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On my iPhone SE running iOS 17.5 the status bar at the top has an icon to the left of the time in the center of the status bar. The icon looks like:

O_O

I think maybe it might look like a roll of 35mm film that goes in an analog still-picture camera like what Olympus, Canon, and Nikon used to make. So I opened the Camera app thinking a video was recording in the background or something. I don’t think that’s happening.

The icon is not listed in Apple docs: https://support.apple.com/en-us/118203

So now what?

https://support.apple.com/en-us/118203

screenshot of status bar with O_O icon

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2 Answers 2

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This icon may be indicating that a Live Voicemail is being recorded in the background. You can read more about Live Voicemail at Apple Support:

Use Live Voicemail on your iPhone

In most screenshots it looks different because it's designed for the iPhones with notches/dynamic islands. However the tape icon is the same so I assume that's what you're seeing.

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Ok. I think I know what happened. I strongly suspect that icon means someone is leaving me a voicemail mail right at that moment. That is, the icon is present while the caller is actively recording their message.

The reason it looked so unusual to me is because I never notice it, and that is mostly due to the brief duration of voice messages. However, today was special in that some spam caller or my phone company had a glitch and they never hung up after the message was recorded. I was just notified of a voice message and it is 4 hours long and nothing but silence after the first 20 seconds.

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