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What is this icon on the far right of the status bar? It only appears so far in this one app, called Carpenter by iHandy. I've emailed the manufacturer but so far nothing. It "pulses" slowly between bright and faded.

The close up: close up of icon

The whole screen:

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It's not usual for a non-jailbroken iOS to have a custom icon in the status bar like that. Is your device stock iOS or customized/modified? Also - are you on iOS 6? –  bmike Nov 18 '12 at 23:06
    
Not jailbroken in any way. I am on iOS 6 on iPhone 5. The black bars on the top and bottom of the screen illustrates that the app is designed for the iPhone 4S or earlier, this may be relevant. –  geoO Nov 19 '12 at 13:22
    
Just received an email from the developers concerning this icon, and it is indeed for switching between their applications. Why is this so rare? I've used hundreds of apps and never encountered this before. Odd. –  geoO Nov 19 '12 at 13:27
    
@geoO Because it shouldn't be possible due to app store and SDK restrictions. I'm surprised these apps were approved, TBH. –  Nathan Greenstein Nov 19 '12 at 23:33
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1 Answer

up vote 10 down vote accepted

It looks like the application is adding that icon. I checked the Level application on my phone (sort of a free demo for Carpenter) and it has a button with the same design in the upper right corner:

Tapping the button gives this screen:

Google still has some update notes cached where the developer listed this as a new feature in the App Store:

Added Quick Switch button on the top right corner to quickly switch between iHandy apps without getting back to home screen.

Normally, apps can't add custom icons to the status bar. According to this thread, they may just be overlaying the Quick Switch icon over the battery indicator: Customizing iPhone app taskbar

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Downcast also puts an overlay over the same area, so this is the most probable answer. –  Dillon Nov 19 '12 at 1:53
    
Having the same application, I can confirm this is what that icon is. –  Evil Closet Monkey Nov 19 '12 at 5:54
    
I never thought to press the icon! Well, to be fair, this is unique behavior for a status bar icon! If I had a screen like the one above, where it appears to be part of the app, I would have. Its presence in the status bar (my experience with two of their apps) threw me off. –  geoO Nov 19 '12 at 13:25
    
@geoO My first thought on seeing it was "it has to be a private API call or a jailbreak" but perhaps this is not only expected, but a legitimate thing to do on the latest SDK Apple has given to the developers. I'll be following the SO thread for sure. –  bmike Nov 19 '12 at 14:51
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