Apple has found a response to user complaints about battery life in the newest MacBook Pro: It's eliminating the "time remaining" indicator in the battery life display.
Once laptop users install the newest operating system update -- macOS Sierra, which was released on Tuesday -- the estimate of how many hours and minutes are left in the battery disappears from the display in the menu bar. Instead the battery life indicator only shows the estimated percentage of battery life remaining. The software update is available on Apple's laptop and desktop computer devices.
The update arrives on the heels of customer complaints about the battery life of the newest MacBook Pro model, with some Apple Support forum and Reddit users claiming that their laptops last from about three to six hours, a clear cutback from Apple's promises of 10-hour battery life. 9to5Mac reported on Tuesday that Apple investigated the matter and decided that the issue wasn't with the battery itself but with the "time remaining" feature, which was often underreporting the amount of battery life left. And the company hasn't amended its 10-hour battery promise. Battery-life claims, though, are often based on a specific and optimized computer setup. 9to5Mac did some tests and came out with about an 8-hour battery performance for the MacBook Pro.
"With macOS Sierra we have continued to advance our power management, and by design there is now an increased range between high performance and low-power states," Apple explained in a statement to Business Insider. "When combined with the differing ways people use their Mac throughout the day, the calculation of remaining battery life displayed as a measure of time has become less accurate."
Not everyone is impressed by Apple's response. On Apple blog The Loop, Shawn King writes "Apple taking the estimate away, even if wildly inaccurate, is silly. Not fixing it, even more so." On Daring Fireball, another blog long devoted to Apple's products, John Gruber writes "This is like being late for work and fixing it by breaking your watch."
Users who would still find the actual hours remaining on their battery more useful than a percentage can access it through the computer's Activity Monitor. To navigate there, start at Finder, then go to Applications, from there go to Utilities, and scroll through to find Activity Monitor. Once opened, click on the Energy tab and look at the bottom of the window, where the hours and minutes remaining -- or at least the software's best guess -- is displayed.