Apple has introduced Battery Health Management in the latest developer beta (10.15.5) of macOS Catalina.

From Apple’s support page:

The battery health management feature in macOS 10.15.5 is designed to improve your battery’s lifespan by reducing the rate at which it chemically ages. The feature does this by monitoring your battery’s temperature history and its charging patterns.

Based on the measurements that it collects, battery health management may reduce your battery’s maximum charge when in this mode. This happens as needed to ensure that your battery charges to a level that’s optimized for your usage—reducing wear on the battery, and slowing its chemical aging.

There are a few crucial points here:

  • First, if your Mac’s maximum battery charge has reduced to 80% (of maximum), and it has reached that charge level, the battery metre will show as 100% charged. Displaying battery charge in this way could be misleading and—if we’ve learned anything from Apple’s implementation of battery and CPU management on iOS—it will likely lead to lawsuits.
  • Second, battery management will be on by default in 10.15.5. The user can turn it off if they need the extra charge.

I am glad to see that there is greater transparency with this update. What confuses me is why this needs to be part of a point release. Battery Health Management would have been better in 10.16 and marketed as a new feature.