What do those arrow icons mean on my Windows Phone?

In case you missed it yesterday, Nokia announced that their Lumia Black update was beginning to rollout. That update is a double punch firmware (Lumia Black) and OS refresh (Update 3). But there’s one question a few of you submitting to the site that has caught our attention: What do those little arrow mean for the system icons?

Many of you have figured it out, but for those who haven’t we have the details.

Arrow Icons

With Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 Update 3, devices on certain networks now have little arrows for Wi-Fi and cellular data. They go ‘active’ when data is being transferred at that moment. Think of a router when the data lights flash during data transmission. According to Microsoft:

“When your cellular data connection is being used to transfer data, you may see the Cellular data used icon, depending on your mobile operator. This icon only appears on phones that have Windows Phone software version 8.0.10501.127 or later.”

Note the caveat “depending on your mobile operator”. Here on AT&T, we have never seen these data icons, but from the avalanche of emails we’ve received on the matter, many of you international folks have. We’re going to venture to guess that either it is an operator configuration or flag that must be enabled via the network-specific firmware (this is why Lumia Black rolls out through carriers, for these nuanced setups).

Hopefully that will help answer your questions about those arrows. It’s one of the many little changes and fixes that Microsoft adds to these OS updates and we hope many of you make use of the visual indicator on your Windows Phone.

Thanks, Kaylin B., for the screenshot and question!

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.