It was seen by many as a vital tool to judge how long they could use their MacBook for while out and about before needing to plug in. However, others claimed that Apple’s MacBook battery indicator was grossly inaccurate and could not be relied on to estimate how many hours or minutes of battery lie were left.
Now Apple has issued a software update to masOS Sierra – version 10.12.1 – which only gives a percentage figure for how much power is left, rather than any timescale. The indicator was seen as very unreliable given that battery life can depend on so many factors, including how bright the screen is, what the laptop is being used for or whether any background tasks are running.
Apple has issued a statement saying that the update is being made to improve stability, compatibility and performance. However, the update has immediately come under fire, with users saying they would prefer to still have some sort of estimate, even if it was not totally accurate.
It comes amid criticism of MacBook Pro battery life, which users say can be only half the 10 hours which is promised. Some people who bought the new devices when they were released two months ago have reported getting as little as two hours of use out of machines which were fully charged. Apple is billing the new MacBooks as its thinest ever, with 10 hours of battery life.
Apple is urging customers to use the upgrade, which it says improves audio quality for Siri and FaceTime with Bluetooth headphones, and fixes an issue with Microsoft Exchange. It should also get around a glitch which can occasionally make the screen appear to flicker.
Microsoft’s Windows-10, however, will continue to provide estimates of battery life, based on users continuing to operate their device in the same manner.