When the first iPhone with Face ID came out, Apple removed a popular feature — the status bar’s battery percentage indicator — because of how much space the TrueDepth camera system’s notch took. It’s been absent on all Face ID models since. Now, almost five years later, it’s finally made a comeback.
But wait, you’ve seen the battery percentage icon on your Face ID-equipped iPhone before, haven’t you? Yes, most likely. It just wasn’t in your status bar permanently.
In iOS 15, you can see the % when opening Control Center, looking at the Batteries widget, and asking Siri. You can even get the % when you start charging, wake during charging, and stop charging. You can even build a custom shortcut that displays the numerical value of battery power remaining, then use an automation, home screen icon, Back Tap, or AssistiveTouch as its trigger.
In the fifth iOS 16 beta released on August 8, Apple snuck in the new switch to change the battery level icon in your iPhone’s status bar to a battery percentage icon. Hopefully, this update makes it to the final iOS 16 release this fall, but it could use some considerable enhancements.
On Touch ID models, the percentage appears to the left of the battery levels icon, but here it appears in the battery levels icon itself without a % symbol. That makes the numbers harder to read since they are less tall than the other status bar icons. While the numbers are the same ratio as in the time, they somehow looked squished inside the battery icon.
And when it’s charging, iOS shoves a lightning icon in with the numbers, further cluttering things.
To switch it on, go to Settings –> Battery, then toggle on the new “Battery Percentage” switch. After updating to the latest iOS 16 beta, it may already be automatically enabled, and you won’t have to touch a thing.
The new battery percentage icon option is missing from the iPhone XR, 11, 12 mini, and 13 mini. It’s likely due to their smaller display sizes, and given the current issues with the battery percentage icon, it would have probably looked worse on these models. So, unless something changes, these are the Face ID models that can use the new indicator:
- iPhone 13 Pro Max
- Phone 13 Pro
- iPhone 13
- iPhone 12 Pro Max
- iPhone 12 Pro
- iPhone 12
- iPhone 11 Pro Max
- iPhone 11 Pro
- iPhone XS Max
- iPhone XS
- iPhone X
Before the latest iOS 16 update, the “Battery Percentage” switch had already been available on the iPhone SE (2nd and 3rd generations), 8, and 8 Plus, all of which have Touch ID and an unobstructed status bar. In iOS 15, the switch is available for those models plus the iPhone SE (1st generation), 6S, 6S Plus, 7, and 7 Plus.
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