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What Does the Red Dot Icon on Apple Watch Mean?

Posted by Jamie on May 8, 2019

Have a new Apple Watch and want to get to grips with it? See icons on the screen but don’t know what they mean? Want a plain English guide to deciphering those status notifications? This tutorial is going to walk you through all the status icons currently used on the Apple Watch.

The Apple Watch has one of the best designs out there right now second only to the Samsung Galaxy Watch. The Samsung uses Android so if you’re an iOS user Apple Watch is going to be a no-brainer. It is slightly less intuitive than an iPhone and has a couple of new features to get used to but once you do get used to them, the Apple Watch is actually quite easy to live with.

Build quality and usability are real strengths of the Apple Watch and is where it shines. It isn’t able to do anything other watches cannot but what it does do, it does with typical Apple style. That makes it an excellent purchase if you’re in the market for a smart watch.

Apple Watch notifications

One key area of the Apple Watch is the notifications. Usually sitting above the 12 o’clock marker, these icons can change depending on what’s going on with the phone. That’s where you’ll see the red dot icon and some others. If you’re seeing these notifications, here is a quick overview of what they mean.

Red dot icon on the Apple Watch

The red dot icon means you have an unread notification. To read it, swipe down from the top of the screen and the notification pane will appear. Once read, the red dot will disappear.

Green lightning icon

The green lightning icon means the Apple Watch is charging.

Red lightning icon

The red lightning icon means your watch battery is running low and will require charging soon.

Yellow airplane icon

The yellow airplane icon means you have your watch set to Airplane Mode. If you have your watch currently paired and within reach of your iPhone, the phone may also be in Airplane Mode. Turning it off on the watch does not turn it off on the phone.

Purple moon icon

The purple moon icon means you have your Apple Watch set to Do Not Disturb. You will still get alarms but will not be bothered by calls, texts or notifications.

Orange masks icon

The orange masks icon is Theater Mode. This is essentially silent mode with some do not disturb thrown in. The watch will not alert you to notifications or calls and the screen will remain dark. Disable through the Control Center.

WiFi icon

The WiFi icon is for when your Apple Watch is connected directly to a wireless network rather than through the phone.

Four green dots

Four green dots means your watch is connected to a cell network. Four green dots means a strong signal while three is not so strong and two is not very strong at all.

Red phone icon with a line through

The red phone icon with a line through it means your Apple Watch cannot reach your iPhone. It signifies not having a connection and could be down to range or having Airplane Mode enabled on the other device.

Red X icon

The red X icon means your Apple Watch has lost connection to the cell network. This icon will disappear as soon as it gets a connection again to be replaced with the green dots as above.

Blue drip icon

The blue drip icon signifies the Water Lock function. The screen will not respond to input while you see this icon so don’t worry if it seems your watch isn’t working properly. To disable Water Lock, turn the Digital Crown to unlock it. As soon as the icon disappears, you’re good to go.

Bluetooth icon

The blue Bluetooth icon tells you that you are currently paired with something using Bluetooth. That could be speakers or headphones or something else.

Purple arrow icon

The purple arrow icon indicates your watch or an app on it is using location services to pinpoint your location. This remains until you turn off the app or location.

Blue padlock icon

The blue padlock icon on your Apple Watch means the watch is locked and will require the PIN number to be entered to unlock.

There are a few icons to get to grips with on the Apple Watch but Apple’s design genius means they are mainly self-explanatory and will be easy to remember once you get used to the watch. You can see a manual describing these icons if you select My Watch, General and About. Select View the Apple Watch User Guide for a list of what each icon means.

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