Since the genesis of Portable Macs until today, when plugging your Apple laptop into the socket, the energy behavior is basically the same: the computer has its drums fully recharged, remaining at 100% while power is connected. That is about to change.
THE Six Colors today announced that the second beta version of macOS Catalina 10.15.5 brings a new feature of Battery Health. Its purpose is to change the way the system handles charging MacBooks Air / Pro, so that, in the long run, your laptop's battery will suffer less chemical wear and will be able to hold more charge for an extended time.
How it works
Starting with macOS Catalina 10.15.5, the system takes a more ?smart? approach to understanding machine loading patterns.
MacOS will analyze how and when the user tends to plug his MacBook Air / Pro into the socket if he has the habit of just fully recharging the computer and then unplugging it afterwards or if he prefers to keep the laptop connected after the battery is recharged, for example to adjust the power settings.
For example: if the user usually leaves the computer always plugged in, the system stops charging just before the battery reaches 100% (which is important to minimize the loss of capacity in the long run). Despite this, the macOS menu bar will continue to display ?100%? in the battery code, the difference is that that number does not refer to the maximum capacity of the battery, but the maximum ?safe? capacity to preserve its longevity at that time.
The system also analyzes the temperature of the battery: if the charging is overheating the component, the pace of the process will be reduced because the heating (and thermal variations in general) significantly reduce the health and longevity of the battery. Other elements, such as ambient temperature and processor usage, will also be taken into account in the process.
According to Apple, all processing and analysis of this data will be done locally on the device itself, and they will be sent to the company only if the user explicitly agrees to share them. The company did not say exactly how many percent battery charging could be limited, but said that users should not feel any difference in the durability of their machines away from the outlet.
When to use
The new Battery Health feature of macOS may be like the one introduced in iOS some time ago, if the user wants to remain the master and lord of the management of the battery itself. Despite this, it will come on as standard as of macOS 10.15.5; to turn it off, it will be necessary to go to the ?Energy Saver? section in the System Preferences.
With this in mind, the vast majority of users will be able to leave the feature on most of the time without this representing a loss of performance or battery life. The only case in which it may be beneficial to turn it off is in a scenario where you need to spend many hours with your MacBook out of the socket before a long flight, for example, any extra 1% on the battery will make a difference.
Finally, it?s worth noting that the new Battery Health feature is only valid for the latest MacBooks Air and Pro, with ports Thunderbolt 3; if your model is loaded via MagSafe (the magnetic one with a light on the plug), none of the above will be applied to your machine.
12 ? MacBooks are apparently also out, as they don't have a Thunderbolt 3 port (but USB-C).
Now that everything is explained, it remains to wait for the official availability of macOS Catalina 10.15.5 to know the real effectiveness of the feature and if it does not in fact compromise the performance and battery life of MacBooks at all.
At least, Apple is showing that it has learned from its mistakes and widely spreading the news before let it reach devices when a similar feature (but more aggressive) was introduced in iOS silently, we all remember the colossal lambana that followed.