iOS 16 Beta 2 Improves iPhone Battery Icon, But Should You Install It?

This story is part Focal Point iPhone 2022CNET’s collection of news, tips and advice on Apple’s most popular product.

Even though Apple only released iOS16 — its latest update for the iPhone operating system – nine days ago the company already released two betas of iOS 16.1 for users enrolled in its developer program.

The first beta of iOS 16.1 brought developer tools for the new dynamic island and a clean energy charging function. The second beta release adds fixes for pairing Material accessories and copy and paste, but the biggest news is a whole new look for the reintroduced battery percentage icon.

The new battery percentage meter in iOS 16.1 beta 2

The second developer beta for iOS 16 changes the battery percentage icon.

Screenshot by Nelson Aguilar/CNET

In front of criticism on its design of the percentage in the battery icon in iOS 16, Apple gave in to some of its users’ demands. With the new beta, the battery gauge icon in iOS 16 with added battery percentage now runs out as the battery level drops. In the current stable version of iOS 16, the battery icon with the added numeric percentage will show as full until it reaches 20% and turns red.

Even if you really want that new battery percentage design, should you download and install iOS 16.1 beta 2? And how do you do?

Although it is easy to download and install iOS 16.1, developer betas are not intended for general use, especially because they may have unfinished features and glitches that could make the iPhone difficult to use. Some iPhone apps may not fully work with iOS 16.1 yet. These early betas are intended for developers, to help them keep their apps up to date while providing early access to the latest features.

In short, you probably shouldn’t install the developer beta on your primary iPhone. If you really want to get iOS 16.1 early, try to find a sufficiently recent replacement iPhone (iPhone 8 or later) to work with iOS 16.1 instead. For those still wanting to dive in, we’ll show you how to install the developer version of iOS 16.1, as well as what to do if you want to downgrade to a stable version of iOS 16.


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If you want to learn more about iOS 16, check out all the new features you should know about, including some cool hidden features and some others not so cool settings.

What to Know Before Downloading the iOS 16.1 Developer Beta

Since the iOS 16.1 developer beta is an early preview release, the software may have bugs and other issues.

Still, if you plan to download iOS 16.1, do it on a backup or secondary phone, if available. iOS 16.1 developer beta issues could cripple your iPhone and make it hard to use, disabling phone calls or texts, or making it extremely slow. However, if you only have your primary phone or tablet, Make sure you back up your iPhone on iOS 16 before updating to iOS 16.1. This way, you have the option to roll back to iOS 16 if there are too many issues on the new OS.

Also you must have a iPhone 8 or later to run iOS 16.1. iOS 16 and its updates are not supported on iPhone SE (2016), iPhone 6S, ‌iPhone‌ 6S Plus, ‌iPhone‌ 7, or ‌iPhone‌ 7 Plus and earlier.

iPhoneSE

Fortunately, the 2022 version of the iPhone SE will support iOS 16.

Patrick Holland/CNET

To download the iOS 16.1 Developer Beta 2, you must be enrolled in the Apple Developer Program, which costs $99 per year. If you don’t want the latest developer beta, you can join the Apple Beta Software program and download the public beta for free (currently iOS 16, but will soon be iOS 16.1).

How to Join the Apple Developer Program

The first step to get iOS 16.1 Developer Beta 2 on your iPhone or iPad is to join the Apple Developer Program if you are not already a member. If you’re on your iPhone or iPad, here’s how you can sign up:

1. Download the Apple Developer app from the App Store.

2. Launch the app, go to Account and press Register now.

3. Sign in with your Apple ID credentials.

4. Read the different benefits and instructions, enter your personal information and scan your ID to verify your identity.

5. Once this information is submitted, you must choose your entity (individual for most people) and accept the program license agreement.

6. Finally, pay the Apple Developer membership fee (with Apple Pay), which is $99 (about £80 or AU$140) per year.

Join the Apple Developer Program

The Apple Developer app is free to download from the App Store.

Nelson Aguilar/CBS

After successfully completing the payment, you will be redirected to your account page in the Apple Developer app. Here you can check that you are now registered, and you can also check when your membership expires next year.

Install iOS 16.1 beta 2 with live update on your iPhone

The easiest way to download the iOS 16.1 Developer Beta 2 is to perform an over-the-air update, just like you would any other new software release on your device. Here’s how:

1. On your iPhone or iPad, go to the Apple Developer Program download page, tap Install profile for iOS 16.1 beta 2 and press Allow.

2. Next, open the Settings app, tap Profile uploaded and knock Install top right when it appears. Enter your password if prompted, then press Install two more times. Your phone will need to restart.

3. Once your phone restarts, connect it to power, make sure you’re on Wi-Fi, and go to Settings > General > Software update. If you don’t instantly see an available update, wait a few minutes and check again.

4. Finally, hit Download and install > Install and enter your password to update your device.

iOS 16 on the iPhone

Once you have downloaded and installed iOS 16.1 beta 2, all updates will appear as over-the-air updates on your iPhone.

Nelson Aguilar/CBS

Once your phone has finished rebooting, you should have access to the latest iOS 16.1 Developer Beta 2.

Download the iOS 16.1 developer beta using your Mac

Over-the-air updates require a certain amount of storage, and if you don’t have it available, using your computer is really the only way to update to iOS 16.1 beta 2 without manually emptying the space.

1. On your Mac, go to the Apple Developer Program download page, search for iOS 16.1 beta 2 and click Download restoration images.

2. Download the beta iOS software restore image for your specific device.

3. Next, connect your device to your computer and enter your device’s passcode or tap Trust this computer if you are prompted.

4. Open Finder and click on your device in the sidebar under Pitches.

5. Usually next to Software you will see the latest software running on your device.

6. hold it Option button, click Check Update and choose the iOS 16.1 beta 2 software restore image you just downloaded from the Apple Developer page.

iOS 16 beta download on Mac

If you don’t have much storage space on your device, you can download and install iOS 16 beta 2 using your Mac.

Nelson Aguilar/CBS

iOS 16 beta 2 software will install on your device. Wait a few minutes and when your phone reboots, you should have access to the latest version of iOS 16.1.

If you just want to run the standard iOS 16, here’s how you can download it right now. And after you do, here are three things to check with the new iPhone OS.

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