written by: Regina Woodard•edited by: Wendy Finn•updated: 5/18/2011
So you've gotten your new BlackBerry, but you're getting confused as to what all these notifications mean. How do you know when you've gotten an email? A text message? When you've missed a call? Here, we'll look at the BlackBerry notification icons and answer what they are, as well as their meaning.
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Funny Little Pictures
You've just chosen a new BlackBerry, had all of your contacts moved over, and have started telling people about your new phone and number. You've taken a look at the instruction booklet, but sometimes just playing with a new toy is all you need to understand everything about it.
Maybe you've misplaced the manual, or the part about what those little pictures mean at the top of your phone is missing, or the dog ate it; for whatever reason, you've noticed a little icon on your phone and for the life of you, you have no idea what it means. BlackBerry notification icons are much like the ones you would see on your computer or any other phone and here, we'll describe what each of them means.
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What Are Notification Icons?
As you would find and see while using a computer or laptop, notification icons are small thumbnail pictures that alert you to something. For Windows, Mac, and Linux users, these are usually things like updates are available, a USB device is plugged in, or email is in the inbox (depending on the program or widget).
Notification icons on a cell or smartphone are much the same; typically seen at the top level of the phone's screen, the notification bar holds information as to what is going on with your phone. Some icons are permanently displayed, such as the time, signal, network (between cell and Wi-Fi), as well as programs that you have running in the background on a daily basis, such as an alarm clock or task manager.
Other icons are ones that appear when something happens currently, such as receiving an email or text message and can either disappear when the user checks them or stay permanent in the case when more than one happen (with emails, missed calls, voicemail, etc).
Below is a listing of the frequently seen BlackBerry notification icons, regardless of phone model, as well as their explanation.
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Blackberry Notification Icons
Wi-Fi on/off - this notification is for the Wi-Fi connection on your phone. When lit, the connection is on and connected to the BlackBerry data service; when darkened, Wi-Fi is on, but not connected to the data service.
Bluetooth on/off - this is for the Bluetooth capabilities. When lit with two arrows, Bluetooth is on and connected to a device (either a computer or that of another phone); when by itself, Bluetooth is on, but not connected to anything.
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Email - this is for new email messages. The number changes depending on how many new messages are received.
Text Messages - this is for text messages, SMS, or MMS messaging. As with email, the number will change depending on how many new messages there are.
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Missed Call - A phone icon with a red X; means that someone called and you missed them. Can happen with the phone on silent, vibrate, or when on another call.
Voicemail - 0_0 usually stands for voicemail; means that someone actually wanted to speak with you and left you a message.
App Updates - a small circle with an arrow; indicates that an application is ready or one needs to be updated.
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Facebook - a small Facebook icon with a number; indicates that you have a new message on Facebook.
BB Messenger - the BB icon with a number; indicates that a BlackBerry messenger message is waiting for you.
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Alarm Clock - a small clock with a time; indicates the alarm is on and is set to go off at that time
Roaming - a triangle; means that you are not in a network and are roaming.
Enhanced Call - two icons, one for bass (line going down) and one for treble (line going up) for enhanced calling
Service Book - book like icon; the service book is waiting for information, or is working in the background
Browser Push - gold circle icon, when a browser push message has arrived, or if a saved search has been made.
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For the most part, BlackBerry notification icons help users know when messages have come in, or when they've missed a call; in some cases, an application is trying to alert you to something. Be advised that while the purpose of these icons are the same, depending on the model of the BlackBerry, the icons may be different.
This also does not include any third party application that a user decides to install on their phone, such as a BlackBerry fitness app, or that of an antivirus program, or separate social messaging app like TweetDeck. Those apps will have their own separate icon that will be listed on the notification bar, though you will have to view their app in order to understand what their icon is.
This listing also doesn't include any updates that you may get from your cellular phone company. Sprint for instance will send updates to their users via their phones, with the Sprint logo showing within the notification screen. Again, this is dependant on how your cell company delivers messages to you and how you opt to receive them.