Apple has released macOS 10.15.5 with a new feature that should help maximize the lifespan of MacBook batteries.
Like all lithium-ion batteries, the batteries in Apple’s notebooks age and gradually deteriorate over time. The older a battery is, the less maximum capacity it has compared to when it was new. This means that a MacBook Air that once achieved 10 hours of battery life may only achieve five or six. Leaving a notebook plugged in much of the time can accelerate that decay.
In macOS Catalina 10.15.5, Apple has introduced a new feature designed to help alleviate these issues and extend a battery’s lifespan. According to Apple’s documentation, the new feature monitors your battery’s charing patterns and temperature history, and alters how your Mac notebook charges.
“Based on the measurements that it collects, battery health management may reduce your battery’s maximum charge when in this mode. This happens as needed to ensure that your battery charges to a level that’s optimized for your usage—reducing wear on the battery, and slowing its chemical aging.
“While battery health management benefits your battery’s long-term lifespan, it can also reduce the amount of time your Mac runs on one battery charge when capacity limits are applied. If your priority is making your Mac notebook last as long as possible before recharging, you can turn the feature off.”
The release also provides information on the battery’s health in the Energy Saver preferences, much as iPhones show battery health under the Battery settings in iOS.
macOS 10.15.5 also includes the ability to control the prominence of video tiles in Group FaceTime calls, as well as calibration controls to fine-tune the Pro Display XDR.
Overall, this is a welcome release. The battery health features, in particular, are an excellent improvement for individuals (such as yours truly) that rely on a Mac notebook as their primary machine.