Apple fixes battery life bug that cost the MacBook Pro a ‘recommended’ tag from Consumer Reports

The latest MacBook Pro from Apple has received a great deal of criticism for its lack of USB-A ports, smaller battery and limited RAM. Topping this criticism was a damning report from Consumer Reports, which cited inconsistent battery life as the reason for not giving the new MacBook Pro its ‘recommended’ tag.

In the course of its testing, Consumer Reports (CR) noted that the MacBook Pro’s battery life varied between under 5 hours to over 19 hours. This inconsistency failed to impress CR.

Apple, understandably puzzled by the widely varying results, approached CR to understand the test process and hunt out the cause for the variation in battery life.

Apple’s investigations unearthed a bug in Safari’s (the default browser on macOS) developer mode which affected the test results. The mode specifically disables the browser cache and is enabled by CR as part of its test process. Apple says that this mode is not used by the average consumer and hence, will not affect the average user.

Describing its test process, CR explains that it disables features like browser cache, automatic screen dimming, etc. to establish a reliable base line for battery performance. Following Apple’s findings, CR ran the tests again with caching off and found that battery life was now consistent.

Apple has since published a patch to fix the issue, but it’s currently only available to subscribers to Apple’s Beta program. The fix will be released to the general public sometime later as part of a larger software update for macOS, says Apple.

In a statement, Apple said, “This is the best pro notebook we’ve ever made, we respect Consumer Reports and we’re glad they decided to revisit their findings on the MacBook Pro.”

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CR has promised to report its findings once it finishes retesting the MacBook Pro.