Friday, March 1, 2019


APPLE WATCH STATUS ICONS & SYMBOLS ~ Demystification Revealed, At Last….




Like many “techie” products these days, Apple Watch is a feature packed gadget, but lacks an included user manual. When you first unpack it and decipher how to make it operational, you soon find it displaying unknown status icons and symbols on the your selected watch face and in the Control Center. What do they mean? Out of my reader’s frustration and my desire to learn more, I researched for answers to this mystery. So, here goes…

Some symbols and icons will appear on the top edge, middle section, of the watch face as shown in the example above. The red dot is such an example. The last application engaged will be the one displayed. When canceled the next active one is displayed. If none are active, none will be displayed. Many will appear in the watch’s CONTROL CENTER shown below, and are based on the type of notification they represent.

Apple Watch Series 4
[Swipe up on watch face,
then use the Digital
Crown to Scroll up
 and down]

A red dot, on the top middle of your watch face, indicates that you’ve received some sort of notification as in a news flash, text, or other message. Swiping down on the watch face will reveal the condensed message(s). Once you’ve accessed all these notifications the red dot will disappear until a new notification is received.

The blue, half-moon symbol, on the top middle of your watch face, indicates that the DO NOT DISTURB feature is engaged. Calls and alerts won’t ring or light up the screen until you turn this setting off. Alarms will still sound.

The symbol of a plane, on the top middle of your watch face, indicates that the Airplane Mode is on. Wireless features are off until you turn this setting off. You can still use other features on your watch. When you turn Airplane Mode off on your watch, Airplane Mode remains on, on your iPhone.

The green lightning bolt symbol, on the top middle of your watch face, indicates that the watch is charging.

The red lightning bolt indicates that your watch battery is low and needs charging. It appears on your watch face next to the time display without any other visible data on the display.

The diagonal line across the iPhone symbol, on the top middle of your watch face, indicates that your watch is not connected in any way to your iPhone. Move your watch and iPhone closer together, or turn off Airplane Mode.

The theatre masks symbol, on the top middle of your watch face, indicates that the Silent Mode is on. The watches’ screen will stay dark until you tap the screen or press a button to turn off this feature. This is done be opening the control center and tapping the icon.

The aqua colored raindrop symbol, located on the top middle of your watch face, indicates that the Water Lock is on. (Appears only on Apple Watch series 2 and later) In this mode the screen will not react to taps. Turn the Digital Crown to unlock your watch.

The green four dots in a row that appear in the CONTROL CENTER, are a feature that relates only to Apple Watch series 3 & 4 with GPS + Cellular options. This symbol indicates that you are connected to a cellular network, and the number of dots displayed indicates the signal strength.

The red X symbol, on the top middle of your watch face, on a series 3 & 4 that features GPS + cellular, indicates that the watch has lost connection with the cellular network.

The blue traditional Wi-Fi symbol indicates that your watch is connected directly to your Wi-Fi network and not your iPhone’s cellular service Wi-Fi. This symbol will appear in the CONTROL CENTER and not on the face of the watch.

The pyramid to circular lines symbol is found in the CONTROL CENTER and as in other such applications is access by simply scrolling down the watch face in till found. Tap this symbol to switch the audio output between paired Bluetooth headsets, speakers, and other accessories.

This purple arrow indicates that your watch has used Location Services. This is displayed in the CONTROL CENTER.

The bar graph in an orange circle, appearing in the top middle of your watch face, indicates that audio is playing.

The runner shown in a green circle is displayed in the top middle of your watch face when you are using a workout app. After you end your workout, restart your watch by pressing and holding the side button until you see the Power Off Slider. Drag the Power Off Slider. After your watch turns off, press and hold the side button again until you see the Apple logo.

This is the Walkie-Talkie symbol in the CONTROL CENTER. Tap to open. This feature allows you to directly communicate with other Apple Watch users providing that both watches have OS5, or higher installed.

The Blue Lock symbol displayed in the top middle of the watch face indicates that your watch is locked. Tap to enter the password.

Last, but not least, this is the Apple Watch Charging Screen. It is displayed when you first place the watch on the charger. The green indicates the amount of charge remaining, while the black part of the circle shows the watch’s power consumption. Apple tests indicate that it takes 1.5 hours to achieve an 80% charge, and 2.5 hours for a full charge. However, some users have reported to me even faster charging rates.

I hope this month’s column has unlocked some of your icon and symbol mysteries. In a future column I will feature a review of the newly released, APPLE WATCH FOR DUMMIES, a fantastic book, written by Marc Saltzman, USA TODAY ,Technology Columnist. It’s definitely better than a manual would ever be.

Graphic credits: Apple and Google Images

Bob Skidmore is a freelance writer, who may be contacted at, or followed at for the latest gadget industry news. He does not represent, or endorse any of the products he reviews and his opinions are solely his points of view and not those of the manufacturer, or any legal resource. The manufacturer generally supplies products and press releases at no cost for the articles and no other compensation is received. THE GADGETEER is highly selective as to products he feels worthy of review so as not to waste the reader’s time, thus the reason for many superior ratings.


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