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What are cell phone symbols?

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Quick Answer

Cell phone symbols can refer to symbols used to express ideas in a text message or to icons that indicate something about the phone's status. Status icons vary depending on the type of phone.

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An example of a cell phone symbol used in a text message is a colon and parenthesis to indicate a smiling face. Smileys are an example of emoticons. As of April 2015, many cell phones have a graphical replacement feature that automatically inserts a graphic when a certain combination is keyed into the text field. The phone may also offer a menu of emoticons to add to messages.

Status icons are typically located along a status bar at the top of the screen. If there are too many icons to display, the user may have to open a notifications page to see all of them. Status icons can indicate the phone's current signal strength, battery power, data coverage and whether the phone is connected to a Wi-Fi network.

Abbreviations are another type of cell phone symbol. Like emoticons, abbreviations stand in for longer messages or ideas. Common text abbreviations include LOL, which stands for "laughing out loud," and TTYL, which stands for "talk to you later."

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