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H264

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 21, 2013
17
5
I wrote this post on the official Apple forum, but it was immediately taken down because "it contained either feedback or a feature request that was not constructive". I am therefore posting here instead, hoping for some useful feedback on how the new battery management does not work, and needs to be changed. Here is what I wrote:

It has been a week since I upgraded to 10.15.5, and my MBP 13" has been plugged in most of the time since then.

Apple's new "battery health management" feature is supposed to prevent the battery from always being 100% charged. This reduces chemical ageing and loss of max battery capacity. Yet, this so called battery health management has not yet kicked in, and the battery is still always at 100% all the time. This same battery is already dying: after only 3 years and 300 cycles its health is at 75% and the MBP warns me it's time to be serviced. Apple claims their batteries are designed to provide 80% of their max capacity at 1000 cycles. Obviously, Apple's claim is severely exaggerated, and we really need a way to prevent our batteries from always being fully charged. This is what is killing them so fast.

Why could not Apple simply have added an option to "keep my battery at a certain percentage when plugged in", or "stop charging at a certain percentage"? Instead they claim to have developed an algorithm so smart they can guess when my battery needs to be fully charged, and when it does not need to.

Apple, you have completely failed this task. Your algorithm is broken, and needs to be re-designed. It also does not work on my iPhone. It is simply impossible to design an algorithm that can automatically know my charging habits. I almost never charge a device the same way one day and the next. Except my MacBook, it is always plugged in. Your algorithm fails to detect even this...

Just add an option to let me decide when to stop charging my battery when plugged in. For my MacBook I would probably choose 60% since I almost never need it fully charged. For my iPhone I would pick 80%, since that lets me use it for a day or so before again charging it to 80%. Do not assume that all users lack basic understanding of battery technology, and that giving us such an option is too much to handle.

Edited: Apple calls it "battery health management", not "battery management".
 
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edubfromktown

macrumors 6502
Sep 14, 2010
339
230
East Coast, USA
For a first cut at some form of power management, I did not have lofty expectations. Of the mind boggling number of Apple laptops out in the wild, the percentage with significant issues is in all likelihood quite small.

There are 3rd party applications that can address your specific use case. See the Al Dente thread for more info...


I've personally owned somewhere in the vicinity of 20 Apple G3, G4, Aluminum, iBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook computers and purchased more than double that number for places where I worked since OS X 10.1 was released. Only two of my personally owned systems required battery replacement- one had a bulging battery after hundreds of cycles and the other just gave up and stopped charging. I can't recall any of the ones I purchased for work having any battery related issues.

For years we've heard how NIMH batteries have no "memory" and can be used/abused as we choose. I never believed that and have completely discharged all battery powered devices maybe 1-2 times per month (similar to what I did with NICAD battery powered devices) and have never left them plugged in and charging overnight.
 
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Taz Mangus

macrumors 604
Mar 10, 2011
7,733
3,430
This same battery is already dying: after only 3 years and 300 cycles its health is at 75% and the MBP warns me it's time to be serviced.

If the battery is already at 75% of its max charge capacity then battery management is not going to help unfortunately. It could be that the battery management works effectively in situations where the battery has not degraded badly.
 
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steve62388

macrumors 68040
Apr 23, 2013
3,030
1,817
I wrote this post on the official Apple forum, but it was immediately taken down because "it contained either feedback or a feature request that was not constructive". I am therefore posting here instead, hoping for some useful feedback on how the new battery management does not work, and needs to be changed. Here is what I wrote:

It has been a week since I upgraded to 10.15.5, and my MBP 13" has been plugged in most of the time since then.

Apple's new "battery management" feature is supposed to prevent the battery from always being 100% charged. This reduces chemical aging and loss of max battery capacity. Yet, this so called battery management has not yet kicked in, and the battery is still always at 100% all the time. This same battery is already dying: after only 3 years and 300 cycles its health is at 75% and the MBP warns me it's time to be serviced. Apple claims their batteries are designed to provide 80% of their max capacity at 1000 cycles. Obviously, Apple's claim is severely exaggerated, and we really need a way to prevent our batteries from always being fully charged. This is what is killing them so fast.

Why could not Apple simply have added an option to "keep my battery at a certain percentage when plugged in", or "stop charging at a certain percentage"? Instead they claim to have developed an algorithm so smart they can guess when my battery needs to be fully charged, and when it does not need to.

Apple, you have completely failed this task. Your algorithm is broken, and needs to be re-designed. It also does not work on my iPhone. It is simply impossible to design an algorithm that can automatically know my charging habits. I almost never charge a device the same way one day and the next. Except my MacBook, it is always plugged in. Your algorithm fails to detect even this...

Just add an option to let me decide when to stop charging my battery when plugged in. For my MacBook I would probably choose 60% since I almost never need it fully charged. For my iPhone I would pick 80%, since that lets me use it for a day or so before again charging it to 80%. Do not assume that all users lack basic understanding of battery technology, and that giving us such an option is too much to handle.

Thanks for reading this far!

Disregarding whether they should add the feature you suggest you probably understand that it’s just not ‘the Apple way’.

This sort of granular control is precisely what Apple typically prevents users from using. There are pros and cons to this approach but nobody should be surprised by it now.
 

matram

macrumors 6502a
Sep 18, 2011
781
415
Sweden
Apple, you have completely failed this task. Your algorithm is broken, and needs to be re-designed.

Battery management seems to be working for me. I can see that it reduces the maximum charge in slow steps of -1% when the computer is permanently connected. What do you mean whenyou say it is not working?
 

TiggrToo

macrumors 601
Aug 24, 2017
4,201
8,801
Out there...way out there
I wrote this post on the official Apple forum, but it was immediately taken down because "it contained either feedback or a feature request that was not constructive". I am therefore posting here instead, hoping for some useful feedback on how the new battery management does not work, and needs to be changed. Here is what I wrote:

It has been a week since I upgraded to 10.15.5, and my MBP 13" has been plugged in most of the time since then.

Apple's new "battery management" feature is supposed to prevent the battery from always being 100% charged. This reduces chemical aging and loss of max battery capacity. Yet, this so called battery management has not yet kicked in, and the battery is still always at 100% all the time. This same battery is already dying: after only 3 years and 300 cycles its health is at 75% and the MBP warns me it's time to be serviced. Apple claims their batteries are designed to provide 80% of their max capacity at 1000 cycles. Obviously, Apple's claim is severely exaggerated, and we really need a way to prevent our batteries from always being fully charged. This is what is killing them so fast.

Why could not Apple simply have added an option to "keep my battery at a certain percentage when plugged in", or "stop charging at a certain percentage"? Instead they claim to have developed an algorithm so smart they can guess when my battery needs to be fully charged, and when it does not need to.

Apple, you have completely failed this task. Your algorithm is broken, and needs to be re-designed. It also does not work on my iPhone. It is simply impossible to design an algorithm that can automatically know my charging habits. I almost never charge a device the same way one day and the next. Except my MacBook, it is always plugged in. Your algorithm fails to detect even this...

Just add an option to let me decide when to stop charging my battery when plugged in. For my MacBook I would probably choose 60% since I almost never need it fully charged. For my iPhone I would pick 80%, since that lets me use it for a day or so before again charging it to 80%. Do not assume that all users lack basic understanding of battery technology, and that giving us such an option is too much to handle.

Thanks for reading this far!

Is your MBP equipped with TB3 ports? If the answer is no then that's the reason. The new features only work on TB3 equipped MacBooks
 
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hellfried

macrumors regular
May 3, 2008
120
14
Penang, Malaysia
My MBP is a 2019 unit hence comes with the TB3 ports. The battery still charges to 100% when plugged in to power. No change there even though I have the battery management turned on.
 

matram

macrumors 6502a
Sep 18, 2011
781
415
Sweden
My MBP had been on power continously for a few days before I saw this effect. It was easiest to see in iStat menus which shows you a charge curve over time. You could clearly see the steps down in this case.
 

matram

macrumors 6502a
Sep 18, 2011
781
415
Sweden
How to access the charge curve?

If you have iStat menus installed. Click on the battery icon in the menubar and then hover over the charge bar. That pops up a diagram of charge over time. You can change scale to be 1 hour, 24 hours, 7 days or 30 days.
 

hellfried

macrumors regular
May 3, 2008
120
14
Penang, Malaysia
If you have iStat menus installed. Click on the battery icon in the menubar and then hover over the charge bar. That pops up a diagram of charge over time. You can change scale to be 1 hour, 24 hours, 7 days or 30 days.
So how to make sense of it?
Screenshot 2020-06-13 at 7.37.17 AM.png
 

matram

macrumors 6502a
Sep 18, 2011
781
415
Sweden
Does not look like that for me. I get % of total charge, i.e. typically close to 100%. This seems to be power consumes in Watts. The white parts are the areas where the machine is suspended.
 

MacZonie

macrumors member
Nov 15, 2010
44
15
You have to look at the Battery pulldown in iStats and then look to the graph to the right. The V-shaped charge reduction at around 10:52 AM showed a discharge down to around 90% then back up in a stepped manner. This with Catalina 10.15.5 and a 2019 15.4" MBP. I was informed on the support forum that a more aggressive discharge will happen less frequently. I'll continue to monitor to see if this indeed happens.
 

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H264

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 21, 2013
17
5
Thanks for many useful replies! "Al Dente" sounds like what I have been looking for, but not found until now. It appears to work great, it does exactly what I had hoped Apple's Battery Health Management would do, but never does.

My MacBook Pro has TB3 ports, it was the first model with TB3. So far, 10.15.5's claimed battery health management has not done anything useful whatsoever -- the battery is maintained at 100% all the time while the laptop is plugged in, which it is almost always.

However, as Taz Magnus suggested, since the battery's max capacity has already degraded to ~75% of design capacity after ~300 cycles, it could be that Apple's battery management at this point will never kick in, due to the battery's semi-poor health and low max capacity.
 
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s4yunkim

macrumors regular
Feb 6, 2009
159
31
My experience of what the feature does is drain the battery ~5% and back up every 18 hours. This data taken from my iStat Menus over the past week/month:

Screen Shot 2020-06-22 at 9.29.57 AM.png
 

H264

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 21, 2013
17
5
Interesting behavior - this does not at all help preserve battery health. Rather it generates more wear/cycles than having it at 100% all the time. I turned off Apple's Battery Health Management, as it is completely useless. I am now using Al Dente with great satisfaction, keeping my battery at 70% charge level, preventing it from getting damaged even further.
 
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goonie4life9

macrumors 6502
Jun 16, 2010
311
627
It also appears that Apple's Battery Health Management "artificially" lowers the maximum capacity. Since enabling Apple's Battery Health Management, I was noticing shorter and shorter usages times when using my MacBook Pro on the battery. In looking at my battery history (from CoconutBattery), I noticed the percentage of design capacity was dropping every few days (it was around 93% when I enabled Apple's Battery Health Management). Yesterday, I decided to turn-off Apple's Battery Health Management. At that time, the percentage of design capacity was 83%. When I woke-up this morning and checked my percentage of design capacity, it was up to 90.6%.
 
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Supra Mac

macrumors 6502
Jan 5, 2012
278
111
Texas
The whole battery health management is a bigger benefit to Apple and not the end user. Extends battery just enough to reduce battery warranty claims while not moving the needle much on extending cycles. To do that you need something like Al Dente and set the max level to 80% and switch manually higher if you please when needed.

When I had it enable (Apple feature) it just went from 100-90-100% once a day, just adding cycles at the extreme end of charge. My work laptop HP Elite "something or other" keeps my battery 75-80% with the Bios enable feature to extend battery life. So looks like other manufactures provide this benefit to the end user.
 
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jent

macrumors 6502a
Mar 31, 2010
841
276
Is there a way to monitor charge levels and whether or not the computer is plugged into power?

The iStat Menus feature is great, but I am sometimes plugged in and sometimes not, so I can't glance at the battery percentage graph and know if the battery is being used because I'm not plugged into AC power or despite the fact that I'm plugged into AC power.

I ask because I thought my new MacBook Pro was faulty, as the Genius Bar, an Apple Store manager, and tier two AppleCare Advisor all hadn't been aware of the Battery Health Management feature and suggested I might have a logic board or battery issue, so I now want to keep an eye on it and least have an idea of what the pattern is for when the Mac uses battery power despite being plugged in.

I assume it's this feature, but I wish the interface had a way of saying, "Hey, as a result of the Battery Health Management feature, I'm now draining from your battery instead of using more AC power, and this is intentional," because it looks like it's a major, accidental hardware defect instead.
 

ignatius345

macrumors 601
Aug 20, 2015
4,491
6,354
I wrote this post on the official Apple forum, but it was immediately taken down because "it contained either feedback or a feature request that was not constructive".

(Not for nothing, but the Apple Support Forums are pure trash in my experience, populated by territorial trolls and people who demand full diagnostic info before they'll even respond to your question. Just the worst. I find people here by and large a lot more helpful and knowledgable.)
 
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H264

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 21, 2013
17
5
I have attached a quick follow-up to show how AlDente has stopped the rapid degradation of my Macbook Pro's battery. As you can see, with Apple's Battery Health Management, that in reality does very little useful, the degradation curve was quite steep. With AlDente set to 60-70% it has flattened out. Sadly, the battery is already pretty much ruined, and the computer dies abruptly under load at over 50% state of charge, but it's not worth replacing the battery at a cost of $260 in my location.

Screenshot 2020-12-02 at 12.28.36.png
 

tommiy

macrumors 6502
Dec 11, 2015
363
116
Similar issue. I have a battery that is at 212 cycles and states 72% health in a 2017 MBP. I'm using Al Dente. Just over 3 yrs old and the battery is dead with minimal cycles. As you have learnt there is no point trying to explain to Apple the end answer is just to provide them more $$.
 
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