The latest iOS 16 beta returns the iPhone’s battery percentage to the status bar. This is Apple finally walking back a controversial user interface change from 2017.
However, users of some iPhone models report that the new feature isn’t available on their device.
iPhone battery percentage is back in iOS 16
Years ago, an iPhone’s remaining battery percentage was always on display in the status bar. But the addition of the screen notch with the iPhone X reduced the available room at the top of the handset’s display. So, a number showing the remaining power in the battery was squeezed out for all iOS devices.
Users could still find it in the Control Center, but could no longer simply glance at the screen to see exactly how much power is left. Apple used a graphical representation of battery level instead.
That’s about to change, though — at least for some iPhone models. Apple seeded iOS 16 beta 5 to developers Monday, and this puts the iPhone’s exact battery percentage back in the status bar. It appears in any application where the battery level is shown.
However, reports indicated that the exact battery level does not show up on the iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 13 mini. Apple’s release notes for the beta do not mention this feature, so there’s no explanation why some models apparently get it and some don’t.
How to return the iPhone battery percentage to the status bar
The number appears within the battery icon, which no longer visibly fills with color to indicate the battery level. If the device is charging, the size of the battery increases slightly, a lightning bolt is placed next to it and the networking icons are temporarily pushed out of the status bar.
Users get to choose whether to display the battery percentage. Go to Settings > Battery to toggle on or off Battery Percentage. With the toggle off, the battery level is again shown graphically, as it is in iOS 15.
This is a simple change, but one iPhone users have been asking for since 2017.
The full version of the iPhone operating system upgrade is expected in September – just weeks from now.
The article was updated to note that users of some iPhone models can’t see their exact battery percentage.