Battery percentage indicator returns to notched iPhones in latest iOS 16 beta

Humza

Posts: 1,025   +171
Staff member
The big picture: Apple's debut of the notch on 2017's iPhone X considerably reduced the screen space for items on the status bar. One of the more useful pieces of information available at a glance was the battery percentage indicator that Apple had to hide behind a swipe down for the Control Center. Now, the feature has returned in the latest dev build of iOS 16, albeit with a slightly tweaked implementation.

Apple has brought the battery level indicator back to the status bar of notched iPhones as part of iOS 16 beta 5. As on older models like the iPhone 7 and 8, the returning feature appears as a toggle under Settings > Battery. Interestingly, the option isn't available on all notched models, with beta testers reporting it missing on the iPhone XR, iPhone 11, and the iPhone 12/13 mini.

Apple has also changed how it shows the battery percentage indicator on compatible models. On older, notchless iPhones, the battery percentage appeared as a number with the percentage symbol alongside the battery icon that depleted or filled based on current battery level.

For those with newer iPhones (and battery anxiety), Apple's latest implementation sees just the figure displayed inside an always-filled battery icon. The latter only depletes (and turns red) when the battery level reaches 20 percent, as noted by an iOS developer.

Moreover, this number also changes color with the background to maintain legibility. It turns white when the battery icon is black/green and becomes transparent/clear when the battery icon turns white. The execution isn't always successful, as The Verge's Victoria Song describes in her experience.

This feature's absence on the iPhone mini series is understandable, considering that a combination of a smaller screen with the notch would hinder readability. However, the iPhone XR and iPhone 11, despite their larger notches, still appear to have enough screen space to accommodate this feature. Perhaps the culprit on these models is their lower pixel density and lower contrast LCD screens which could have forced Apple to only make this feature available on hi-res, OLED iPhones.

The battery percentage indicator is currently part of the developer-only iOS 16 beta 5, with a more stable, public beta to follow soon. Apple's official iOS 16 release is scheduled for this fall and will expectedly bring an iPhone 14-exclusive always-on display mode, plus the ability to edit or unsend texts with Apple's Messages app, among other features.

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Nanochip

Posts: 90   +120
Apple took ports away and then brought (some of) them back... Apple took physical function keys away, and then brought them back. Apple took away the battery percentage in the iOS status bar, and now is (sort of) bringing it back.

Apple took upgradability of RAM/Storage away... will they also bring that back? That would awesome...even if the RAM isn't upgradable... the ability to add NVME storage would be great...thunderbolt is cool, but until Intel/Apple/USB-IF updates thunderbolt/usb to operate on PCIe4.0, internal pcie4.0 storage is the way to go.
 

Hexic

Posts: 1,244   +1,950
TechSpot Elite
Apple took ports away and then brought (some of) them back... Apple took physical function keys away, and then brought them back. Apple took away the battery percentage in the iOS status bar, and now is (sort of) bringing it back.

Apple took upgradability of RAM/Storage away... will they also bring that back? That would awesome...even if the RAM isn't upgradable... the ability to add NVME storage would be great...thunderbolt is cool, but until Intel/Apple/USB-IF updates thunderbolt/usb to operate on PCIe4.0, internal pcie4.0 storage is the way to go.

Unfortunately, I don't think the idea of general flexibility (via hardware upgradeability, meaningful integrations, etc.) are really in the Apple playbook.

Their client base is seemingly content with the limited hardware & software functionality as is.
 

Nanochip

Posts: 90   +120
Unfortunately, I don't think the idea of general flexibility (via hardware upgradeability, meaningful integrations, etc.) are really in the Apple playbook.

Their client base is seemingly content with the limited hardware & software functionality as is.
Some of us want them to make the ability to upgrade great again. With fast thunderbolt storage options available in the market, it’s not that big of a deal, especially if you use your Mac docked… but MacBooks from 2013 or so and before were upgradable. So hopefully they consider bringing that back again.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,512   +5,920
Some of us want them to make the ability to upgrade great again. With fast thunderbolt storage options available in the market, it’s not that big of a deal, especially if you use your Mac docked… but MacBooks from 2013 or so and before were upgradable. So hopefully they consider bringing that back again.
pre retina mabook pros not only had upgradeable storage but could be fixed without a specialist shop's worth of tools. Upgrading to newer SSDs, putting in 16GB of RAM, replacing the DVD drive with a second HDD. Ah those were the days. People were always amazed how muh better their mabook worked after a SSD treatment.

Those machines were also tanks and lasted FOREVER, I still get one in once in a while. If apple had kept making them while upgrading the internals with iris pro, ece I'd probably own one as opposed to my PCs.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 2,214   +2,744
TechSpot Elite
pre retina mabook pros not only had upgradeable storage but could be fixed without a specialist shop's worth of tools. Upgrading to newer SSDs, putting in 16GB of RAM, replacing the DVD drive with a second HDD. Ah those were the days. People were always amazed how muh better their mabook worked after a SSD treatment.

Those machines were also tanks and lasted FOREVER, I still get one in once in a while. If apple had kept making them while upgrading the internals with iris pro, ece I'd probably own one as opposed to my PCs.

The 2013-2015 15" Retina Macbook Pros all came with RAM maxed and upgradable storage, those are still the gems of the line as the only port they were missing is Ethernet. The 2012 15" and the '12-15 13" had an 8GB version but at least still had the upgradable SSD. Even the 2016-17 MBPros still have upgradeable SSDs but the form factor is custom, bleah. I have a 512GB version of that one harvested from a damaged 2017 just in case a smaller one comes by my desk.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,512   +5,920
The 2013-2015 15" Retina Macbook Pros all came with RAM maxed and upgradable storage, those are still the gems of the line as the only port they were missing is Ethernet. The 2012 15" and the '12-15 13" had an 8GB version but at least still had the upgradable SSD. Even the 2016-17 MBPros still have upgradeable SSDs but the form factor is custom, bleah. I have a 512GB version of that one harvested from a damaged 2017 just in case a smaller one comes by my desk.
The 2013-2015 models did not come all "maxed out". They had 8GB models.


The 2013 13" model even had a 4GB OPTION!

https://support.apple.com/kb/sp691?locale=en_US
 
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Lew Zealand

Posts: 2,214   +2,744
TechSpot Elite
The 2013-2015 models did not come all "maxed out". They had 8GB models.


The 2013 13" model even had a 4GB OPTION!

https://support.apple.com/kb/sp691?locale=en_US
I remember the 4GB option (gag) now for the 13" but I didn't realize the 15" 2013s still came with an 8GB option (I've seen the 2012s with 8GB). 16GB became standard a year later in the 15" 2014 model, which I have seen a lot of over the years (and own a secondhand one), I guess I've never run across one of the cursed 8GB 15" 2013s.
 

MakeMSGreatAgain

Posts: 32   +27
Sounds mostly not-useful... like most of Apple's new stuff. Good job Apple!

Just bloody give us a damn option to push the old style notification bar down, and fill the notch sides with empty space. I'd much rather a big forehead than this stupid notch!

I miss my original iPhone SE...
 

p51d007

Posts: 3,289   +2,882
Apple takes something away, then brings it back and Apple fans clap up and down and go buy the new one. ;)
 

Nanochip

Posts: 90   +120
pre retina mabook pros not only had upgradeable storage but could be fixed without a specialist shop's worth of tools. Upgrading to newer SSDs, putting in 16GB of RAM, replacing the DVD drive with a second HDD. Ah those were the days. People were always amazed how muh better their mabook worked after a SSD treatment.

Those machines were also tanks and lasted FOREVER, I still get one in once in a while. If apple had kept making them while upgrading the internals with iris pro, ece I'd probably own one as opposed to my PCs.
My 2012 lives on. Several years ago, I upgraded the spinning hard drive with a Samsung SSD. Night and day difference in performance with the OS booting up way faster and near instant application load times compared to the spinning disk. 550 MB/sec of raw power! And with opencore legacy patcher, it runs Big Sur! My sister still has her 2009 MacBook Pro. I upgraded the RAM and SSD in that one too. And it’s still chugging along strong. Those pre retina machines lasted forever!

So you understand exactly what I mean. Apple needs to consider making upgradability great again.