre and tap the Bluetooth icon to turn it Off.
What does the i in iPhone stand for?
Unofficially the i stands for ‘internet’. It originally comes from the iMac computer, which was launched in 1997. The iMac was designed to make it as easy as possible to connect to the internet. Watch this ’3 Steps’ advert in Macworld UK‘s article to see Apple promoting this idea. The ‘i’ was then added to other products like the iPod, iTunes, iMovie and other products. Eventually, it became a shorthand way of saying ‘Apple Product’. Officially it no longer stands for anything.
What does it mean when three dots appear after I send a text message?
The three dots appear when somebody is reading and replying to your text message. If the dots disappear, it’s because they have stopped typing. This means you can see when you are in a conversation with somebody, as opposed to waiting for them to reply.
What does two arrows in spinning circle on the iPhone mean?
This is the sync icon, and it signifies that the iPhone is currently syncing with a computer. The iPhone can sync wirelessly, so it no longer has to be attached to the computer. This isn’t a bad thing but if you want to stop this happening connect your iPhone to your Mac using the Lightning Cable, open iTunes and click on your iPhone in Devices and untick Sync with this iPhone over Wi-Fi.
By Lou Hattersley, Macworld UK.