The battery percentage indicator is probably the biggest of iOS 16’s lesser-known new features. Before this, notched iPhones didn’t readily show the battery percentage as the notch took up screen real estate; you had to swipe down to open the Control Centre to see it.
For iOS 16, Apple inserted the number right in the battery icon, but there’s a catch. The icon itself stays solid no matter the actual charge level (until it gets below 20%), so it always looks full even though it isn’t. This gives users a false sense of security – I turned this feature off after a couple of days, and I’m sure I’m not the only one – so it’s no surprise there’s been a lot of complaints about it since the update dropped.
Cupertino seems to have taken heed of your comments, as it has revised the design of the icon in the iOS 16.1 beta 2. Now, it shows both the charge level and battery percentage at the same time, giving users a better idea of how much battery there’s actually left. The number also has a bolder font, and the lightning bolt for charging no longer shows once you reach 100% – even if you’re still plugged in.
This is the second consecutive battery percentage update Apple has made in the iOS 16.1 betas. The first version expanded the availability of the feature to all notched iPhones, including the XR, 11, 12 Mini and 13 Mini. These were left out from the original release, presumably due to the lower-resolution displays on the XR and 11 and the smaller screen on the Mini models.
iOS 16.1 is expected to be seeded next month, together with iPadOS 16.1. The release of the latter, previously known as iPadOS 16, was reportedly delayed due to problems with the new Stage Manager multitasking function.
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