MacBooks are getting an important new feature that might significantly impact their battery longevity.
The new developer preview of macOS Catalina 10.15.5 contains a new feature called battery health management, which Apple says is a “feature designed to improve the lifespan of your Mac notebook’s battery.”
Lithium-ion batteries, which are typically used in MacBooks (and smartphones) these days, don’t like extremes. When you fully charge or discharge your MacBook, or when the battery heats up too much or gets too cold, it suffers. The damage won’t be visible right away, but it builds up over time, and after a year or two, your MacBook’s battery will noticeably weaken.
Enter battery health management, which will reduce the rate at which the MacBook’s battery ages by monitoring the battery’s temperature history and charging patterns. For example, if you typically keep your MacBook plugged in during the entire work day, this feature may reduce the battery’s maximum charge.
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If you hate the idea and it’s far more important for you to get a maximum charge right now, you can turn the feature off.
Apple’s iPhone already has a similar feature, introduced in iOS 13. Called optimised battery charging, it’s not fully charging the phone’s battery unless it’s necessary. It’s located in Settings – Battery – Battery Health, where you can turn it on and off.
The feature is currently only available to developers. Next, it should make its way to the public beta of Catalina 10.15.5, after which it’ll become available to everyone.
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