Apple just brought back the coolest iPhone feature.  Oh, finally

Apple just brought back the coolest iPhone feature. Oh, finally

A new beta has brought back a feature that disappeared from iPhone ID devices in 2017. That was when the option to show battery percentage on screen was pulled from the iPhone X, although it remained on other phones released at the same time, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. Now, it’s back, even for phones with a notch at the top of the screen.

Aug 10 update below. This post was first published on August 9, 2022.

More from ForbesApple could launch iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro sooner than expected

Oh boy, this update makes me happy. Read on for details, and what iPhones you’ll get (spoiler: not all of them).


Aug 10 update. Although it was only announced for hours, the new battery percentage indicator on the iPhone home screen caused waves.

Many say it’s not done well, with Jose Adorno at 9to5Mac Pointing out that until the charge percentage drops to 20%, the white background of the battery icon does not change, only the shape inside it. This may cause people to glance up and see a full white cell that they think they have more charge than they do.

I get this, but I think the battery icon with white and black sections to match the charge level would look messy and hard to read – does that mean the numbers have to be part black, and part white, for example?

As you will see below, not every Face ID iPhone gets this option. It’s quite obvious that the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 13 mini probably don’t have enough space to show the new battery icon.

But there have been interesting comments about the other two iPhones missing this capability, the iPhone XR and iPhone 11, which are big enough, of course, so there must be another reason. The common denominator between them is that they are iPhones with an LCD screen, not an OLED. Talented 3D artist Ian Zilbo Take an interesting shot on this. First of all comment on the animation that changed from the new numbers with battery to the old battery and the adjacent percentage shown in the control center.

Next, he introduced the reason why there was no option for the new design on the iPhone XR and iPhone 11. “The pixel density is not high enough, I think.” I think he’s right. After all, these phones have a resolution of 326 pixels per inch (ppi), while iPhones with OLED screens have 458 pixels per inch or more.

It’s impossible for Apple to offer something like this if it feels like the screen is making it unreadable.

Other reviewers indicate that the iPad has not been shown a new battery icon To make the design match. That’s right, but there’s a lot of screen real estate on the iPad, and there’s no notch, so you never have to give up on the percentage on the screen.

There is still a lot of time before iOS 16 goes public, Even if the next iPhones are coming sooner than expected. So, Apple may be tweaking things in the coming weeks.


Why the problem?

The problem arose because the True Depth Camera System on the top of every iPhone with Face ID, usually referred to as the notch, meant there was no way to display the battery icon and the battery charge percentage with the numbers next to it.

If you want to see these details, and I do, with the current program, you have to swipe down from the top right corner of the screen to show them.

What have other manufacturers done?

Since other phones have adopted notches or peephole holes, a lot of companies have had to address this issue. Many ignored it while some, like Huawei, put the percentage inside the battery icon.

What is Apple’s solution?

It’s gone to get a similar look: instead of showing the white battery icon draining to black as the day goes on, in iOS 16, the battery icon stays completely white. It’s a noticeably different shape now, short and chubby. This extra thickness makes room for the percentage number to appear on the battery back and be clear and legible.

Is it better?

Oh yeah, if you ask me, it’s the next leagues. But I have to say it’s not quite perfect yet. The percentile number is not black from white, which would be very easy to read, but it is transparent. This means that on the main screen like the image of a delicious clownfish, the green background is not quite so visible.

This is due to Apple’s amazing design precision, but I would argue that it would have been better if it were less detailed and the percentage was black.

The color changes depending on the situation, so it lights up green when charging, for example.

When can I get it?

If you have the right iPhone, it will appear in the next public beta of iOS 16, apparently. You go to settings and battery then switch on battery percentage.

Wait, right iPhone?

That’s right, of course, it has to be an iOS 16 compatible phone, but since that’s not all Face ID iPhone, that’s not the problem. But it seems to be only available on certain iPhones. This seems to be space dependent. So, it’s on the iPhone X, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max, but not on the iPhone XR. The iPhone 11 has the same screen size as the XR, so this could be the reason it is not on this phone, or it could be due to the fact that the XR and 11 have LCD screens instead of OLED screens.

However, it should be the space that determines this on iPhone 12 and iPhone 13, as all phones in this series have it apart from iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 13 mini.

With no small option expected for the iPhone 14, it seems certain that it will be on all the new iPhones released this fall.

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