Recently, I was wondering why Where To? on iPhone X didn’t show the activity indicator in the status bar while it was fetching places from the network. I discovered that iPhone X actually doesn’t display the system network activity indicator. Apple writes in the Human Interface Guidelines:
Screenshot FTLinearActivityIndicator

On devices without edge-to-edge displays, a network activity indicator spins in the status bar at the top of the screen as networking occurs.

So the iPhone X, iPhone XS and XR simply don’t show the network activity indicator at all. While I consider this a bug and submitted a Radar (🐞 UIActivityIndicatorView should be shown on iPhone X) for it, I needed a solution.

I remembered that in an early beta of the iPhone X Simulator, I saw a K.I.T.T. scanner-style indicator with a linear gradient that was placed above or below the status bar items:


Screenshot by @twostraws

So I decided to implement this kind of indicator. It’s placed in the right “ear”, above the status bar icons. It’s convenient to use by simply “fixing” the existing network activity indicator on iPhone X/XS/XR. So apps using the network activity indicator continue to work as usual but also display the indicator on iPhone models with a notch. In addition, it can also be used as a standalone indicator view and tinted with a custom color.

The indicator is available as open source on GitHub and as a CocoaPod. Feel free to use it in your own apps!

The next Where To? update will of course use this as well to fix the missing activity indicator on iPhone X.

Update 8.2.2018: Where To? 10.8.1 includes this.
Update 20.8.2019: added references to iPhone XS and XR and updated the language from the HIG (“On devices without edge-to-edge displays”).

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2 Comments

  • Levesque Gilles

    wrote on April 28, 2019 at 6:09pm

    Hi there,
    You mention there is a fix for getting a network activity indicator on an iPhone X. What is required to do this? Is it an easy fix?
    (PS. I’m not a programmer or knowledgeable in “open source “ mentioned in your post. )
    Thank you for any help in getting this indicator back on my iPhone X

  • Ortwin Gentz

    wrote on April 28, 2019 at 8:08pm

    Gilles, using my open source component it’s easy to add this activity indicator on iPhone X, XS, and XR. Just ask your developer!

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