The biggest feature we’ve come to expect with iOS 16 is customizable lock screens, but in the latest beta, Apple has quietly added a feature that some users may find even more useful. Or rather, it brought back a feature that should never have come out.
If you have the fifth iOS 16 beta, you’ll see there’s a toggle to enable battery percentage in the status bar so you can quickly see how much battery your iPhone has left rather than relying on a rather vague visual indication .
This is a feature Apple used to offer, but the company removed it for phones with a notch, as the notch invaded the top edge of the screen meant there was less room for additional information in the status bar. So it’s good to see you returning here.
The implementation isn’t perfect, however – with battery percentage enabled, the actual battery icon appears full until the battery drops to 20% or less, which some users are finding confusing. But at least now you have the choice.
MacRumors (opens in new tab) informs that the battery percentage toggle is also not available on iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 11 or iPhone XR. It’s unclear why this is, but perhaps again it’s a space issue, due to the phones being smaller or the notch taking up more space.
Of course, this is just a beta version, so it’s possible that when the final version of iOS 16 is released, this feature will also be available for those phones, and perhaps it has been tweaked so that the battery icon still displays the current battery level. drums as we go. There’s also an outside chance that this feature won’t make the cut, but we certainly hope it will.
Analysis: an obvious option that should never have been removed
A battery percentage indicator is such a useful and obvious feature to have at a glance, and it’s baffling that Apple has removed it. The current battery indicator is better than nothing, but it can’t give you more than a vague indication of the battery level, and you shouldn’t have to swipe into the Control Center to find the percentage every time.
On non-notched phones like the iPhone SE (2022) Apple puts the percentage next to the indicator so you can get the best of both worlds and of course there is no room for this implementation on notch phones.
This is understandable, but if Apple were to only offer a percentage or an indicator, arguably the former is more useful. Or better yet, it could have given people the choice, as it essentially did in this latest beta. That this took so long to happen is baffling, but it’s nice to finally see it, and it could help make iOS 16 a big upgrade over iOS 15.