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What Does Blue Square Icon or Blue E Icon on iPhone Mean?

The iPhone uses a pretty simplified and minimalistic interface which is great 99% of the time, but occasionally it does show some icons that come without labels which I don’t understand.

For instance, I was trying to figure out what a solid blue square in the iPhone’s status bar meant. And sometimes it appears as a capital “E. Well, it turns out that the “E” means that the iPhone is connected to the EDGE network.

The solid blue square indicates that the iPhone can’t find a nearby EDGE network, and is instead connecting via standard GPRS. Generally, GPRS offer slower data transfer rates relative to an EDGE connection. Funny thing is, I seem to get these icons appearing when I’m 100% sure that I’m not connected to EDGE or GPRS.

Update:
To disable GPRS (or disable EDGE), here’s what you need to do:

Jailbroken / Unlocked iPhones
Download and install the Bossprefs application on to your iPhone. it’ll help you manage all your connection settings (which includes GPRS/EDGE). Using that, you can set GPRS/EDGE to “off”.

Un-jailbroken iPhones (Contributed by Lor)
Go Settings > General > Network > Cellular Data Network: Set the APN name to DISABLED (or any other random name). Whenever the iPhone tries to switch to GPRS mode, the connection will be failing (and you will not be charged). Simple is good 😉

Make sure you also disable “Data Roaming” from the Network menu. Also, in “Fetch New Data”, disable the “Push” and set “Fetch” to “Manually” (this last step should not be required, but do it just in case).

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23 Comments

  • Reply william |

    Hi,
    Just curious, do i get charge whenever i see that capital E on my iphone even i didnt make any connection?

    Thanks

  • Reply Alvin |

    If you didn’t then you shouldn’t. I find that the E always appears now and then, but I know I don’t have a connection on.

  • Reply anthony |

    i have the [G] icon on the top left of my screen. am i getting charged for GPRS? or only when i connect to an application?

    thankyou

  • Reply Alvin |

    gprs is only chargeable when there’s data transfer, but it’s always a good practice to turn gprs off because it consumes battery (same as wifi or any other transmission/receiving of data)

  • Reply Des |

    On my new iphone i notice the general reception bars are allways low till i make a call, is this anything to do with the gprs?

  • Reply Alvin |

    nope, gprs shouldn’t have any effect on your reception, but it does depend on your reception though, as it’s making use of the GSM network as well (the same network that you use to make calls with)

  • Reply Des |

    Cheers, it would seem after searching that apple has been having problems with some chip in the phone. This appears to be the problem for crappy reception. Still love the thing though LOL.

  • Reply Lor |

    Alvin said: “it’s always a good practice to turn gprs off”

    Nice tip, but how can I do this? Tried to browse around the menus, but couldn’t find such an option…

  • Reply Alvin |

    Do u have a jailbroken, unlocked iphone? if you do, try downloading the bossprefs application. it’ll help you manage all your connection settings (which includes gprs/edge)

  • Reply Lor |

    Thanks for the response. I don’t wanna go low-level into jailbreaking, so I found another way: Settings > General > Network > Cellular Data Network: Set the APN name to DISABLED (or any other random name). Whenever the iPhone tries to switch to GPRS mode, the connection will be failing (and you will not be charged). Simple is good 😉

  • Reply yig |

    Hey thanks for the tip. It works just fine, but i realised that for every failed connection, there will be an addition of 200kb to data received in the data usage. So they will still charge you for the 200kb for failed connection?

  • Reply Lor |

    In my case there is no data exchange (so no charge). Even in your case, 200KB is a lot and I believe it is due to some other reason. Make sure you also disable “Data Roaming” from the Network menu. Also, in “Fetch New Data”, disable the “Push” and set “Fetch” to “Manually” (this last step should not be required, but do it just in case).

  • Reply ben |

    Gotta love that new iPhone 3G s, might get one if I can find a good AT&T plan with it

  • Reply iamsoiphone |

    Hi,

    I have a problem with my jailbroken iphone. It was given to me already jailbroken, so I don’t know if any additional Cydia apps and sources may be interfering, but whenever I insert my sim, it gives me the “E” symbol. I put my sim into any other cellphone, even other iphones, and there is no “E”. Also, with my sim, I can not receive any calls, since it seems to always be “unreachable”. I put another sim, with a different plan, into my phone, there is no “E” and everything works fine. Very Strange. Help? Does it have anything to do with GPRS? Data Transfer?

  • Reply Mehul |

    Hi…. I have jailbroken-unlocked 2g 3.1.2. I am using airtel sim and what happens is my iphone is using Airtel Live! service without any kind of network settings (which can not be stopped by airtel, its default service by Airtel). Now problem is I can not disable this service and my phone use gprs for data transfer (updates, info and all that) over internet without any prior connection notification. So, my prepaid balance consumed automatically.

    SBsettings not working for me.. And i also tried BossPref but there’s still the ‘E’ icon and my connects the internet.
    Can anybody help me??

  • Reply Craig |

    hi there alvin, has anyone found a way to solve this NO-WIFI greyed out probs on my iphone3g? in my settings so I can connect to my home WiFi also my Wifi won’t pick up any networks as it should i have tried almost every other step but no luck, I tried reset with turnoff and home buttons, nothing still the same. Pls help i be ever so grateful…..Cheers Craig

    • Reply Alvin |

      Afraid not, Craig. I haven’t heard anything about this particular problem. Sorry.

  • Reply Anuj |

    Hey my iphone 2g is using much battery does-not works more than 4-5hrs once fully charged can u pls tell me the reason I cant understand.

So, what do you think ?

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