Jonathan Wylie is a digital learning consultant who has a passion for helping others get the best out of their technology.
Banishing Battery Anxiety on iOS
Recently, when I upgraded my iPhone to a newer model, I noticed that the battery percentage was gone. This was a little unsettling. I love seeing the battery percentage on my iPhone. Without it, the small, white battery icon is just not precise enough, and it rarely serves to give an accurate representation of how much longer my iPhone will last. However, I soon learned that the battery percentage was not gone, it just moved, and in the latest version of iOS, there are multiple ways for you to show your iPhone battery percentage. Here are five of my favorites.
1. Show Percentage in the Status Bar
If your iPhone has a physical home button, (iPhone 6, 7, 8, SE), you can show battery percentage in the iPhone status bar. It will appear in the top right-hand corner of your screen next to the battery icon. If you don't see the percentage, open the Settings app, tap Battery, and turn on Battery Percentage.
Newer iPhones without a physical home button, (iPhone X and later), do not have this option. That's because the notch at the top of the screen that houses the Face ID sensor does not leave enough room for the battery icon and a percentage. However, there are lots of other ways to find the battery percentage on your iPhone.
2. The iPhone Control Center
All iPhones will show the battery percentage in Control Center. This handy settings screen is just a swipe away. If your iPhone has a physical home button, you can access Control Center by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. If you have a newer iPhone, simply swipe down from the top-right hand corner of your screen. The battery percentage for your iPhone is displayed at the top of the Control Center.
If you are using a larger device like the iPhone Pro Max, the top right-hand corner is quite a stretch if you only have one free hand. Thankfully, there is a handy shortcut that can summon the Control Center with a double-tap on the back of your iPhone. Here's how to set that up.
- Open the Settings app
- Tap Accessibility and then tap Touch
- Next, scroll down and tap Back Tap
- Select Double Tap, and then choose Control Center
From now on, you can tap twice on the back of your iPhone to bring up Control Center. It's an easy way to show your battery percentage and have quick access to other settings like brightness, airplane mode, and media controls.
3. The iOS 14 Battery Widget
iOS 14 brought new customization options for iPhone users in the form of widgets. Android customers have been enjoying these for years, so it was great to see Apple implement their own interpretation of this popular feature. There are a number of system widgets that can be added to your home screen but the battery widget is a must-have addition if you want to keep an eye on your current charge level. Watch the video below to learn how to add widgets in iOS 14.
If you swipe through the different kinds of battery widgets, you will notice a variety of different sizes. The larger widgets will display not only your iPhone battery percentage but also the percentage of any connected devices like Bluetooth headphones or your Apple Watch. Some people like to have the battery widget front and center on their home screen, but the Today screen is only a swipe to the right so others prefer it there so that they have more room for apps on their home screen.
4. Show Battery Percentage While Charging
You've probably seen this before, but when your iPhone is charging, you can check your battery percentage from the home screen. Simply tap the screen to wake it up or press the power button. The current battery percentage can be seen in place of the date, under the clock, on your lock screen. Remember, you can fast-charge your iPhone 8 (and newer) to 50 percent battery in around 30 minutes. Fast charging works when you use a Lightning to USB-C cable and pair it with a power adapter that is rated at 18W or higher. Apple will gladly sell you a power adapter for $29, but the Aukey Minima 18W charger is available for less than half that price. It's smaller and it works just as well!
5. If in Doubt, Ask Siri!
Did you know that Siri, Apple's virtual assistant, can tell you how much battery you have left? This is particularly useful if you don't have any free hands, or you are rushing around to get out the door. Simply say, "Hey Siri, what is my battery percentage?" and it will proudly announce the current charge level and show it as a number on the screen of your iPhone. Everyone knows that Siri doesn't get a great reputation for being a particularly useful virtual assistant, but for quick tasks like this, it is the perfect tool for the job.
Bonus Tip: Use Your Apple Watch!
The Apple Watch has a great complication that helps you keep track of the battery life on your watch, but what about the iPhone? Well, there are a number of useful apps in the App Store that were created for that exact purpose. Once launched, these watch apps will be able to show you the battery percentage of your iPhone from your wrist. Free apps like Battery Watcher or Charge will do the job, but if you want additional options like low battery notifications, or watch face complications, then check out Juice Watch. It's a paid app, but it definitely has some useful ways to monitor the battery life on your Apple Watch and your iPhone.
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Jonathan Wylie