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The problem with the iOS 16 battery percentage icon

Five years ago, Apple removed the battery percentage icon when it introduced the iPhone X. From there, we heard a lot about what were the reasons behind it. “It wouldn’t fit due to the notch,” or “Apple doesn’t want to make users anxious about the battery draining” – yeah – but now, with iOS 16 beta 5, Apple weirdly was able to make room for it, but, honestly, the implementation is poor.

First of all, not all iPhones with a notch will have the new battery percentage icon. As of now, these are the compatible models:

  • iPhone 13, 13 Pro, and 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12, 12 Pro, and 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XS and XS Max
  • iPhone X

You can say that the iPhone mini can’t fit the battery percentage icon and maybe Apple doesn’t care enough about LCD models, but would it be asking for too much for the iPhone 11 and iPhone XR to also feature it?

The problem with iOS 16 new battery percentage icon

new battery percentage icon

Like many of you, I was really excited about the new battery percentage icon after seeing that I could add it to my iPhone 13 Pro. I just find it more useful to see the numbers rather than a random battery icon getting lower. While I was testing it yesterday, I couldn’t help but notice that the battery icon is always “full charged” and the only thing changing is the numbers.

While it does make sense why Apple doesn’t match the battery icon exactly to the number as your battery drains (just the contrast of the number against the backdrop alone makes it difficult to read), on quick glance, looking at that “full battery” icon did trick me a few times into thinking the battery was actually more charged than it actually was.

You only realize that you’re running out of battery when it drops to 20%. This is when the icon changes and you start worrying about not having enough juice for the rest of your day.

Here’s how Apple could solve it

Face ID

If Apple wants to implement a battery percentage icon with iOS 16 as it readies the new iPhone 14 Pro design, the best option would be to let users choose between the icon or just the percentage. That way, users could choose whatever works best for them.

Since beta 5 is the first build Apple implemented the new battery percentage icon, the company could tweak it again, before iOS 16 is released to everyone in September.

What are your thoughts on the iOS 16 new battery percentage feature? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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