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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.

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.

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Chuong Nguyen
Silicon Valley-based technology reporter and Giants baseball fan who splits his time between Northern California and Southern…
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