Apple banishes battery time remaining feature from macOS after battery life concerns in new MBP


Dec 7, 2011
Miami, Florida
The battery time remaining indicator on macOS, a feature that had been available for many, many years on Mac laptops (and desktops running off of UPS power), has been banished, starting with macOS 10.12.2. Users still get a battery percentage remaining indicator.

9to5Mac learned after they "talked to those in the know” that "the reason [for the feature’s removal] is due to how the latest low-power processors work when switching between various tasks. The inaccurate ‘time remaining’ predictions were unable to keep up with or provide accurate information for users on the newest machines.”

Obviously, what is needed is a more complex algorithm that incorporates all of these new variables into the equation when calculating remaining battery time, not to discard the functionality for everyone who uses Mac laptops, whether they have the “latest low-power processors” or not. Rather than fix the feature, Apple simply discarded the feature altogether. This isn’t the first time that Apple throws its arms up in despair and takes the easy way out. The “Secure Empty Trash” feature was removed basically because it did not work all the time.

The removal of the battery time remaining feature has generated quite a stir with users. Respected tech blog Daring Fireball likens Apple’s removal of the feature to someone who has a watch which shows time inaccurately deciding that the best way to fix this is not to wear a watch at all, rather than fixing the watch or getting a new one. And the relevant article over on MacRumors, a popular tech site, has generated over 1000 user comments, many of which, as you may imagine, are not praising Apple for taking this radical step.

Whether Apple reverses course and puts forth the effort to fix the feature in a future macOS update remains to be seen. They could always argue that iPhones don’t have the feature, so why should their laptops have it? A better alternative for Apple would be to re-implement the feature and slap a “beta” label on it, as they’ve done in the past when they are aware that the information coming out of a given feature may be iffy, like Siri in the early years, or more recently, voicemail transcription.
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