Apple has introduced a battery life extension feature in the latest version of macOS Catalina (10.15.5). The feature first appeared in the developer preview of the latest update.
The Battery Health Management feature measures the battery temperature and also analyses how users charge their MacBook battery. For example, the feature can find out if the user’s MacBook is constantly on the charger or if the device is being charged in short charging sessions. When this data is available, Apple takes action to optimise battery usage.
One of these measures may include not fully charging the MacBook when the user’s laptop is almost always on power. By taking action, Apple can help extend the life of the MacBook battery. According to Six Colors, this functionality is currently only available for MacBooks that have a Thunderbolt 3 port. In practice, this means that all MacBook Pros will be available from the end of 2016 and all Retina MacBook Air models. It’s proven that continuously fully charging a modern laptop battery can significantly reduce battery life.
It’s designed to run mainly in the background and minimise the impact on the device’s recharging time. System performance should not change with the function enabled. On the latest version of macOS Catalina, 10.15.5, Battery Health Management is automatically enabled. However, it is possible to deactivate the function via the Energy Mode settings. In the end, it is not yet clear how much impact the new addition to macOS will actually have on the battery.