How to find the iPhone status bar icons that Apple moved because of the notch

The notch is fine but we’ve lost where we used to look for information on screen because of it. Most of that can be found in new places if you know where to look yet it’s far less convenient than it was.

Comparing the pre-Notch iPhone status bar with the X series

Comparing the pre-Notch iPhone status bar with the X series

Since the iPhone X introduced the notch, all of the fuss has been about how it looks. Some people don’t even notice it, some keep being drawn back to it, other companies have copied it. Yet even as it’s the most visible feature to tell the world that you have an iPhone X series device, it’s also lost a lot of information.

Before the iPhone X, that status bar used to show the name of your carrier and then a startling 26 different other pieces of useful information in icons.

Today it’s hard to count the icons because they do vary depending on carrier, territory and whether you’re on WiFi or not. However, there are certain icons we used to rely on that are no longer visible.

And when you first realise that they’re gone, you spend an age in Settings trying fruitlessly to get them back.

Typical status bar information on an iPhone XS Max

Typical status bar information on an iPhone XS Max

That’s a status bar from the iPhone XS Max, the biggest iPhone that Apple makes. Whenever you take a screen grab from a X series iPhone, you don’t see the notch because Apple lets the background image fill in that gap.

Even so, you can see the wide space between the icons: they’re clearly now ranged right and left with nothing in the middle.

So take that image and tell us: is this iPhone playing music? Is it playing that music over headphones? What’s the battery percentage? And is it on VPN or not?

This is all information that you used to be able to see instantly. And that’s why you never tapped Play and discovered that your AirPods weren’t connected. It’s why you never had to remember whether you switched on VPN before you did online banking.

And while it’s probably bad for us to keep staring at the exact battery power percentage left, we used to find that useful. Certainly it’s a lot clearer than Apple’s range of icons that just show a steadily depleting battery with no sense of how fast it was dropping.