Last week I noticed a wave of user complaints about the new Apple MacBook Pro's battery life. The issue seemed to be isolated to the more expensive Touch Bar equipped models. Users of these expensive portables went online to complain about battery life being far less than the advertised 10 hours, and more like three to six hours.
Much speculation ensued. Was it new product teething troubles? Was it the AMD Radeon discrete graphics? Might the new Touch Bar be eating up the battery? With people using their computers in so many different ways, with so many different applications, it is of course hard to know - despite claims of 'normal use' by affected users. Needless to say, people started to anxiously eye their MacBook Pro status bar's remaining battery life indicator.
Today Apple has released an update to Mac OS. The updated Mac OS Sierra 10.12.2 is said to have "improved the stability, compatibility and performance" of Mac computers and is "recommended for users", reports The Guardian. It also removed the long-standing feature of being able to get a battery life 'time remaining' estimate by clicking on the little battery icon…
It is pointed out that battery life remaining time estimates can be very unreliable, as power consumption can vary widely depending upon whatever the user is doing on a laptop throughout the day. The battery life can be heavily impacted by gaming, especially if a discrete GPU kicks in, for example. Addressing that theory to some degree one user forced his 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar into only using the AMD Radeon Pro 460 graphics and still got nearly 6 hours of runtime. Furthermore, many complainers claim to only be using their new MacBooks for day-to-day non-intensive computing tasks.
Whatever the reasons behind it, for now, Apple's Mac OS Sierra has lost the estimated battery time left drop-down menu. It will be interesting to see if it returns and if some hardware / firmware / software fix can address the many new MacBook Pro users' battery stamina concerns.