One of the big criticisms of stock Android has always been that the some of the basic niceties are missing. One of the most prominent of these is simple: battery percentage.
It's a common tweak from the likes of HTC, Samsung or Sony, meaning you can see the battery level at a glance, rather than just as a tiny icon. On stock Android you normally have to swipe down to get the fuller picture.
Fortunately, the option to turn it on lives in Android 7.0 Marshmallow and it's easy to enable in 10 seconds if you know what you're doing.
It lives in something called the System UI Tuner, which is a hidden developer feature that needs to be enabled. Google has hidden this in Android because the features aren't final, and there's the declaration that some of the features might be removed in future Android updates.
System UI Tuner has been sitting in Android for a number of versions. Sometimes it is stripped out by device manufacturers, but if you have a Pixel or Nexus that's running Nougat, then you're in luck.
Here's how to get the battery percentage to display on stock Android:
- Enable System UI Tuner. To do this, swipe down the Quick Settings panel and you'll see the settings gear icon at the top of the display. Press and hold this for a few seconds.
- After a few seconds, the System UI Tuner will be enabled and will appear at the bottom of the settings menu. Once it's enabled, a spanner icon appears next to your settings shortcut icon and you'll get an onscreen notification.
- Open the System UI Tuner menu and tap "status bar". Towards the bottom you'll see the option called "battery" with a number of choice. Select "always show percentage".
It's quick and simple. The only thing to note is that when you're in battery saving mode, the percentage gets wiped out by the "+" symbol that battery saver uses, which is less than useful.