Did you know you can check your iPhone battery level from your Mac when it’s nearby? I knew there was a way to see the visual indicator, but there’s actually a way to see the specific percentage as well without installing any third-party apps. The trick requires your iPhone’s Personal Hotspot feature which lets you connect your Mac to your iPhone’s cellular connection wirelessly, but you don’t even need Personal Hotspot toggled on.
I keep Personal Hotspot toggled off unless I’m sharing my cellular connection with someone else, but the latest versions of iOS and macOS still see available hotspots from devices with the same iCloud accounts enabled as part of Apple’s Continuity feature. The visual battery indicator that is always a click away: just click the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar and wait for your iPhone to appear under Personal Hotspots.
That gives you an idea of battery life, but I much prefer to see the specific percentage otherwise I couldn’t really tell you the difference between 60 and 80%. The specific percentage indicator is hidden under an option-click like a lot of other neat macOS tricks.
If your Mac and iPhone are using the same iCloud account and your iPhone plan supports Personal Hotspot (even if it’s toggled off), holding down the option key and clicking the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar presents a much more detailed list of network information.
Hover your mouse over your iPhone in the list and this time you will get the specific percentage of how much battery you have in real-time without installing any extra utilities. The reason macOS tells you the battery level of your iPhone is so you can have an idea about when your hotspot source is dying, but there are other situations where checking your iPhone battery percentage from your Mac can be convenient too.
Is your iPhone fully charged yet? Is your iPhone about to die and needs to be plugged in before you leave? There are even apps that help you check iPhone battery life from your Apple Watch, and iPhones and iPads have a battery widget for checking battery level of paired wireless devices. Until Apple brings its battery widget to macOS (which would be useful!), this handy workaround gets the job done for iPhones (and probably LTE iPads as well).