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An upcoming macOS update may help your MacBook’s battery last longer

Apple is introducing a new feature in most modern MacBooks called “Battery health management.” It’s going to be available today for developers and will roll into the future macOS Catalina 10.15.5 update.

On by default, the new feature is intended to extend the overall lifespan of your laptop battery by reducing the rate of chemical aging. It does so by not charging the battery all the way up to the maximum in certain cases. Fully charging a battery puts a strain on it that can more rapidly reduce its longevity over time. Some phones now avoid charging all the way to 100 percent until just before you wake up for this reason

Rather than focusing on specific app usage, the feature examines your charging patterns and the heat levels of a Macbook battery, making subtle changes along the way to reduce the rate at which your computer’s battery chemically ages over time. When you install macOS 10.15.5, the feature will be enabled by default. If you want, you’ll be able to toggle it off through Catalina’s System Preferences menu.

Apple’s iOS operating system has a feature called Optimized Battery Charging that similarly attempts to reduce chemical aging. It does so by reducing the amount of time your iPhone’s battery spends fully charged. If you’re in the developer beta, you can try out Battery Health Management starting today. It’s compatible with all MacBook models that feature a Thunderbolt 3 connection, which means you’ll be able to take advantage of it on computers as far back as the 2018 MacBook Air and 2016 MacBook Pro.

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