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Battery Percentage Finally Returns to iOS 16 and it’s Hideous

Today, Apple published iOS 16 beta 5, which includes the eagerly anticipated return of the battery % to the status bar. Unfortunately, it’s also illegible and hideously unattractive. Before,  the battery symbol was accompanied by a battery % indicator. But due to the notch, there wasn’t enough room to fit it in, so Apple did away with it starting with the iPhone X. You presently need to swipe down to Control Center to view the battery level. The figure now appears inside the battery symbol in iOS 16, which is how Apple “fixed” the problem.

It looks hideous, like something from a phone from about 2011. It kind of resembles the number on a sports shirt from a distance, and not in a good way. I am aware it is just my personal aesthetic preference, though. My major complaint is that this new battery % figure also has technical issues. The number must always seem fully charged to be readable because it is included inside the battery symbol. Therefore, even if your phone’s battery life is only 10 percent, the symbol itself still seems to be full. I’ll admit that in the brief time I’ve had this function on, my brain has short-circuited.

The battery icon’s sole function is to let you quickly determine how much power you still have at a glance. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to read due to the “full” battery and the extremely small digits. That is especially true if your vision is already weak. It doesn’t help that if you select a light backdrop, the status bar has always been hard to read. Naturally, not everyone will have this problem.

You won’t likely find it to be too bothersome if you have 20/20 eyesight. In addition to a couple Focus Mode lock screens with light backgrounds, I also happen to suffer significant astigmatism and nearsightedness. I lost count of the number of times I mistook the 50% battery level for 5G

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