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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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30 months ago
This is so ridiculous that it is still not activated on my Powerbook.
Rating: 31 Votes
30 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
30 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
30 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
30 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
30 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
30 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
30 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
30 months ago

2009 called. They said it's time to leave. :D


2009 was a great year for me. I wanna stay!!!:D
Rating: 6 Votes
30 months ago
That's why I haven't bought a MBA in 2010, and I waited for the 2011 Sandy Bridge models. Somehow I felt it was not a good idea to spend a whole bunch of money on a machine with slow, last-gen CPU, without backlit keyboard...

I understand the restriction of AirPlay, Apple always wants to deliver perfect user experience, so that's why they didn't make something like AirParrot. But as for Powernap... They really stated that it required second generation MBA, so I think there might be a chance that they will release a firmware update for 2010 Airs, too... Wait a few days, guys.

Upd.: specific ML system requirements have changed on apple.com, now they really say that Powernap only supports MacBook Air (Mid 2011 or newer), MacBook Pro with Retina display. :( That's too bad guys, I also find this unfair. Even if it has real hardware-connected reasons, it wasn't very nice from them advertising it for the MBA 2010 as well, and then changing their mind.
Rating: 6 Votes

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