Apple launches fix for MacBook Pro battery issues

11 Jan 2017

MacBook. Image: GagliardiImages/Shutterstock

Apple has released a patch to fix problems with the lifetime of certain MacBook Pro batteries, first discovered in late 2016.

Just before Christmas, technology site Consumer Reports investigated Apple’s new MacBook Pros, establishing some pretty strange findings.

Testing three different devices, battery lives ranged from 3.75 hours up to 19.5 hours, something that consumers, and Apple, were clearly frustrated by.

Since then, behind the scenes, Apple and Consumer Reports have been working together on a fix, which has now been released on the former’s website.

During their investigations, Apple discovered that Consumer Reports’ tests utilised a relatively hidden feature on Safari that turns off the browser cache.

The idea behind this setting, according to Consumer Reports, is to load every web page as if it were new content from the web, essentially loading everything afresh.

“Their use of this developer setting […] triggered an obscure and intermittent bug, reloading icons which created inconsistent results in their lab,” said Apple in a statement.

Apple claims this is not a setting used by customers and “does not reflect real-world usage”, but regardless, a software update has been developed.

“After we asked Consumer Reports to run the same test using normal user settings, they told us their MacBook Pro systems consistently delivered the expected battery life. We have also fixed the bug uncovered in this test.”

In the past six months, you could be forgiven for thinking Samsung was the dominant company in terms of battery issues, but Apple has hardly been squeaky clean in this regard.

In November, the company issued guidelines for replacement batteries after a fault found in certain iPhones caused devices to shut down out of the blue.

The company said it only affects devices within a limited serial number range that were manufactured between September and October 2015.

MacBook. Image: GagliardiImages/Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic