IMG_2712 2Do you know what these icons mean?

In the red header at the top left there are three, white parallel lines. What do they mean?

What does the magnifying tool (looks like a tiny tennis racquet) on the right side of the red header allow you to do?

One more! What does the pencil in the red circle at the bottom signal you to do?

If you know what each of these mean, you are on your way to knowing how to use your smartphone or tablet.

(BTW, the 3 parallel lines mean MORE…more directions, options, or information available. The magnifying tool allows you  to SEARCH, and; the pencil in the red circle at the bottom signals you to COMPOSE or EDIT, to start writing.)

Why are icons essential?

Digital icons are everywhere and are particularly prevalent on mobile devices, smartphones and tablets.

Given the smaller screen size, icons are essential for signaling an action, suggesting more options, or providing more information.

The single best way to get the most out of your tablet or smartphone is to understand and use navigational icons, such as COMPOSE, QUESTION,  CLOSE, ADD, and more.

Remember this about icons…

  1. Your device will have its own set of icons.

  2. Icons may vary from device to device. There are key differences between Android and iPhones, for example. Same for tablets.

  3. The apps you use may have different icons as well.

  4. Your smartphone or tablet has tons of icons telling you how much battery charge is left; showing you the strength of your Wi-Fi network or cellular connection or showing a connection to Bluetooth. These icons are informational, but…

  5. The icons on your smartphone or tablet that are truly critical are the navigation icons that tell you where to go and what to do.

Let’s look at several examples for iPhone and iPad

Clicking on this icon gives you MORE INFORMATION about the topic.


This icon means to CLOSE the window or app. Occasionally if might also mean to delete so be careful.




The SHARE icon allows you to share text, photos, videos, and more via text, email, and more.




The REFRESH icon is typically found in the Search Bar. Clicking it allows you to update a document you are working on.


This is another COMPOSE/EDIT icon, so start writing!

Here are several examples for Android devices


REFRESH allows you to reload or find new information.



SHARE information via text, email, social media.




This icon lets you EDIT an item, add text, or fill in fields


This icon means that you have COMPLETED its operation. Click and it will close.



ADD (or create) a new item



Finally, knowing these and other icons will give you a leg up in knowing how to use your iPhone. Why not get started now?