There are plenty of ways for an Android user to get detailed info on the battery life remaining on his or her phone – besides stand-alone apps, we’ve seen home screen widgets, OEM skins, and custom ROMs all deliver their own takes on displaying battery info at a glance. Throughout all this, though, the standard status bar battery indicator has remained extremely simply, offering only a graphical indication of charge. Well, now with the release of Android 4.4 it looks like Google might finally be getting with the program and picking up on a good idea that’s been around for a while, starting to add the framework for displaying a numerical reading of remaining capacity in the status bar.
It’s not activated by default, but send a couple commands to your KitKat phone over ADB (or just run an app designed to twiddle the right bits directly on your handset), and you’ll see a little percentage indication overlaid upon the graphical representation of charge.
Problem is, right now that leads to a white-on-white clash, making the numbers unreadable until the battery really starts dwindling down. Obviously, we expect to see that corrected and the whole thing a bit more refined by the time this becomes a more public feature, but it’s still good to learn that Google’s working on this at all.