Apple should offer full battery control on iPhone, iPad, Mac

Apple introduced a new software feature with iOS 13 that helps extend the battery life of your iPhone called “Optimized Battery Charging”. I’d like to see Apple not only expand it to iPad and Mac, but also take a page from Tesla’s (and Dell, Samsung, others) book and adopt a feature from its charging strategy.

Update 01/22/21: After two months, my 13-inch MacBook Pro M1 has learned my charging schedule and limits charging to 80% with optimized battery charging.

It’s nice to see the feature finally spring into action, but I think it’s further proof that manual control is needed to set a battery limit.

In my case, since I work from home connected to a Thunderbolt display during the day (and unplug it at the end of each workday), Optimized Battery Charging has “learned” that my Mac can stay at 80% during the day. day and finish charging at 100% by 7pm (if I left it plugged in).

I also try to drain the battery a little after work by playing a movie so that it doesn’t stay constantly with the battery charged overnight.

12/24/20 Update: It’s been over a year since Apple released its optimized battery charging feature and it hasn’t really been improved upon. And looking back to 2020, a year with the pandemic and the launch of the first MacBook M1s, full battery control for charging has definitely expired.

With macOS Big Sur launched this fall, optimized battery charging is turned on by default. That’s great, but interestingly, it never worked on my 13-inch MacBook Pro M1. Sure, I work from home and use an external Thunderbolt display that charges it at the same time, but I still can’t pause charging to 80%. I’ve tried a variety of things including running my MacBook under 80% and plugging it in around 10am for a week consistently, still nothing, it always loads directly to 100%.

I imagine more people than ever are in the same boat as me because working remotely / from home became the norm during the pandemic.

And this is only part of it. MacBooks M1 have greatly improved battery life and that’s weird to say, but the longer battery life is actually part of the problem here, haha! It’s really hard to get my MacBook’s battery running below 80% if I don’t get half of my work day without the Thunderbolt display.

As the 9to5Mac readers previously pointed out in the comments (thank you all!), Dell has been offering manual battery charge control since 2012. Samsung and other Android OEMs also offer similar options.

This year has truly shown that the time has passed for Apple to give users the flexibility to prioritize long-term battery health. A simple manual opt-in control to limit battery power would do the trick. And in particular, with people being at home a lot more than ever (at least for the first part of 2021), manual control on iPhones and iPads would be very useful now and even when life returns to normal.

Meanwhile, there’s a nice third-party option available on GitHub called AlDente developed by David Wernhart. However, it is not compatible with M1 Macs. “AlDente is NOT currently working on Apple Silicon MacBook (M1) due to some key SMC changes!”

If you’re just catching up on all of this, check out all the details in the original post below:

Apple’s optimized battery charging feature for i phone in iOS 13 it works by putting a temporary battery limit of 80% on the device during overnight charging. So closer to when you wake up, the remaining 20% ​​will finish charging. Apple describes how this works in Settings> Battery> Battery Health:

To reduce battery aging, iPhone learns from your daily charging routine so that it can wait for more than 80% charging to complete until you need to use it.

The gist is that fully charged batteries consume cells faster, so Apple’s functionality increases battery life by suspending charging.

Tesla’s electric vehicles have a similar capacity where they learn your schedule as an iPhone and will be charged at the desired level by the time you need to leave in the morning. But Tesla goes beyond Apple’s optimized battery charging feature and allows owners to manually set a battery limit in the Tesla app.

Left: Tesla app with a simple slider to manually check the battery charge. Center and right: iPhone battery settings and optimized battery charging screen

Tesla CEO Elon Musk shared it 80% charge for regular use and therefore drawing on the remaining battery for long journeys is best. And a battery expert who did research for Tesla even suggested using a The 70% limit can be ideal for battery longevity.

While some of the Apple batteries in its devices may be user replaceable, they are not designed this way and can be a risky option in some cases. Giving users the ability to set a battery limit and extend its life further would be a great way to extend the useful life of a battery / device, reduce waste, and make it more likely that customers will give up or trade in when they are ready for it. ‘update. While it might reduce some of Apple’s revenue in the big picture, I think such a move is in line with Apple’s sustainability values.

While I think this would be a great feature for iPhones, iPads and Macs they could benefit even more from it. Many Mac notebook owners leave them connected all the time (or at least most of the time). Introducing a Tesla-like battery limit feature would provide the benefits we’ve talked about and educate all users who don’t realize that leaving a battery at 100% charged shortens its life.

And people tend to hold on to iPads and Macs longer than iPhones, so this could offer a better overall experience by eliminating the need to replace the battery or at least pushing it further into the device’s life cycle.

Just like the current optimized battery charging feature, Apple could implement the ability to set a limit in the battery settings and give users a notification about the option, making it active.

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