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Apple Releases Firmware to Activate PowerNap on 2011 MacBook Airs

One of the new features found in OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion is PowerNap. PowerNap was introduced at WWDC 2012 and allows your Mac to continue to perform tasks such as receiving email and updating software even when it's sleeping.


Apple lists the full capabilities in this Knowledge Base document. Capabilities include getting new Mail, syncing Calendar, Contact and Reminder changes, and more. When plugged into power, your Mac can download software updates and make backups with Time Capsule.

Apple only supports PowerNap on 2011 MacBook Airs and beyond as well as the 2012 Retina MacBook Pro. The capability should move over to more of Apple's laptops as Apple makes a full transition to SSD. Built-in flash storage is listed as one of the requirements of the technology. Apple just released a firmware update that enables this functionality in the 2011 MacBook Airs, while support for the Retina MacBook Pro is said to be "coming soon".

Top Rated Comments

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27 months ago
This is so ridiculous that it is still not activated on my Powerbook.
Rating: 31 Votes
27 months ago

This is so ridiculous that it is still not activated on my Powerbook.


You don't have a Powerbook. Stop trying to be funny.
Rating: 30 Votes
27 months ago

Is there a real reason for this or is it just BS like many of the features left off older iphones? I can tolerate it on a mobile device but if they start leaving key features off of my computer for no reason (because lets face it even a core 2 duo has enough power to do any of these features) my 2010 imac will be my last mac


Every hardware omission in Mountain Lion thus far has had a valid technical reason, however frivolous you consider it.

1. Power Nap doesn't support regular SSDs because the power requirements differ compared to on-board flash storage.

-Not sure about the excl of 2010 MBAs though. Maybe the Nvidia chipset lacks key features or iSeries chips are needed as some have pointed out. *shrug*

2. No Airplay support for pre-2011 Macs because Apple leverages Intel's QuickSync (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Quick_Sync_Video) which is only found on Sandy Bridge chips or newer

3. Lack of installation support for older Macs is because Mountain Lion's Kernel is exclusively 64-bit top to bottom. If your Mac can't boot the 64-bit kernel and/or doesn't have 64-bit GPU drivers then you're SOL.
Rating: 17 Votes
27 months ago

You don't have a Powerbook. Stop trying to be funny.


I bet you're a blast at parties


If you have a 2.5" SSD...forget it.


Interesting. So essentially PowerNap only works on Macs with built-in flash storage?
Rating: 15 Votes
27 months ago

Not a fan of updating thru the app store app. Firmware updated without issue, thankfully.


2009 called. They said it's time to leave. :D
Rating: 10 Votes
27 months ago
Up until yesterday Apple stated that PowerNap would work with MacBook Air models from 2010. Now all of the sudden it's 2011 MacBook Air or newer. Something ain't kosher here...
Rating: 10 Votes
27 months ago

the i5 is key. They need part of intel tech in sandy bridge to do some of the features.


Oh, C'mon! It's just plastic and silicon all smooshed in there! There's no real difference!
Rating: 7 Votes
27 months ago
grrr... asides from thunderbolt and "i5", there is nothing that really separates the mid 2010 MBA's from the 2011's. :(
Rating: 7 Votes
27 months ago
Can developers make powernap work with their applications too?
Rating: 6 Votes
27 months ago
If you have a 2.5" SSD (Apple branded or not)...you can forget it.
Rating: 6 Votes

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