Archives For battery

Talking about the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar on the MacJury podcast last week brought up battery life and how initially the new machines suffered from a problem where the discrete graphics processor (GPU) was running when it shouldn’t. A system update fixed that problem, but sometimes an application might be forcing the GPU into use, even in the background.

For TidBITS this week, I wrote a short article explaining how to determine which applications are using significant energy, and how to tell whether the discrete GPU is in use instead of the power-saving integrated graphics. This advice applies to any Mac laptop with a secondary GPU, not just the Touch Bar models.

Read it here: How to Identify High-Performance GPU Apps on the MacBook Pro

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My latest column for the Seattle Times looks at power—specifically how I found a few gadgets useful during the holiday break for charging devices. I also mention the WD My Passport Wireless, which was quite useful for backing up the photos I captured while out of town.

Read it here: More device power and storage for 2015.

Does your MacBook or MacBook Pro spend most of its time plugged into a power outlet? If so, you’re not exercising the laptop’s battery enough and are reducing its lifespan. That’s even more important now that MacBook models built since 2009 include built-in batteries that are not swappable. In my latest Seattle Times column, I look at FruitJuice, a $9.99 utility that tells you how much time you should spend working from battery each day in order to get the best long-term performance.

Read it here: FruitJuice app keeps MacBook batteries in shape.

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My MacBook Air battery observation the other night was in service of writing my latest Seattle Times column: New MacBook Air’s battery puts in a full day of work. I look at the new MacBook Air, which is a curious model of computer for Apple because it’s simultaneously a pro machine and also the company’s entry-level laptop.

I like the MacBook Air a lot, although the amazing battery improvement puts buyers of other Mac laptops in a bind: purchase now, or wait until the new Haswell processors are in each model?