Battery Health Management in macOS 10.15.5 is designed to extend MacBook battery life

With the current beta version of Apple's macOS Catalina 10.15.5, the so-called Battery Health Management introduced. This should extend the battery life in the MacBook / Pro / Air. The whole thing is achieved through various measures that delay the chemical aging process in the lithium-ion battery. I have summarized more information on the topic for you in the following. Until the feature comes out with the new Mac operating system, you can use the tricks summarized in this guide for a longer battery life: 11 Tips to Improve MacBook Pro / Air Battery Life.

The Battery Health Management in macOS 10.15.5 is designed to extend the MacBook battery life. You can read how it works here.

The Battery Health Management in macOS 10.15.5 is designed to extend the MacBook battery life. You can read how it works here.

The lithium-ion battery in the Apple MacBook / Pro / Air

Batteries with lithium-ion technology are used in a MacBook from Apple. These are well suited for mobile computers because they have a long service life and can be charged comparatively quickly. However, performance and stamina decrease over time - depending on the type and duration of use. Or to put it another way: the "age" of a battery is not only determined by how long it has been in the Mac notebook, but also by how excessively it has been used - from a purely technical point of view, the "chemical age" must also be taken into account .

So if you always pay attention to the operating temperature, charging cycle, charging status for storage and other points (see guide linked above), your MacBook's battery is probably quite "young". So that not only the user is responsible for keeping the battery of the Mac notebook fresh, Apple has the Battery Health Management in the current version Beta version implemented by macOS 10.15.5. This documents, for example, the temperature and the charging cycles of the battery. In one (not yet available in German on April 20.04.2020, XNUMX) Support document describes Apple how the tool should help.

How battery health management helps

The Battery Health Management in macOS Catalina 10.15.5 is designed to slow down the chemical aging of the battery. This is done by monitoring the battery temperature and charging patterns. Based on the collected data, the tool can reduce the maximum charge on the battery. The battery is only charged up to the level that appears best for the usage pattern determined. This prevents overcharging, which reduces wear and tear and thus also the chemical aging process.

The Battery Health Management thus has a positive effect on the life of the battery, but it can mean that the MacBook no longer lasts as long in battery mode. For example, if you only need 80% charge on average, you would have to deactivate the tool (before charging) before you are on the road for a long time without a charging option and require 90% or 100% charge status. In addition, the support document linked above states that, due to the reduced maximum charge, there may be a maintenance notice even though the battery is "healthy":

When battery health management is turned on, your battery's maximum charging capacity might be limited. Although the feature is designed to improve your battery's lifespan, the limited maximum capacity might update your battery status menu to indicate a need for service.

Control the Battery Health Management: Here's how!

The following points are currently only of interest to developers. However, if the Battery Health Management is rolled out as a feature in macOS 10.15.5, all compatible models of the Apple MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air can safely use it. This becomes important because the tool will be activated by default. And this is how you proceed to the control:

  1. In the  menu, the System settings ... click
  2. From the overview Save Energy choose
  3. Battery Health Management per checkmark activate or deactivate
  4. In the corresponding display at the bottom right OK here
  5. When deactivating: The security query with Turn off to confirm

Don't we already know this from the iPhone?

Yes, we already know something similar from the iPhone - and from the "iPhone brake", which was introduced in 2017 without much explanation (I reported). It was not until the end of 2017 / beginning of 2018 that Apple documented what the software-side brake of the iOS version of that time was supposed to do. The technology giant from Cupertino seems to have learned from this. Because now the feature is not only well documented and explained on the Mac - there is also the option of deactivating it by default. But whether it will be activated by many or will remain activated and how successful it will be remains to be seen. Whether the number of battery repairs and replacements will decline on average can only be evaluated in a few years ...

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