iOS 16.1 will let more iPhones use this handy feature

iOS 16 review public beta
(Image credit: Future)

 iOS 16 was released mere days ago, but Apple's now getting ready for the first big update — iOS 16.1 — the final version of which will be "available later this year" (via iMore). While there are a few additions of note, the one we're happiest to see is that more iPhones can now use the battery percentage indicator.

Only some of the iOS 16-ready iPhones are able to turn on the battery percentage icon on iPhone at the moment, but with iOS 16.1, the iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 13 mini will also now be able to use it. That means only the iPhone 8, iPhone SE 2022 and iPhone SE 2020 are unable to swap from the battery fill line icon in iOS 16, which makes some sense since they use an older iPhone design. 

We still hope Apple will add the feature to the compatible Touch ID iPhones later, though, as it seems unfair to deny users of older or less fully-featured iPhones yet more abilities.

Currently, iOS 16.1 is only in beta, intended for developer use rather than regular iPhone owners like you and me. Therefore, we suggest that you hold off on trying to set up a Developer account to get the beta, and instead wait a month or two for Apple to roll out the stable version of iOS 16.1 automatically.

There have been more discoveries in the iOS 16.1 beta beyond the expanded battery percentage setting. Perhaps most important of these is the addition of APIs (software kits for developers) for the iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island and the delayed Live Activities feature, which hopefully means more third-party support for both in the near future.

Also, the rumored Clean Energy Charging feature seems to be arriving with the new update. This ability tracks when the U.S. power grid is producing the least polluting energy at off-peak times, and charges your phone during that period to reduce network strain and emissions.

Beyond this, the Shared iCloud Photo Library, Matter smart home device support, and the ability to delete the Apple Wallet app, all previously revealed or rumored, are incoming in the 16.1 update. There are a couple of totally new features too, namely the ability to customize your home screen without having to go through the iOS 16 lock screen settings first, and a new screenshot screen that shows your save/delete options as a small corner pop-up, instead of one that appears from the bottom of the screen. 

If your iPhone can download the new software update, but you haven't done so yet, read our iOS 16 review to see all the good reasons there are to update.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.