Apple adds the battery percentage icon back in the latest iOS beta

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.


That big climate bill might actually make a difference

With the Senate passing the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 last night, and House passage later this week all but assured, it’s likely that the U.S. will be taking significant — though not comprehensive — congressional action on climate change.

The bill is expected to trim U.S. carbon emissions to 40% below 2005 levels by the end of the decade. That’s short of President Joe Biden’s target of 50%, and not quite enough to help put the world on the preferred path of warming no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. But it’s still a major step, one that could restore confidence in global climate agreements.

It’ll also give a big boost to climate tech, a sector that’s been red hot and seemingly immune to cooling sentiment.

The new version, which passed after negotiations with Senator Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat from Arizona, has a few changes. The corporate minimum tax reportedly has been tweaked to be more lenient on manufacturers, and the changes to tax on carried interest are out, though it’s not clear whether investors were all that concerned with them anyway. It’s been replaced with a 1% excise tax on stock buybacks that goes into effect next year. Sinema also successfully lobbied for $4 billion for Western states to fight the megadrought they’re currently experiencing.

The rest of the massive bill, which we’ve covered in detail, remains largely the same. That means enticements to get people to buy EVs and heat pumps; carrots for companies to set up domestic supply chains for batteries, solar panels, and wind turbines; and $20 billion to help agriculture overhaul itself with an eye toward trimming emissions.

But will the bill be enough? Among realists, there’s largely agreement that the Inflation Reduction Act is better than nothing. It may not be perfect, but there’s still time to improve on it, right?