Apple is on the cusp of introducing a tiny change with an outsized impact on the quality of life of iPhone users everywhere who are tired of helplessly watching as the life trickles out of their device in unquantifiable increments.
But there's good news: In the latest iOS 16 beta, the battery icon again displays the actual numerical percentage of juice left in an iPhone or iPad's battery, giving consumers a more precise measure of how soon they'll be left clutching a lifeless hunk of precious metals.
The battery indicator returns in iOS 16 beta 5, but it still needs to be enabled for anyone running the beta (through the Settings menu). The option to toggle on Battery Percentage is found in the "battery" corner of the Settings menu, above the Low Power Mode toggle.
The update is limited to the beta for now, but if history is any guide, it should be making its way into a full iOS release. The battery percentage indicator made its debut way back in the iPhone 3GS era before disappearing with the advent of the notch on the iPhone X circa iOS 11 back in 2017.
As one of our resident Android apologists it is my sworn duty to point out that the battery indicator on Android never went anywhere and indeed remained functional through that operating system's many recent permutations, but you knew that already. As we all also know, the Cupertino company is a fickle divine entity and does as it pleases with the devices it issues from on high.
As our resident Appleman observed:
Apple doesn't always keep every beta feature in a final release - particularly if early feedback pushes back on something - but odds are high that the battery percentage icon is coming back in late September with the proper release of iOS 16.