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HomeScience/TechnologyiOS 16.1 Will Fix Our Biggest iPhone Battery Icon Complaints

iOS 16.1 Will Fix Our Biggest iPhone Battery Icon Complaints

This story is part of Focal point iPhone 2022CNET’s collection of news, tips, and advice on Apple’s most popular product.

Apple has released two iOS 16.1 developer betas since iOS 16 rolled out earlier this month, and both updates deal with major complaints about the support and design of the new battery icon. iOS 16 brought the battery percentage back to the iPhone status bar after Apple pulled the feature with the release of iPhone X in 2017 due to space requirements for various sensors such as the camera and microphone.

So yes, it’s back. But many iPhone users are not so happy about it. First, some iPhones didn’t get the new battery percentage meter. Second, some users don’t like the way it’s been redesigned. Fortunately for both groups, it appears that Apple has listened.

read more: iOS 16 does not work on every iPhone. Will it work on yours?

Here’s what you need to know.


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What about the battery status meter on iPhone?

iPhones used to show the exact percentage of your battery in the status bar. But after the release of the iPhone X, which notch — the black bar at the top of your device with a speaker and camera — there wasn’t enough screen space left to keep the battery percentage in the status bar, so Apple removed the feature.

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Sure, you can swipe down from the top right corner of your iPhone to see the exact percentage in the Control Center, but that means you can’t look at the battery percentage from the inside each app or from the home screen. And it’s nearly impossible to measure the exact percentage from the battery icon, which isn’t good if your iPhone is about to die.

iOS 16 reintroduces battery percentage in the status bar, within the existing battery icon.

Which iPhone models are not getting the battery percentage feature back?

Not all iPhone users with iOS 16 will see the new battery percentage feature in the status bar, which is frustrating for some. While there’s no official explanation as to why certain models have been excluded from the feature, it appears to be due to a lower pixel density for some devices and lack of space for others.

According to this Apple support page, the following models do not support the feature:

The only way you can view your battery percentage on iPhones that don’t support the new feature is to add a battery widget to your lock screen/home screen or swipe down from the top right corner of your iPhone to see the battery percentage next to the battery icon (instead of inside).

However, the new battery percentage feature is coming to iPhone XR, iPhone 11, and iPhone Minis with iOS 16.1, which was released to developers last week. You can find out how to download it herebut it should be pushed to the general public soon enough.

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Even some people who do have the feature are frustrated with its design

Not everyone is happy with the design of the new battery percentage icon. While the battery percentage itself is always visible in the status bar on supported devices, the battery icon itself will always show as full whether the phone is idle, charging, or in power saving mode – only the color changes. So it can be a little confusing just looking at it.

The only time the design really changes is when the battery reaches 20% or less – the battery icon then shows as empty, or about a fifth full, and turns red.

On Twitter, Mikael Johansson created a mockup in which the battery icon changes along with the percentage. Thousands of people have liked the tweet and many agree that it is an improvement over the current design.

Apple listened and redesigns battery percentage icon with iOS 16.1

Apparently, Apple has heard criticism from iPhone users and redesigned the battery percentage icon with iOS 16.1, which is currently in its second developer beta. As evidenced by the mockups that Mikael Johansson posted online, many people preferred a battery icon draining along with the percentage.

And that’s exactly what Apple changes the battery icon to, as you can see in the tweet below from Federico Viticcia. Instead of just dropping the percentage, the battery icon design also drains, making it easier to see how full (or empty) your battery life is.

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However, iOS 16.1 is still a long way from being released to the general public. If you really want it now, how to download the developer beta.

How to get battery percentage back in status bar on iOS 16

Regardless of your opinion on the design, you should at least take a shot at the battery percentage feature if your iPhone supports it.

To see your battery percentage in your iPhone’s status bar, all you need to do is upgrade to iOS 16. You can wait for your iPhone to alert you with a pop-up notification, or you can manually force an update by going to Settings > General > Software update.

Once you’ve done the update, you should see the percentage in the battery icon in the top right corner of your screen – anywhere on your iPhone. That way you can keep a close eye on when your iPhone is low or low, and when you need to charge it.

Although the setting is enabled by default, you can go to: Settings > Battery and turn on the Battery percentage option to check if it works. When your device is charging, the battery icon turns completely green and shows the percentage, while in power saving mode, the battery icon turns completely yellow, but again with the percentage in it.

Battery percentage feature on iOS 16

Disabling the Battery Percentage feature removes the numbers from the status bar and reverts to the old battery icon design.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

For more information, read everything Apple revealed at its “Far Out” event. Plus, here are the best iPhone 14 deals.


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