The iPad Status Bar Icons - dummies

By Edward C. Baig, Bob LeVitus

The iPad status bar, which is at the top of the screen, displays tiny icons that provide a variety of information about the current state of your iPad:


  • Airplane mode: You’re allowed to use your iPod on a plane after the captain gives the word. But you can’t use a cellphone or iPad Wi-Fi + 3G or 4G except when the plane is in the gate area before takeoff or after landing.

    Fortunately, your iPad offers an Airplane mode, which turns off all wireless features of your iPad — the cellular, 4G, 3G, GPRS (General Packet Radio Service), and EDGE (Enhanced Datarate for GSM Evolution) networks; Wi-Fi; and Bluetooth — and makes it possible to enjoy music or video during your flight.

    Some flights now offer on-board Wi-Fi. If you’re on one, you can turn Airplane mode off and use your iPad’s Wi-Fi (but not until the captain says it’s okay).


  • LTE (Wi-Fi + 4G models only): This icon lets you know that your carrier’s 4G LTE network is available and your iPad can use it to connect to the Internet.


  • 3G (Wi-Fi + 3G models only): This icon informs you that the high-speed 3G data network from your wireless carrier (that’s AT&T or Verizon in the United States) is available and that your iPad can connect to the Internet via 3G.


  • GPRS (Wi-Fi + 3G and 4G models only): This icon says that your wireless carrier’s GPRS data network is available and that your iPad can use it to connect to the Internet.


  • EDGE (Wi-Fi + 3G and 4G models only): This icon tells you that your wireless carrier’s EDGE network is available and you can use it to connect to the Internet.


  • Wi-Fi: If you see the Wi-Fi icon, your iPad is connected to the Internet over a Wi-Fi network. The more semicircular lines you see (up to three), the stronger the Wi-Fi signal. If you have only one or two semicircles of Wi-Fi strength, try moving around a bit. If you don’t see the Wi-Fi icon on the status bar, Internet access with Wi-Fi is not currently available.


  • Personal Hotspot: You’ll see this icon (on third-generation Wi-Fi + 4G iPads only) when you’re sharing your Internet connection with computers or other devices over Wi-Fi. Personal Hotspot may not be available in all areas or from all carriers, and additional fees may apply. Contact your wireless carrier for more information.


  • Syncing: This icon appears on the status bar when your iPad is syncing with iTunes on your Mac or PC.


  • Activity: This icon tells you that some network or other activity is occurring, such as over-the-air synchronization, sending or receiving e-mail, or loading a web page. Some third-party applications also use this icon to indicate network or other activity.


  • VPN: This icon shows that you are currently connected to a virtual private network (VPN).


  • Lock: This icon tells you when your iPad is locked.


  • Screen Orientation Lock: This icon appears when the Screen Orientation Lock is engaged.


  • Play: This icon informs you that a song is currently playing.


  • Bluetooth: This icon indicates the current state of your iPad’s Bluetooth connection. If you see this icon on the status bar, Bluetooth is on and a device (such as a wireless headset or keyboard) is connected.

    If the icon is gray, Bluetooth is turned on but no device is connected. If the icon is white, Bluetooth is on and one (or more) devices are connected. If you don’t see a Bluetooth icon, Bluetooth is turned off.


  • Battery: This icon reflects the level of your battery’s charge. It’s completely filled when you aren’t connected to a power source and your battery is fully charged (as shown). It then empties as your battery becomes depleted.

    The icon shows when you’re connected to a power source, and when the battery is fully charged or is currently charging. You see an on-screen message when the charge drops to 20 percent or below and another when it reaches 10 percent.