Snow Leopard pays closer attention to battery life

Perhaps because of some the negative publicity with regards to some magsafe adaptors exploding on unibody MacBook and Macbook Pros or just because they care, users of the new OS X operating system Snow Leopard will now have access to a utility which monitors battery life on the portable devices within the Apple family.

News on Appleinsider reports that when logging into Snow Leopard users can now click on the battery icon, located in the menu bar on the desktop and access some more information about their battery's physical condition.

The update to this utility now shows a new "battery condition" summary as well as the current amount of charge, along with the current energy source. Appleinsider states that once the battery has been deemed to be in poor condition and a significant loss of its original capacity has been discovered by the system, an exclamation icon will appear and the condition will be changed to "poor" -- this exclamation results in the need for the battery to be changed or replaced and comes as more of a warning to end users on the go who are not around their chargers the majority of the time.

Little is known about the varying degrees of battery state which Snow Leopard will highlight, but suffice to say, users will have a great deal more warning now with the use of this utility. This comes as a replacement to some third party applications which can also monitor battery life. Appleinsider states that there is no official reason behind this change and that simply to give users an early warning as to the condition of their battery is reason enough. However, I think it is also just to make clear that battery problems are something which is on Apple's mind right now, given some of the previous failings of their batterys in the past. This upgrade comes concurrent with an update to the iPhone battery life indicator.

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"this exclamation results in the need for the battery to be changed or replaced"
There is NO chance that this will be used to rook customers by getting them to change batteries before they need to be.

The battery healthy can already be monitored, this just seems to be an easier way to do so.

Your skepticism is still valid, but let's at least give the company some credit - they have a policy in place that, whether you're under warranty or not, a battery that falls below a certain health rating (where the rating is calculated as the current maximum capacity as a percentage of what the maximum capacity should be) and has received less than a certain number of charges will be replaced for free. I'm not sure whether other companies have a similar arrangement - I wouldn't be surprised if some do.

Combined with their Apple stores, it makes for a pretty nice user experience. My year-old Macbook Pro experienced battery warping and the health percentage started dropping off. The system was out of warranty, but I'd read about the battery exchange deal and brought it to the Apple store. The "Genius" checked the battery health and cycle count, shut the system down, walked over to a rack on the sales floor and picked up a battery, unwrapped and unboxed it, plopped it into the system, and told me to have a nice day. (Those batteries are terribly overpriced normally, by the way.) That, at least, was a really great customer experience. I hope other companies take note.

Of course, I like to think that Apple has that program because they're nice, and not because they have faulty batteries as a whole - but who knows...

Interesting that this is a new feature on Macs. I have had this on my Dell laptops for at least 5 or 10 years now. Although, that is through an add-on app from Dell not directly in Windows.

Glad they are finally getting a similar utility on the Macs, but I'm not sure how it would help with the mag-safe mess or battery explosions either.

I think it is just to remind people to buy new batteries more often (at least on the macs that have removable batteries).

Frazell Thomas said,
Interesting that this is a new feature on Macs. I have had this on my Dell laptops for at least 5 or 10 years now.


This particluar utility is new, but the ability to monitor every aspect of the battery has been in OS X since the beginning (in the System Profiler app).

MMaster23 said,
ok .. so that's kinda like what Vista and 7 do?

No. It already does what Vista and 7 do - show how much charge is left in the batteries. This is about showing the level of wear in the battery, and consequently how much its capacity has depleted over time.

soumyasch said,
No. It already does what Vista and 7 do - show how much charge is left in the batteries. This is about showing the level of wear in the battery, and consequently how much its capacity has depleted over time.

7 says when you need to replace a battery too... In the status is says the battery is pretty much shot and you need a new one.

As if it was a killing feature ;)
It's still good that it's there, I always had it with the widget iStat Pro since I own a Mac, but to have it directly bundled with the OS makes it even better!
I also know a lot of other third-party apps did this... it HAD to be included in the OS at some point, it can be surprising that it wasn't even included as soon as laptops existed while we're at it !

This feature already exists in System Profiler under battery health. It is just more prominent now.

roadwarrior said,
+1
Unfortuately, all of the anti-Apple trolls around here don't know that and assume that this is something new for Apple.


Evidently, it made a news bulletin, so probably not many of your so called Apple fanbase knew about it.

I think when every other laptop manufacturer provides this ability (e.g. Lenovo and DELL) regardless of whether the feature is part of windows or not, it still counts as a feature "PC"s (IBM Compatible) have been doing for years.

smithy_dll said,
I think when every other laptop manufacturer provides this ability (e.g. Lenovo and DELL) regardless of whether the feature is part of windows or not, it still counts as a feature "PC"s (IBM Compatible) have been doing for years.

Jesus, it's been done for years in Macs too. Who cares, it's more accessible to the user now by showing it there.

Jesus, it's been done for years in Macs too. Who cares, it's more accessible to the user now by showing it there.


I don't think Jesus cares too much about macs

*cough* troll *cough*

Have you realized that such an utility has been available in both Win, OSX, Linux for years? The fact that it now comes standard is only a plus, not something to bitch about.

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