Apple ‘fixes’ MacBook Pro battery life issue by removing the ‘time remaining’ clock

“The macOS 10.12.2. update dropped today, and it contains a bevy of bug fixes and improvements — along with one puzzling removal,” Joel Hruska reports for ExtremeTech. “According to Apple, it’s simply too difficult to calculate how much battery life a CPU has remaining, and the company has removed this feature from the latest edition of its operating system.”

“Tech writers at The Verge report that their testbed Apple laptop could barely squeak through six hours of battery life, to the point that Apple agreed to send a replacement unit for testing,” Hruska reports. “That unit failed to do any better, which puts these laptops well below the 10 hours of battery life that Apple is claiming — and while no claim about battery life can be accurate to every single use-case, Apple has a reputation for generally providing the battery life it promises.”

“What’s even more unusual about this is that other sites and forum users have reported that their own battery life is fine and hitting the 10 hour mark without incident,” Hruska reports. “It’s possible that some systems aren’t dropping into lower power states the way they should be, possibly due to a software issue. We’ve seen issues like this before in mobile, where ad-supported games and apps drain battery life much more quickly than their paid equivalents because they don’t turn the Wi-Fi modem off properly when ads aren’t being displayed.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: When CPU power management techniques are thwarted by some software, that’s usually when you see these significant battery issues in otherwise identical systems.


    1. Tim Cook proves every single day why he is viewed as a total incompetent. Once you reverse the default spyware settings in Windows 10 and disable the Auto Update service, it’s a great OS.

      MacOS use will begin a rapid decline under Cook.

      1. What a sad brush-off of the diabolical nature of Windows 10. You forget that I use Windows 10.

        Shutting down all the Microsoft surveillance in Windows 10 is in and of itself a long, arduous task. Shutting off its Auto Update service is oh-so-tempting as they’ve made it ever-so dangerous to apply their updates. Nonetheless, Windows 10 is almost, but not quite, as dangerous as Android. Just this past month a dire security flaw was discovered going back many year’s worth of Windows versions. You WANT the update that patches that calamity.

        But I will certainly agree that Apple has done many faceplants over the past few years regarding Mac and macOS. <-Proper spelling, as per Apple.

        Many of us here are in the habit of kicking Apple's ass when they blunder. I'm currently railing at them to fix their remarkably broken Feedback Assistant system for AppleSeed beta-testing. It's torture. Someone over there doesn't give a rat's about those of use who volunteer to help out Apple. And thats sickening!

        But to attribute every little Apple blunder to Cook is as absurd as attributing ever little Apple blunder during the Jobs era to Jobs. And yes kiddies. The Jobs era was similarly filled with blunders. Pretending Apple was flawless under Jobs is faerie land fantasy.

        But would I rather have Jobs running Apple than Cook? Of course! But Jobs is dead. And there aren’t any other Steve Jobs around to replace him, are there. Elon Musk has his own shows to run.

    1. Have you contacted Apple? If you did, what did they say?

      Although it’s different hardware, I had an issue when my iPhone was abruptly shutting down at around 20%. After a couple of attempts to fix it, they replaced the phone.

  1. Stating the amount of time remaining is important. It enables us to know the real amount of battery life left and makes an otherwise figure of 15%, 23% or 37% more meaningful. Without that, the percentage figure is not helpful.

    Instead of working on this issue, Apple removes the feature. Will that delight customers? Those customers who buy MacBooks because they ‘just work’ or are more intuitive than Windows?

    Or are Apple now making decisions about hardware and software that are less about delighting its customers and more about maximising its profits?

    Apple is, thankfully, profit-making company. Those of us who went through the bad years know how bad it was when Apple was a loss making company. But in all the years after the return of Steve Jobs (requiescat in pace), Apple has told us that its primary motivation is not making money but making great products that delight its customers. We hold them to a higher standard than Microsoft and Dell.

    We expect that when Apple says the battery lasts 10 hours, it lasts 10 hours without Apple taking away the timer, which shows otherwise, and reduces essential information. Apple are not living up to their ideal.

  2. I’ve been getting about 9 on my new 15″, which is about what I’d expect given the workload. Now when it’s heavy in photoshop or auto cad the life is around 7:50, which while better than my 2012, isn’t awesome. That said, it’s significantly better than any pc laptop with similar specs doing the same workload. I’m chalking it up to software and specific items that these people are running that is draining the battery. Oddly, the app “battery health” on the App Store uses quite a bit of memory and power for what it is, but it is a useful tool. It is also much more accurate than the built in battery app.

      1. No it doesn’t, we have 3 of them and the i7 systems do not get anywhere near that. The lower end surface books do, but they only have integrated graphics, and the lower res display. With the same workload we average 8 hours on the surface books with the top end config we use.

  3. Who turns the screen brightness to half to conserve battery life?

    The retina screen looks like CRAP at half brightness.

    The iPhone and iPad get advertised life at full screen brightness!

    There should be a worst and best case, Apple MacBook battery life spec!

  4. Apple is still giving too much information that can be misinterpreted.

    Their battery charge scale should read, LOTS, HALF, GETTING LOW, and OOPS!

    Or maybe four little dots that blink off one-by-one.

    Thanks, Apple!

  5. Bertrand Serlet is over on the board of Parallels.

    Maybe Tim Cook should hire him to clean house and do a Snow Leopard rewrite of Mac OS. It is welll past obvious the clowns in Cupertino are incapable of chewing gum and walking simultaneously.

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