Is iOS 16’s New Battery Percentage Feature That Awful?

Earlier this week, Apple rolled out the fifth beta for iOS 16, which marks the return of the battery percentage for modern iPhones since the iPhone X. Previously, on those phones, you’d have to swipe down to check the battery percentage in Control Center. But now, it’ll be much easier to quickly look at the battery percentage at a glance.

Now everyone is happy, right? Well, this feature hasn’t been well received by many users. For one, not all modern iPhones will support this feature. The blacklist includes the iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 mini, and iPhone 13 mini. Whether it might be due to the screen size limitations or not, this has definitely been a bummer for those who use one of these devices. Apple does have over a month before the public release of iOS 16, so things could change before the final release.

Another issue with the feature is that the battery icon doesn’t match the battery percentage as it drains. In other words, you’ll see the battery icon as green and full even when the battery percentage is less than 100%. Therefore, the battery icon changes its appearance only once when the battery level drops to 20%. Apple has designed it so that the numbers could maintain their contrast from the background of the icon. This implementation seems quite deceptive to the end-user; however, the user can still turn off the battery percentage if they wish.

new battery percentage icon on iOS 16
Image: 9to5Mac

However, an engineering manager at The Browser Company named Brian Michel recreated a concept that is far more glanceable. As you can see, the numbers retain their contrast from the background color regardless of the battery level. Apple really should consider going back to the drawing board and reimplementing this feature based on Brian’s concept. After all, if Brian can do it, I’m sure the software developers at Apple can do it too.

In the meantime, would you be still using the new battery percentage feature? Could Apple have implemented this feature in a better way? Let us know in the comments, and follow us on Twitter, so you’ll get the latest news when they come out.

Nick Soong
Author: Nick Soong

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