This story is part of Focal Point iPhone 2022CNET’s collection of news, tips and advice on Apple’s most popular product.
The latest mobile software release from Apple: iOS 16 — returns the battery percentage to iPhone status bar. Apple removed the feature with the release of the iPhone X in 2017 due to space requirements for various sensors such as the camera and microphone.
Now it’s back. But many iPhone users are not very 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.
read more: iOS 16 will not run on all iPhones. Will it work on yours?
Luckily for both groups, it turns out that Apple has been listening. Apple has released two iOS 16.1 Developer Betas since the release of iOS 16, and both updates address major complaints about the support and design of the new battery icon.
This is what you need to know.
What is the problem with the battery status meter on the iPhone?
iPhones used to include the exact percentage of your battery in the status bar. But after the launch of the iPhone X, which introduced the notch — the black bar at the top of your device that houses 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.
Sure, you can swipe down from the top right of your iPhone to see the exact percentage in Control Center, but that means you can’t see the battery percentage from within none app or from the home screen. And it’s nearly impossible to measure the exact percentage from the battery icon alone, which isn’t good if your iPhone is about to die.
iOS 16 reintroduces the battery percentage number to the status bar, inside the existing battery icon.
Which iPhone models will not recover the battery percentage function?
Not all iPhone users running iOS 16 will see the new battery percentage feature in the status bar, which is frustrating for some. Although there has been no official statement as to why certain models are excluded from the feature, it appears to be due to lower pixel density for some of the devices and a lack of space for others.
According to this Apple support page, the following models do not support the feature:
The only way to see 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 of your iPhone to see the battery percentage next to the battery icon (instead of inside).
However, the new battery percentage feature will come to iPhone XR, iPhone 11, and iPhone Minis with iOS 16.1, which was released last week to developers. You can check how to download it herebut it should be released to the general public soon enough.
Even some people who 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 is always visible in the status bar on supported devices, the battery icon is always full whether the phone is idle, charging, or in low power mode; only the color changes. So it can be a bit confusing if you just look at it.
The only time the layout really changes is when the battery reaches 20% or less: the battery icon shows as depleted, or about a fifth full, and turns red.
On twitter, Michael Johansson created a mockup showing the battery icon changing along with the percentage. Thousands of people have liked the tweet and many have agreed that it is an improvement over the current design.
Apple listened and is redesigning the battery percentage icon with iOS 16.1
Apparently, Apple listened to criticism from iPhone users and redesigned the battery percentage icon with iOS 16.1, which is currently in its second developer beta. As the mockups that Mikael Johansson posted online showed, many people preferred a dying battery icon, along with the percentage.
And that’s exactly what Apple is changing the battery icon to, as you can see in the tweet below posted by Federico Vicci. Instead of just dropping the percentage, the battery icon layout also drops, making it easy to see how full (or empty) your battery is.
However, iOS 16.1 is still a long way from being released to the general public. If you really want it now here’s how to download the developer beta.
How to recover the battery percentage in the status bar in iOS 16
Regardless of your thoughts on the design, you should at least take a chance on the battery percentage feature if your iPhone supports it.
To see the battery percentage in your iPhone’s status bar, all you need to do is update to iOS 16. You can wait for your iPhone to alert you with a pop-up notice, or force an update manually by going to Settings > General > Software update.
Once you update, you should see the percentage on the battery icon in the top right corner of your screen, from anywhere on your iPhone. That way, you can keep a close eye on when your iPhone is full or close to running out of battery, and when you should start charging it.
Although the setting is turned on by default, you can go to Settings > Drums and toggle on the battery percentage option to make sure it works. When your device is charging, the battery icon will turn completely green, showing you the percentage, while when in Low Power Mode, the battery icon will turn completely yellow, but again with the percentage inside.
Pre-orders for iPhone 14 are open, and the phone itself will be available on Friday, September 16. To learn more, learn everything Apple featured at its “Far Out” event last week.