New MacBook Pro Users Report Improved Battery Life on macOS 10.12.2

Apple released macOS 10.12.2 yesterday with stability improvements and fixes for several key bugs, including major graphics issues plaguing some late 2016 model MacBook Pro users.

What the changelog did not mention is that Apple also removed the "time remaining" battery life indicator following an increasing number of battery life complaints, likewise among new MacBook Pro users.

A new MacBook Pro on macOS 10.12.2 with a 99% charge and an estimated 9 hours and 21 minutes of battery life remaining

What it may have also failed to mention is that macOS 10.12.2 appears to have led to battery life improvements for some users. A growing number of MacRumors forum members using the new MacBook Pro claim to be experiencing longer battery life after updating to macOS 10.12.2, despite experiencing less-than-desirable battery life while running macOS 10.2.1 just days earlier.

Many of the users using battery apps like coconutBattery have noticed their new MacBook Pro's battery is discharging with lower wattage, and if accurate, the lower power consumption would certainly lead to longer battery life.

MacRumors forum member lobo1978 — edited slightly for clarity:
Ok it is official. macOS Sierra 10.12.2 fixed my battery. I am up back to 9-10 hours of regular use. Before updating, idle power consumption was not going lower than 6 watts. On macOS Sierra 10.12.2, it is now <4 watts at 60% brightness with the ambient light sensor on.
MacRumors forum member JohnnyGo:
Before the update was getting 7-9 hours with 50-60% brightness. Now getting >10 hours with 70-75% brightness with the same workload (Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on of course).
At least a dozen other users have reported similar results since yesterday after upgrading to macOS 10.12.2. Since publishing this article, a number of Reddit users have also confirmed seeing longer battery life.

While the user reports are worth acknowledging, they remain anecdotal and reflect only a small subset of new MacBook Pro users. It remains to be seen if Apple actually made battery life optimizations in the latest macOS Sierra update; if it did, however, Apple could be choosing to do so quietly as to not confirm that battery life issues were actually a problem for some users.

Apple officially says the new MacBook Pro is rated for up to 10 hours of battery life. Specifically, its tech specs page says all new 13-inch and 15-inch models are capable of up to 10 hours of wireless web browsing, up to 10 hours of iTunes movie playback, and up to 30 days of standby time on a single charge.

Following the release of macOS Sierra 10.12.2, Apple told The Loop that, after a lot of testing, it stands behind the 10-hour battery life advertised.

As more user reports surface, we should be able to see if the alleged battery life improvements are circumstantial or part of a larger trend.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Caution)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

42 months ago
you'll be amazed at how removing the time estimate creates a placebo for improved battery life
Rating: 51 Votes
42 months ago
Apple forgot to mention that CPU and GPU performance were cut by 50% in order to get longer battery life. 10.12.3 will remove the activity monitor so people won't be able to tell... :)
Rating: 38 Votes
42 months ago
Stop ******** on Apple all the time MR posters. Apple employees are not stupid. Get some balance on how you view things..Gain some self control before you post

If this battery issue was in the Windows world, you'd be completely on your own. To those threatening to make the jump - go and good luck
Rating: 38 Votes
42 months ago
Rating: 33 Votes
42 months ago
Meanwhile engineers in Cupertino are spitting out their coffee in laughter at this because they changed nothing affecting power consumption... :P

Rating: 17 Votes
42 months ago
I admire the way the haters are making up a placebo effect. You guys were perfectly okay with jumping on the 'Apple is Doomed' train immediately when people started having battery problems, now you can't be satisfied by an fix for it.
Unnoted or not in the release notes, it makes no sense that the removal of a stupid time indicator would cause people to think battery life is automatically better. Logically, the battery life would be worst if the problem was not resolved because of the update and reindexing that come after it.
Just immaturity and stupidity throughout this forum.
Rating: 17 Votes
42 months ago
No positive news allowed.
Rating: 12 Votes
42 months ago
Did people not read the article? Seems like the power consumption was actually down. Maybe it got that low before and they didn't notice, but it doesn't sound like just "placebo effect." Who are the real sheep around here?
Rating: 12 Votes
42 months ago

So what was the need in removing the "Time Remaining"?

It's just not an accurate estimate. You used to be able to set it to show that number all the time in the top bar, but Apple got rid of that a while ago.

Back before app nap and timer coalescing, the time remaining estimate was somewhat accurate because the usage was consistent. Now with those features, the CPU can go from using almost no power to used a lot of power and back again. It does this wildly depending on what the user is doing.

The time remaining estimate looks at current power usage to make the estimate. So if you are opening an app, the CPU is running at max power for a second, the time remaining estimate gets really low. Then the app finishes loading, the CPU goes back to using almost no power, the time remaining estimate gets really high.

Since the OS can't know what you will be using the computer for the future, it can't really give you an accurate estimate. Even if it just goes off of average usage over the past hour or so, the future estimate will be very inaccurate.
Rating: 10 Votes
42 months ago
I'll say this. I was getting ~5.5 hours on a full charge (on a new 15" MacBook pro touchbar), the update for Sierra came out and I was getting about the same. So I started looking at background applications and processes using Activity Monitor and I turned off about 4 or 5 Adobe Creative Cloud apps that were running in the background. None of them showed any significant battery drain at all, but that was a lie... shutting them down and voila, I was getting 10-14 hours of battery life on a full charge. After 2 hours it was still at 86% battery (doing Skype for business, Outlook, safari and iMessage at 60% brightness).

I have 2 other colleagues at my work that purchased 13" MacBook pros with touchbar, all had Adobe CC on as well and all had the same 5-6 hours of battery. We shut down the background apps on their MacBooks as well and they also started getting over 10 hours.

So, the update didn't seem to do squat, but the culprit in our case was Adobe CC. Food for thought.
Rating: 10 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]