Your iPhone Needs Custom Battery Alerts

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A smartphone is only as good as its battery, and since the release of the first iPhone, Apple has done its part to make sure you’ll remember to charge it, hitting you with a pop-up alert when your charge drops below 20%. While that system is effective, the warning might not come soon enough: If you’re nowhere near a charger, making that last 20% count, especially with an older iPhone, can be tricky. But if you need an earlier reminder, you can set yourself a custom battery alert.  

Rather than an option in Settings, this is something you’ll have to assemble yourself using the Shortcuts app to create an automation. Automations are different from shortcuts, since they’re designed to trigger automatically based on a set of variables, rather than wait for you to activate them, and you can create an automation that sends you an alert when your battery has reached a certain percentage.

To start, open Shortcuts on your iPhone, tap the “Automation” tab at the bottom of the screen, then choose “Create Personal Automation.” Scroll down, then tap “Battery Level.” Here, you can move the slider to any percentage you like. Let’s go with 30% for this example. Here, you’ll see this changes your three options: “Equals 30%,” which will alert you when you reach 30%; “Rises above 30%,” which will alert you when you go above 30%; and “Falls Below 30%,” which sends an alert when your phone dips below 30%.

For our purposes, your best bet is likely “Falls Below,” since “Equals” will send you an alert both when your battery hits 30% on the way down, but also when it reaches 30% when charging from below that. Of course, that means you’ll really get the alert at 29%: If you want to be alerted at 30%, you’ll need to set the slider to 31%. On the flip side, if you’re someone who’s careful about not charging your iPhone to 100%, you could choose “Rise Above” to make sure you receive an alert to unplug your iPhone from power when it reaches, say, 80%(but also, you don’t need to worry too much about your iPhone’s battery health). When you’ve chosen, tap “Next,” then on the following screen tap “Add Action.”

How you approach the alert is up to you. If you want to see a simple notification, search for “Show notification,” then replace the text with something that lets you know your battery has reached the level you’ve chosen. If you tap the arrow, you’ll see additional options, including giving the notification a title, choosing whether or not the notification plays a sound, as well as choosing whether the alert contains an attachment. You can tap the play button to test your settings.

There are alternatives to the traditional onscreen alert, too: If you instead search for “Speak Text,” Siri will speak whatever you enter in the “Text” field when your battery hits a certain percentage. If you tap the arrow, you can change options like the rate and pitch of the voice alert, the voice’s language, as well which Siri voice you’d like to use.

When you’ve made your alert choice, tap “Next,” then disable “Ask Before Running.” When enabled, this setting forces you to approve the automation before it runs, which defeats the purpose of an automatic battery alert. To lock it all in, tap “Done.”

If you want to take things a step further, you can also set up an automation to automatically enable Low Power Mode at any battery percentage you want. That way, you don’t need to wait for the 20% battery alert (or your new custom notification) to be reminded to flip on iOS’ battery saving option.

[Tom’s Guide]


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