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What is the arrow next to time on iPhone?

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  • 3 min read

An iPhone has various symbols that indicate different meanings. They are called status symbols and icons as they are visible on the status bar of an iPhone at the top of your screen. Small icons represent the current status of your iPhone, be it on charging, serviceless, locked, paired with earphones or headphones, or on Airplane Mode.

In this article, from the various status symbols and icons, we will be discussing what the arrow next to the time shown on iPhone represents.

Also read: How to pause your location on Find My iPhone?

Meaning of Arrow

A small arrow icon represents location services used by an app or a website on your iPhone. Usually, this arrow will be present next to the time, either in your top-right or top-left corner, depending on your design layout. Apps like Maps, Camera, or Weather use your iPhone’s location services to pinpoint your current geographical location.

An arrow’s colour varies depending on the accuracy of your location. The arrow next to time can change in the following ways:

  • Your current location on your iPhone screen will be a blue arrow.
  • If your current location is not precise, a blue circle will be around the arrow. The size of the outer blue circle determines your location precision. A smaller outer blue circle denotes higher precision.
  • You might see a black or white arrow in the status bar when Location Services is active.
  • In iPhone X and later, a blue colour bubble is present behind the time. On iPhone 8 or earlier, the colour goes all the way across the status bar to inform that an app is using your current location.
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Is the Arrow secure?

Before using your location, an app will ask your permission, and you can allow it to use your location information only once at that time, or never using the app. If the app asks for your permission only when it is in use, it will ask for your permission when it uses your location information in the background. A long blue oval or an arrow will appear behind or next to the time to indicate the use of your location.

Due to Apple’s Privacy Policy, you will be shown a dialog box that will appear periodically to inform you of the number of times an app has used your location and if you want to allow it to continue using your background location. You can set this permission to be either permanent or temporary. This dialog box will also display a small map with the places where the app used your location marked as blue dots.

Apple only shares and uses your device’s location with trusted partners for weather updates, ads, and forecasts. They benefit from your location information by improving their Location Services for features like Find My.

Read our article on how to switch off Location Services on iPhone

Also read: How to turn off location access for a specific app on iPhone and Android?


Sania Usmani

Always curious, calm, and a little crazy, you can find me daydreaming or studying. An avid reader, traveler, and graduate of Aviation Science, I love gaining new experiences in life and star gazing. You can contact her here: