It seems that the icons in the status and notification bar get mixed up with every major Android update, and sometimes change appearance or disappear entirely. Don’t worry if you don’t know what some of these symbols mean. You’re not alone! We are here to understand these incomprehensible glyphs.
As Android smartphone makers customize the user interface on their devices, even the most commonly used icons can differ from brand to brand. Also, chances are you are reading this article because you are confused about a certain icon on your smartphone that you cannot understand. To quickly check what it could be, you can use the jump to the links below to quickly see if the icon in question has been listed. If the symbol you are looking for is not listed in the manual of your smartphone, there is a good chance that you will still find it on the Google Fonts page.
Status Bar and Notification Bar: What’s the Difference?
The status bar
The status bar and notification bar are very similar, but in reality they are two different things. The status bar is located at the top right of the display. Here you can see things like the current time, battery status, and current connections (Bluetooth, cellular network, and Wi-Fi). The notification bar, on the other hand, is in the top left. There you will find app icons that will alert you of new messages, Play Store updates, and other notifications.
So when you listen to music on Spotify or, the corresponding icon will appear in the notification bar. Usually, the order of the icons indicates how new or old the notifications are. The latest notifications are shown on the far left.
The notification bar and drawer
The notification bar also contains notifications that you can open with a swipe gesture. This gesture reveals a lot of information, including recent screenshots, a WhatsApp message, Facebook notifications, and email notifications. You can then stamp the notification to open the appropriate app, or simply swipe right or left to dismiss the notification.
With modern versions of Android, users can reply right from within the notification without having to open the app that sent the notification. For example, you can reply to a WhatsApp message in the notification bar without opening the WhatsApp app.
In addition to the notifications, the quick toggle options are another important point that you can access via this swiping gesture. From here, you can quickly toggle a feature on and off without going to the settings menu. Some of the most common changes you can make here include turning Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other connections on and off, turning the hotspot on and off, toggling the auto-rotate option, and turning on the flashlight. If you press and hold an icon, you are entering the settings for that feature.
Most manufacturers also adjust the quick settings themselves. Therefore there are always several options here. Fortunately, the choices can be customized to suit your tastes and habits, so you always have access to the most important settings for you. You can also turn off annoying or uninteresting notifications at any time by long-pressing an alert. This will bring up a small menu where you can choose how you want to be notified by the app.
The most common notification and status symbols from manufacturers
Below are some of the most common notification and status icons you may come across while using your smartphone. Below we have listed most of the popular smartphone brands and their custom Android skins. While these customizations won’t fundamentally change the way the status and notification icons look or react, you’ll often find options that only apply to the software you’re running.
Samsung (one user interface)
The Samsung User Guide has a list of icons that are usually displayed on the notification bar. Check the image below to see the main ones.
Xiaomi / Redmi / Poco
Here are the most commonly used status symbols on Xiaomi smartphones. These icons appear on almost all of the company’s devices running MIUI. This also includes sub-brands such as Poco and Redmi.
These are the icons you’ll come across while using OnePlus smartphones that run the company’s own Android skin – OxygenOS.
Huawei / Honor (EMUI)
Honor may have parted ways with Huawei, but as of 2021, some of you may still be using Honor devices that run EMUI. The most commonly used status icons in EMUI are listed below.
Stock Android (for Google, Nokia, Motorola, Sony and Asus smartphones)
If you’re an Android purist who prefers the standard Android experience, chances are you either own a Google Pixel smartphone or one of the many devices that offer the standard Android experience. Brands that give users the standard Android experience include Nokia, Motorola, Sony, and even Asus.
Some of the icons you might come across on standard Android are listed in the image below. Although these icons are from Android 11, most have stayed the same since Android 10 and won’t change on Android 12 either.
In the event that the icon you’re looking for isn’t listed above, Google has a comprehensive list of icons that are part of Android 11 on its font portal. This page lists all of the icons that will appear on your Android phone. It is broken down into several sections, some of which are listed below.
Have you ever seen a notification or an icon that you just can’t figure out what it means? Describe it in the comments and let us know what type of phone you have!