Here's Why the iPhone Battery Status Icon in iOS 16 Is So Controversial

In the latest iOS 16 beta, Apple has updated the status bar battery icon on iPhones with Face ID to display the exact percentage remaining rather than just a visual representation of battery level, and while the change has been largely welcomed, some users are unhappy with the way it has been implemented.

Lock Screen
In iOS 15 and earlier, battery percent has not been present on iPhones that have ‌Face ID‌ because of the lack of space on either side of the notch that houses the TrueDepth camera hardware. The new design adds the specific battery level to the battery icon, providing a better idea of battery status at a glance.

In Apple's latest design, the white battery icon remains completely filled in as the battery level gradually depletes. When the semi-transparent percentage reaches 20% or lower, a fifth of the battery icon turns red and the rest of the icon becomes semi-transparent, while the percentage inverts to white.

Apple appears to have chosen this abrupt change in styling to ensure that the central percentage number remains legible as the battery level depletes – if a white bar depleted behind the number then it would be harder to make out at a glance, Apple's UI designers likely concluded.

Some users disagree with this approach, while others have suggested their own alternative designs for a battery status indicator with percentage level.

Perhaps Apple didn't anticipate that such a small design change would be so controversial, or that some users have a very clear idea of how they want their iPhone's battery level to be represented.

For some, it's simply a case of calling out what they consider to be poorly thought-out UI design. For others, it plays into low-battery anxiety, a major trigger of nomophobia. Either way, it's become a surprisingly heated topic, while it's easy to forget that the percentage display is optional (caveat: It's enforced when in Low Power Mode.)

Of course, the battery level indicator design isn't set in stone, and Apple well could change it in a later beta of iOS 16 or the final release. Whether you're testing the latest public beta or not, what do you think about the way it's been implemented? Let us know in the comments.

Related Roundups: iOS 16, iPadOS 16
Related Forum: iOS 16

Top Rated Comments

exoticSpice Avatar
8 weeks ago
oh grow up, people.
Score: 87 Votes (Like | Disagree)
fwmireault Avatar
8 weeks ago
It’s silly to complain about such a minor thing. Design could probably be better, but I’m just happy that this feature is avaible again.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Stridr69 Avatar
8 weeks ago
Talk about a first world problem. Personally I've gotten used to the current version so don't really care at all about what percentage of battery is left. William Shakespeare's play comes to mind here: "Much Ado about Nothing"
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rdinterman Avatar
8 weeks ago
Seriously people, get a grip. It’s fine the way it is, just happy it’s back. Toggle it off of you don’t like it.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Starscape Avatar
8 weeks ago
A fantastic example of people looking for something to complain about.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sposborn Avatar
8 weeks ago
It sounds like quite a few people on the internet need a hobby... It's a battery icon....
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

ios 16 beta 5 battery percent

iOS 16 Beta 5: Battery Percentage Now Displayed in iPhone Status Bar

Monday August 8, 2022 10:43 am PDT by
With the fifth beta of iOS 16, Apple has updated the battery icon on iPhones with Face ID to display the specific battery percentage rather than just a visual representation of battery level. The new battery indicator is available on iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models, with the exception of the 5.4-inch iPhone 12/13 mini. It is also available on the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, XS and XS Max, and...
ios 16 1 beta 2 battery

Latest iOS 16.1 Beta Tweaks Battery Status Bar to Show Visual Charge Level

Tuesday September 20, 2022 10:53 am PDT by
Apple today released the second beta of iOS 16.1, introducing further tweaks to the battery percentage indicator that is located in the status bar. With today's beta, the battery level of the icon depletes as the battery depletes, providing a better visual indication of what battery level is at alongside the percentage. If the percentage feature is enabled, you will now see the charge...
ios 16 beta battery percentage icon

Apple Confirms iOS 16 Battery Percentage Display Not Available on Certain iPhone Models

Tuesday September 13, 2022 1:00 am PDT by
Following iOS 16's public release, Apple has confirmed that users of older generation iPhone models will miss out on the ability to show their iPhone's battery percentage directly in the status bar. In an updated support document, Apple says that the new battery percentage display is not available on the iPhone XR, iPhone 11, the iPhone 12 mini, and the iPhone 13 mini. Apple provides no...
ios 16 battery percentage icon on mac

Batteries App Brings iOS 16's New Battery Percentage Icon to the Mac

Thursday August 11, 2022 7:19 am PDT by
Just a few days after Apple reintroduced a battery percentage icon on the latest iPhones, developer Rony Fadel has updated his popular Batteries app with a new option to enable a similar looking battery percentage icon in the Mac's menu bar. As on the iPhone, the battery percentage appears inside the battery icon on the Mac for a consistent appearance across iOS and macOS. The existing...
ios 16 beta 6 battery percent low power

Latest iOS 16 Beta Updates Battery Percentage Options in Low Power Mode

Monday August 15, 2022 1:56 pm PDT by
The sixth beta of iOS 16 that was provided to developers and public beta testers today focuses mainly on bug fixes and other under-the-hood improvements, but it does make one small change to the battery percentage status bar feature that was introduced in the prior beta. When using Low Power mode, it is now possible to turn off the percentage indicator that is shown in the status bar,...
iOS 16

Everything New With iOS 16.1 Beta 2: Lock Screen Charging Indicator, Copy Paste Alert Fix, Battery Status Updates and More

Tuesday September 20, 2022 12:17 pm PDT by
Apple today released the second beta of iOS 16.1, introducing some notable changes to charging indicators on the iPhone and also fixing a few bugs. We've rounded up all of the changes in the second beta below. Battery Status Bar Visual Charge Indicator Apple in iOS 16 added battery percentage to the battery icon in the status bar on Face ID iPhones, and in iOS 16.1 beta 2, improved the...
airtag battery icon

Apple Removes AirTag Battery Level Indicator From the Find My App

Thursday July 21, 2022 5:15 am PDT by
In iOS 15.6 and the latest iOS 16 beta, Apple appears to have intentionally removed the AirTag battery indicator in the Find My app. In previous versions of iOS, a small battery icon, similar to the iPhone battery status, appears below an AirTag's name and location when the AirTag card is opened in Find My. While not accompanied by a percentage, the icon provided an approximate...
ios 16 beta 5 battery percent

iOS 16.1 Adds Battery Percentage to iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone XR, and iPhone 11 Status Bar

Wednesday September 14, 2022 11:12 am PDT by
Apple in iOS 16 updated the battery icon on iPhones with Face ID to display the specific battery percentage rather than just a visual representation of battery level. At launch, this feature did not include the iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone XR, or iPhone 11, but according to multiple reports from the MacRumors forums and Twitter, all of these iPhones now support the feature....

Popular Stories

iphone 14 pro max vs 13 max 2

Camera Comparison: iPhone 14 Pro Max vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max

Thursday September 29, 2022 7:44 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max introduce some major improvements in camera technology, adding a 48-megapixel lens and low-light improvements across all lenses with the new Photonic Engine. We've spent the last week working on an in-depth comparison that pits the new iPhone 14 Pro Max against the prior-generation iPhone 13 Pro Max to see just how much better the iPhone 14 Pro Max can be. Subscrib ...
maxresdefault

Apple Responds to Video Testing Crash Detection Feature With Junkyard Vehicles

Friday September 30, 2022 9:11 am PDT by
The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern recently traveled to Michigan to test Apple's new crash detection feature on the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Ultra. In response, Apple provided some additional information about how the feature works. Stern recruited Michael Barabe to crash his demolition derby car with a heavy-duty steel frame into two unoccupied vehicles parked in a junkyard — a 2003...
iphone 14 iphone 14 plus in hand feature

iPhone 14 Is Secretly Hiding a Beloved Mac Feature

Friday September 30, 2022 3:24 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models bring over a longstanding Mac feature, but the setting to enable it is off by default. The feature, which is actually a new accessibility option, allows the iPhone to play a startup chime like the Mac. When enabled, the sound comes alongside a new shutdown chime. The Mac has featured a startup chime since 1987's Macintosh II, and the iconic "bong"...
adaptive transparency airpods pro

iOS 16.1 Beta Brings Adaptive Transparency to Original AirPods Pro

Thursday September 29, 2022 1:08 pm PDT by
The third beta of iOS 16.1 that was released earlier this week expands the Adaptive Transparency feature introduced with the second-generation AirPods Pro to the original AirPods Pro. As noted on Reddit, first-generation AirPods Pro owners who also have the AirPods beta software will now see an "Adaptive Transparency" toggle in the AirPods section of the Settings app. The 5A304A beta...
iOS 16 Wallpaper Spectrum Feature

Five Wallpaper Apps to Check Out for iOS 16's New Lock Screen Depth Effect

Thursday September 29, 2022 9:08 am PDT by
One of the biggest new features in iOS 16 is a completely redesigned iPhone Lock Screen. The new Lock Screen is entirely customizable, letting you change the colors and fonts, add widgets and new wallpapers, and more to make your iPhone uniquely yours. Of course, even before iOS 16, you could customize your Lock Screen with a wallpaper of your choice. iOS 16 takes the Lock Screen wallpaper...
tony blevins car

Apple Procurement VP Departs Company After Vulgar TikTok Comment

Thursday September 29, 2022 12:38 pm PDT by
Tony Blevins, Apple's vice president of procurement, is set to depart the company after he made a crude comment about his profession in a recent TikTok video, reports Bloomberg. Blevins was in a video by TikTok creator Daniel Mac, who was doing a series on the jobs of people he spotted with expensive cars. After seeing Blevins in an expensive Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, Mac asked Blevins what ...
tim cook malala

Tim Cook: Not Too Long From Now, You'll Wonder How You Led Your Life Without AR

Thursday September 29, 2022 7:26 am PDT by
Speaking at Università Degli Studi di Napoli Federico II in Naples, Italy, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that not too long from today, people will wonder how they led a life without augmented reality, stressing the "profound" impact it will have on the not so distant future. At the university, Cook was awarded an Honorary Degree in Innovation and International Management and also sat down for a...
Hero0005

Best Apple Deals of the Week: M2 MacBook Air Hits New All-Time Low Price at $1,049, Plus Sales on AirPods Pro and More

Friday September 30, 2022 9:05 am PDT by
This week's best Apple deals focus on the AirPods Pro, AirPods Pro 2, and M2 MacBook Air, including numerous all-time low prices on these devices. You'll also find up to 50 percent off discounts on Anker and Eufy accessories on Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us...
zuckerberg metaverse

Apple CEO Tim Cook: 'I'm Not Really Sure the Average Person Can Tell You What the Metaverse Is'

Friday September 30, 2022 12:51 pm PDT by
Apple CEO Tim Cook has been touring Europe this week, sitting down for interviews with various media publications. Augmented reality has been a running theme in Cook's discussions, and it is a topic he brought up again in an interview with Dutch publication Bright, which is part of RTL News. "I think AR is a profound technology that will affect everything," Cook said, echoing comments from...
ipad pro m1 feature

Gurman: Apple Event This October Remains Unlikely, No Touch ID for iPhone 15

Sunday October 2, 2022 6:41 am PDT by
Apple is developing new iPad Pro, Mac, and Apple TV models, and at least some of these products will be released in October, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. However, Gurman continues to believe that Apple is unlikely to hold an event this month. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman said "the big iPhone 14 unveiling last month was probably it for Apple in 2022 in...