My mother has just moved from an Android phone to an iPhone SE and she misses the fact that she no longer gets a text message notification icon at the top of the screen. This is a small envelope shaped icon in the same region of the screen as the WiFi connected symbol.

Is there any setting or application that will give her this functionality?

  • Nope. That's an Android thing. – owlswipe Jan 27 '17 at 13:16
  • @owlswipe why not post that as answer? – Paul Jan 27 '17 at 13:18
  • If you really wanted, you can void the warranty by jailbreaking it and installing an add-on that could do it (Idk if there is one, but you could look). – ʰᵈˑ Jan 27 '17 at 15:20
  • @Paul Posted an answer. Let me know if it helps or not! – owlswipe Jan 27 '17 at 21:29
  • And please either accept one of the answers or leave some comments about why not. – owlswipe Jan 27 '17 at 21:30

If your phone is jailbroken, you can install a tweak which modifies banner notifications such that they appear in the status bar, such as ThinBar or Resero. There are also a plethora of tweaks which let you display icons in the status bar when an app icon has a badge on the home screen.

Otherwise, this is not possible.

Edit: As Monomeeth mentioned below, jailbreaking is a somewhat technical and sometimes buggy process, which in many cases voids the warranty, so I would not recommend jailbreaking the phone of someone who isn't utterly familiar with what that means, such as (I assume) your mother.

  • 1
    Just wanted to add that a decision to Jailbreak should not be taken lightly, especially since this phone is for the OP's mother. For ease of use / simplicity, it may be better that she just gets used to the various iOS notification options. That said, I have upvoted your answer because you do provide a possible solution. – Monomeeth Jan 27 '17 at 21:36
  • @Monomeeth An excellent point! I would have mentioned as such earlier, but I guess I didn't completely read the question. I've added a note for increased visibility. – Timothy Mueller-Harder Jan 27 '17 at 21:41

Notification icons in the status bar aren't a feature of iOS, just Android, so there's no way to get the look you're talking about.

You will, however, get a notification and a sound on the lock screen/home screen when you get a text, a badge on the Messages app icon that you can enable/disable in Settings -> Notifications -> Messages, and the notification will be accessible in Notification Center (which shows up when you swipe down from the top of the screen) until you read the message.

While iOS surely has some advantages over Android, its customisation options aren't one of them: there's just no way to get those icons you want there.

Though I haven't tested it, it may be possible to do this if you jailbreak an iPhone—see @timothymh's answer.

tl;dr: There's no way to do this with iOS.


Unfortunately this is not possible as of iOS 10.3.

By default iOS has this behavior when it comes to message notifications:

  • new messages will be displayed on the Lock Screen (called Notifications)
  • the notifications on the Lock Screen disappear if you unlock the phone
  • the number of unread messages will be displayed as a badge on the Messages.app's icon
  • you can see all notifications for unread messages by pulling the Notification Center (swipe down from the top of the screen)
  • if you read a message by opening the corresponding app the notification will disappear from the Notification Center

I hope this helps.

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