A few folks have written in, asking about that weird symbol that's in the status bar of their AT&T HTC One X following the recent update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

The answer is a simple as it is useless: It's the NFC logo. And it doesn't do a damned thing.

See, there's this push by the group that backs NFC -- that's near-field communication, if you're new to the game -- to make sure everyone knows they have NFC, and to make you actually use it. (They were all over the damned place at Mobile World Congress.)

So, after the HOX got its update, you'll be reminded every time you look at the display that you have NFC, that it's turned on, and maybe you'll want to do something with it. Suffice it to say, we're not a huge fan of symbols without any real purpose. We know NFC is turned on. We turned it on. There's a nice little checkbox in the settings.

And now there's a logo taking up space in the status bar.

Want to get rid of that new NFC symbol? You'll have to turn NFC off in the settings.


Reader comments

What's that weird new symbol on the AT&T HTC One X?


Considering that it does nothing but drain your battery, turning it off is exactly what you should do.

I still want to know why carriers get to decide whether you can use NFC to pay bill.

Actually the real-world drain is about <1% a day. Since NFC is disabled when the screen is off and the fact that it uses barely any energy when it is active, there is really no point to turning it off unless you absolutely never ever use it. I see it as pointless as turning off GPS; it doesn't use battery unless your're actually using it.

" does nothing but drain your battery..."

That's entirely false. Even if it does consume battery power, the poll on the right side of this page will quickly tell you that around half of AC readers use NFC for some purpose, and that a majority of those who have NFC-enabled devices use it. Aside from Google Wallet and Isis, there's also Android Beam, which is quite nice for moving photos to my Nexus 7 from my phone. The only annoying part of that is toggling Bluetooth on phone.

1. NFC is like Bluetooth. Unless it's actively used a lot, it eats up little-to-no power. I leave Bluetooth on all the time on my Sprint Gnex, and the only time it pops up in Android's battery stats is when it's connected to something for more than 5 minutes. And from what I understand, Bluetooth inherently uses more power than NFC.
2. How do the "carriers get to decide whether you can use NFC to pay bills"? Nothing's preventing you from sideloading the Google Wallet apk on a Verizon Gnex or using their ISIS system. It's also not like the carriers have imposed physical limits on how you use NFC either.

I think it is mostly the stupid software restrictions placed on ISIS and GWallet. I love using my NFC, I never turn it off and have tags all over the place. I would love to use GWallet, but I (1) have a Xperia Ion and (2) have a rooted phone. I highly doubt that ISIS, which I fail to see why it's existence is necessary, will be more open to being used on such a phone situation.

So they have a new logo? The NFC logo on my Note II doesn't look like that and it's equally useful.

Phil, couldn't you apply the same logic to the Bluetooth icon?

EDIT - Nevermind.. The BT icon does change when you're connected to another device.

I saw that, and for some reason my mind was seeing it as a sideways Z and not an N. Stupid brain over-thinking things.

That's strange... I use NFC all the time on my International One X+ and I have never seen that logo on my device.

When I first started seeing that logo, I thought it was a weird tie-in with Nescafe. Now I want a notification icon that tells me when my coffee is ready. Get on that Starbucks.

i hate that NFC logo SO MUCH. i don't know who the geniuses were that came up with such an ugly logo, but they should be fired.

I'm sure the fine folks over at xda will figure out how to get rid of it and still leave NFC on. Yeah, you'll probably need to root, but sometimes you have to root in order to display your middle finger.

I just spent the last 15 minutes trying to figure out what this is online lol. Terrible looking icon.

Doesn't do a damned thing? I have 2 tectiles on my nightside stand. One of them turns off my ringer and turns on wifi. The other one turns on my ringer and turns off wifi.

When I go to bed, I lay my phone on the left one to turn off ringer, and before I leave, I swipe it against the right one.

Work's really well. :)

While I do use NFC and I voted as such on the Poll. I have no need for a stupid icon. Talk about a waste of space and programming.

Shit like this would make be root my phone again or even worse, get an iPhone

This is the same symbol that has been on the Droid DNA since its release. Me and my friend who got one finally figured it out by turning off every feature on the phone until the symbol went away. It's hideous, shows HTC doesn't have UI design down yet.

Yes. People can clone your NFC related info to a tag if they are within range. If you are logged into wallet, for example, the information is vulnerable.

This is only my humble opinion but all of those white icons in the top bar in the pic are very ugly. I put a theme on my CM 10.1 to get away from looking at that stuff. I wonder why stock unrooted android doesn't let you change that? Its not like it would hurt any of the core programming and people would enjoy changing at least the color from time to time.

wow...are we really all complaining about an icon??

everyone knows the solution to making android look, feel and run the way you want: ROOT IT! If you root, you have options like build.prop modifications


problem solved.....boy was that hard!!

/pointless argument

Sorry, but that option is not there. Just looked using Rom toolbox, even searched and nothing with the letters NFC come up.

Is that really bothering people? Taking up space? Looks like there is plenty to spare in that status bar. You know it's on because you turned it on? Don't you also know when your connected to something with bluetooth? Don't you also know when your wifi is on? Don't you know what your reception is like based on call quality and data speed? Don't you know what day of the week it is without your phone saying "Fri"?

The BT icon actually changes so you know your connected to a BT device, the Wifi, data, cell icons all show you either signal strength or that data is moving up/down, and yet this NFC icon is just there doing nothing but inform you that is NFC is on.

Did you mean to say the logo doesn't MEAN anything, instead of what you said: the logo doesn't DO anything. No logo ever did anything. But, NFC is coming.

Actually I am glad they added the icon. I didn't know that the NFC function was on until the update. After I found out what the icon was for I shut NFC off because I don't know anyone that I could use that function with. So why have it on using up battery power.


Hi everyone. I was having the same issue after the update. After going through many post about it being related to the battery and other stuff, I just so happen to go in my

As u guys said and there it was NFC ckecked related to Android Beam:

>NFC -Allow data exchange when the phone touches another device.
>Android Beam - Ready to transmit App Content Via NFC

I unchecked the box and now the icon is gone.

From what I could gather, this feature would be like the Bump feature on the other phone that features it.

I'll use it when the feature is ready...

Never used this feature before. So, there is no need for the icon to take up space on my notification bar.

Thanks for the help! I upgraded to Android 4.3 on my HTC One yesterday and was also wondering where this icon comes from.

Hope HTC issues an update that allows to remove the icon from the statusbar.

This article describes what the logo is - "NFC". Unfortunately it does not explain what NFC actually is. I've never heard of it, and I certainly don't use it. Might be handy for the article to actually explain what the feature is.

After looking up what the feature is, I've turned it off immediately.