Apple has released a new developer preview of macOS Catalina 10.15.5, and it contains a new feature called Battery Health Management. This feature will only be available on Mac Notebooks which have Thunderbolt 3 ports and will enable a new approach for charging MacBook batteries. It will increase the overall lifespan of MacBook batteries by reducing maximum charging in certain instances, without compromising its day-to-day battery life.
MacBooks, iPhones, and all other portable devices we use contain Lithium-Ion batteries. Charging these batteries to 100% along with a rise in temperature can result in a shortened lifespan. However, Lithium-Ion batteries are currently the best technology for your computers due to their long lasting properties and quick charging.
Therefore, Battery Health Management will monitor your battery’s temperature and charging patterns, and then use that to ensure that your battery is being charged to a level which is optimal for your daily usage. If your priority is making your Mac notebook last as long as possible before recharging, the feature can be turned off.
Apple briefly discusses this feature on its support page as:
The battery health management feature in macOS 10.15.5 is designed to improve your battery’s lifespan by reducing the rate at which it chemically ages. The feature does this by monitoring your battery’s temperature history and its charging patterns.
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 new feature is being added as an additional option within Energy Saver in System Preferences, letting users determine how they would like their laptop’s charging system to work. When the feature is turned on, it will stop the laptop from charging to its 100% mark.
On iPhones, a similar feature named “Optimized Battery Charging” is available. According to Apple, iPhone learns from your daily charging routine so it can wait to finish charging past 80% until you need to use it.
Battery Health Management is a part of the developer seed and will be available in the final version of macOS Catalina 10.15.5, supporting all MacBook models with Thunderbolt 3. It is possible that the ongoing pandemic could throw off Apple’s timing, but the company seems all set to announce the next version of macOS 10.16 in June in its all-online WWDC event this year.