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New in iOS 9: Track iPhone Accessory Battery Life in Notification Center

Posted by Jim Tanous on September 28, 2015
iphone notification center batteries

Once just an accessory to a user’s Mac- or PC-centered life, the iPhone has quickly become a digital hub of its own, able to act as a central point of control for a multitude of peripherals and devices. As most of these iPhone accessories are themselves portable, Apple has sought to make it easier to keep track of their current battery status with a new widget in the iOS 9 Notification Center. This handy widget shows the current battery life and charging status of any devices connected to your iPhone, such as the Apple Watch, a wireless speaker, or a Bluetooth headset. Here’s how it works.
There are a few conditions that must be met before you’ll be able to see and enable the Batteries widget in the iOS Notification Center. First, this is an iOS 9 feature, so you must be running at least iOS 9.0. Second, the Batteries widget will only appear in your Notification Center if you actually have devices paired and connected to your iPhone. Examples include Apple Watch, a Jambox speaker, or a pair of Bluetooth headphones. If you don’t have any devices connected, if you’re in Airplane Mode, or if you have Bluetooth disabled in Settings, you won’t see the Batteries widget.
Assuming you have Bluetooth enabled and at least one device connected, you can enable and use the Batteries widget by activating Notification Center (swiping down from the top of your iPhone screen), making sure you’re on the “Today” tab, and scrolling down to the bottom of the screen (the length and complexity of the Today screen will depend on how many widgets you have enabled).
iphone edit notification center widgets
At the bottom of the Today screen, you’ll see a button labeled Edit. Tap it to change the appearance and layout of your Notification Center widgets. These widgets are divided into two sections: at the top are widgets that will be displayed on the Today tab of your Notification Center while the list of widgets on the bottom, in the aptly titled “Do Not Include” section, won’t be displayed. You can add a widget by locating it in your Do Not Include section and tapping the green ‘plus’ icon, while you can similarly remove a widget from the top section by tapping its red ‘minus’ icon.
iphone edit notification center widgets
Depending on your specific iPhone configuration, you may already have the Batteries widget in your top “included” section. If so, you can rearrange it relative to your other Notification Center widgets by tapping and holding on the three horizontal lines to the right of the entry, and then dragging it into its desired position. If you don’t have the Batteries widget already enabled, find it in the Do Not Include section and tap the green plus icon to add it, as described above.
Once you’ve added and positioned the Batteries widget as desired, tap Done at the top-right of the screen to close the edit window. You should now see a new section in your Notification Center which displays a list of all currently connected devices, their current battery percentage, and their charging status, if applicable.
notification center batteries widget ios 9
While most devices like the Apple Watch and Bluetooth speakers have their own built-in methods for determining remaining battery life, this new Batteries widget gives you a convenient central location from which to track all of your devices at once, helping to ensure that you never leave home or the office with a nearly depleted headset or smartwatch.

4 thoughts on “New in iOS 9: Track iPhone Accessory Battery Life in Notification Center”

maxweaver says:
I’m on an iPad Air 2 with an Apple BT keyboard. This feature would be very handy…if only it worked. I’ve tried adding the battery widget but it just won’t show up no matter how many times I add it. I long for the good old days when Apple’s slogan was “it just works”. Nowadays so many features are glitchy only only sometimes work, if at all.
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Louise Findlay says:
On my iPad 2 on the batteries widget my bluetooth headphones always say 70% no matter what charge they actually have.
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TekRevue says:
iOS relies on the Bluetooth device to accurately report its own battery life. Unfortunately, some Bluetooth devices don’t report correct values, and some don’t even report anything at all. What is the make and model of your headphones? Major brand names (Bose, Beats, Sony, etc.) generally report battery life, but many of the lesser known cheaper ones don’t.
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videoflyer says:
I’ve just recently added an MPow Cheetah bluetooth headphone to my iphone. Until I connected the MPow, I wasn’t seeing the battery indicator widget….despite the fact that my Pebble Steel is always connected to my phone via bluetooth. Also, it appears that the MPow is ALWAYS showing as 100% – that figure hasn’t budged despite my having used the headphones for a couple of hours now (and the MPow is supposed to have relatively poor battery life to start with – on the order of about 5-6 hours).
So, does this widget just NOT recognize certain bluetooth peripherals (my Pebble) and NOT read the actual battery levels of others (the MPow) or does my phone have an issue that needs clearing up? That’s my question.
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Bruno Rodrigues says:
Didn’t work with my Sony Bluetooth headphone – model MDR-ZX330BT
Anyone can help me???
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DeVitus says:
got the same with MDR-ZX330BT, and was just checking around the web until I saw ur comment. Friend’s got Jabra Move, and when I paired his headphones with my iPhone, I saw a battery bar right next to the bluetooth symbol on top, so I’d assume I’d see it in the widget too. This might be because Jabra Move is Bluetooth 4.0 but MDR-ZX330BT is Bluetooth 3.0. Wish there was a firmware update to Sony’s headphones that’d enable this.
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Bruno Rodrigues says:
Hi, I have returned my sony headphone and I bought this: http://www.skullcandy.com/headphones/HESHBT.html?cgid=1210&skdy_mic=Universal&color=Black
it is awesome

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