What Do the Icons on My iPhone Mean?

By Cornelius Fortune

An iPhone running iOS 7 is a powerful device, and is easy to customize. The icons (or apps) on your phone help you communicate, organize your schedule, and provide hours of entertainment straight from your phone. It might be helpful to organize them as such: communication, entertainment, miscellaneous, settings and health.

Communication Apps

These will likely be your go-to apps. The phone icon located at the lower bottom of the screen is used to make phone calls. You’ll also find tabs to add contacts, keypad access (for dialing), voice mail and favorites. In the upper left hand corner is the Messages app for sending text messages. With FaceTime, you can engage in face-to-face communication with another iPhone user.

Productivity Apps

The Notes icon right below Messages is a convenient place for you to store lists, jot notes and other items you might want to remember, while the calendar app helps you to stay organized. Plug in your appointments and your iPhone will remind you. The Passbook app stores all your important tickets (plane, movies, gift cards) and allows direct access from your iPhone. Use Safari for Web browsing. Link the Mail app to your email account (or multiple email accounts) so you can send and receive email.

Entertainment Apps

If you’re interested in finding new music, reading the latest news, or perusing your favorite magazines, the Newsstand app gives you 24-hour access to a variety of services. The iTunes Store app has the latest music, TV shows and movies available for download. With the Music app, access your music purchases and stream live music from iTunes Radio. The App Store app provides even more customization options for your phone, with thousands of third-party apps in categories such as games, productivity, news and more.

Miscellaneous Apps

Your Camera app snaps photos but also shoots HD video. These photos and video can be easily accessed via the Photos app, which catalogs your photos from month, date, year, or event. Get a peek outside with the Weather app, featuring animation that conveys sunny days, cloudy days, and even lightning storms. The Stocks app gives you updates on the latest stocks.

Settings App

This is probably the most important app on your iPhone. Think of it as the command center: You’ll find that most of the phone’s vital functions are controlled from here -- Wi-Fi, wallpapers, phone brightness, privacy settings, Bluetooth and other features. In Settings, you can customize your iPhone experience, from changing the home screen to adding a pass code for security purposes. There's even a feature called "Personal Hotspot," which turns your phone into a mobile hot spot.

Health App in iOS 8

According to Apple, the Health app that now ships with iOS 8 is designed to “give you an easy-to-read dashboard of your health and fitness data.” It works as a central hub for all your health apps. If you have apps that you use to track your daily activities such as walking, running or calorie counts, the Health app can work in tandem with them. You can even create an emergency contact card that’s accessible from your Lock screen.