Normally, OS developers add functionality when updating a platform. New features, better UI changes — the sort of thing a user might hope to see when they launch a computer after a big update. Instead, Apple is once again displaying its courage by removing features in the 12.12.2 beta 4 update; the newest MacOS beta removes the estimated time remaining in your laptop’s battery.
The update comes hot on the heels of complaints from across Apple’s user base that the new MacBook Pros can’t keep up with the lofty battery life estimates promised by Cupertino. We’ve known from reviewing so many systems over the years that laptops almost never reach those estimated goals, even under a mixed load. Poor results also came as no surprise to us — Apple cut the batteries in the new MacBook Pros down by half in the 15-inch version, and by a third in the smaller 13-inch model.
So in a sense, Apple’s move to remove the battery life estimates is one the company can claim was done to prevent confusion. Unfortunately, that’s not how it’s going to look to a lot of users. Estimated remaining time is a clutch feature for a lot of Apple users, even though it apparently wasn’t working well.
It’s also a good way to easily disguise the system’s middling battery life. If you don’t show a user that there’s only four hours left when the system is fully charged, they’re less likely to complain when it doesn’t quite last as long as they hoped.
Of course, it isn’t all bad. Apple has also taken the time to include the new wallpapers from the MacBook Pro launch marketing materials. There are also new emojis to match those found in the most recent versions of iOS and WatchOS. Whether that’s enough to ameliorate the crowds of people wondering how much longer before they need to find an outlet remains to be seen.