Skip to main content

This new smart charging feature for Mac is genius

Apple’s MacBook will get even smarter when MacOS 11.3 launches, at least when it comes to charging. Source code in the current MacOS 11.3 beta 2 shows that Apple is working on smarter charging algorithms that will allow MacBook laptops to reach 100% charge levels if you have a scheduled meeting event on your calendar.

Prior to the recent MacOS 11.3 beta, Apple’s smart charging method limits charging to around 80% if the laptop predicts that you’ll be connected to power for an extended time in an effort to preserve battery health over the life span of the device. Apple’s smart battery feature was actually borrowed from the company’s implementation on iPhones. B

On the Mac, smart battery charging has been present since MacOS 10.15.5, and the feature known as Optimized Battery Charging was designed to help extend the longevity of the battery over many charge cycles, Apple claimed at the time.

With the change in MacOS 11.3, Apple is making Optimized Battery Charging even smarter by connecting with the Calendar app on your laptop. If it detects you have an appointment, it will let the system charge up to 100% — and not cap the battery at 80% — three hours prior to the start time of your event, according to a report on MacRumors.

This should help prevent battery life anxiety among road warriors using a Mac laptop, as the new smarter charging helps to ensure you’ll have plenty of battery to last all day, especially on days when you’ll be away from a power outlet for extended durations.

Digital Trends

Long battery life has been a big selling point for Apple, and when the company made its transition away from Intel processors to its in-house ARM-based custom M1 silicon design, it promoted even longer battery life. Apple’s MacBook Air with an M1 processor, for example, boasts 18 hours of battery life on a single charge, which is six more hours than the prior Intel-based generation. Apple’s 13.3-inch M1 MacBook Pro takes that even further, with the company claiming up to 20 hours of battery life — the longest to date on a Mac laptop.

According to MacRumors, the enhanced optimized battery charging  feature should be present on both Intel-powered MacBook laptops and notebooks powered by Apple’s custom M1 silicon.

If you want to toggle the Optimized Battery Charging, you can head into your laptop’s System Preferences, click on Battery to enable or disable any battery health management features.  Owners of M1-powered Macs cannot disable Apple’s battery safeguards.

Editors' Recommendations

Chuong Nguyen
Silicon Valley-based technology reporter and Giants baseball fan who splits his time between Northern California and Southern…
The MacBook Air 15 vs. MacBook Pro 14: the easy way to decide
Apple's 15-inch MacBook Air placed on a desk with its lid closed.

Picking out a new MacBook isn't as easy as it used to be.

The hardest choice in the lineup might be between the 15-inch MacBook Air and the 14-inch MacBook Pro. Both are now offered with the same M3 chip, despite there being a $300 difference in the base models. But when similarly configured, there's actually only a $100 difference between these two laptops.

Read more
I needed to buy a new MacBook. Here’s why I bought a power bank instead
Baseus Blade 2 65W power bank for laptops kept on a green couch.

I rely on a 13-inch MacBook Pro from 2020 for most of my work. Despite its age and being a base variant model, it continues to stack up well against my expectations for all these years.

Since MacBooks are known for longevity, the fact that my MacBook Pro still holds up well a few years later shouldn't sound surprising. However, the first signs of aging recently arrived in the form of a warning about the battery's plummeting health. I was already dreading the idea of having to replace what was otherwise a perfectly good laptop.

Read more
Apple quietly backtracks on the MacBook Air’s biggest issue
The MacBook Air on a white table.

The new MacBook Air with M3 chip not only allows you to use it with two external displays, but it has also reportedly addressed a storage problem that plagued the previous M2 model. The laptop now finally has much faster storage performance since Apple has switched back to using two 128GB NAND modules instead of a single 256GB module on the SSD drive.

This was discovered by the YouTuber Max Tech, who tore down the entry-level model of the MacBook Air M3 with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. In his tests, thanks to the two NAND modules, the M3 MacBook Air is nearly double faster than the M2 MacBook Air. Blackmagic Disk Speed tests show that the older M2 model with the problematic NAND chip had a 1584.3 Mb/s write speed, and the newer M3 model had 2108.9 Mb/s for the M3 model, for a 33% difference. In read speeds, it was 1576.4 Mb/s on the old model and 2880.2 Mb/s on the newer model.

Read more