Apple Removes Wrong ‘Time Remaining’ Battery Life Estimates From macOS; Issues 10.12.2 Sierra Update

By Vittorio Hernandez , Updated Dec 14, 2016 09:08 AM EST

After the recent complaints of Apple phone owners about battery issues, there were also problems with the 2016 MacBook Pros over wrong “time remaining” estimates of battery life in new machines. To address the problem, Apple removed the estimates from the macOS.

Among the complaints received by Apple were estimates lower than expected when the battery life status menu is checked on remaining battery life. Apple said the problem is not because of a hardware flaw but misunderstanding on how the feature works, 9To5Mac reports.

Shifting Between Tasks

Upon investigation, Apple found that the batteries in the new MacBook Pros were behaving as expected. It is how the low-power processors work when shifting between different tasks, such as between low-power and high-performance modes, which causes the wrong “time remaining” estimates. The result is battery level readings that are not reliable and erratic.

Another explanation is some features of the MacBook Pros rely on iCloud synching in MacOS Sierra. The features include Optimized Storage and Spotlight indexing and facial recognition in Photos which drain battery when indexing big photo collections.

10.12.2 Sierra Update

Apple issued on Tuesday the 10.12.2 Sierra, a macOS update that would offer an accurate prediction of battery life by showing the percentage of remaining juice similar to other iOS devices. An AppleInsider source, however, said it would still take a month of use for the battery life indicator in macOS or Windows to give a good time.

The source explained that percent measure which users see is based on battery circuitry which examines battery output and capacity. The result is reported to the OS what is left of the juice which provides a totally accurate and better level of reading with the new processor. Most of the complaints were sent to AppleCare and Genius Bar.


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