macOS Sonoma has unexpected battery fix for 13-inch MacBook Air

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macOS Sonoma has unexpected battery fix for 13-inch MacBook Air

Apple's new macOS Sonoma software update for Mac, released Tuesday, includes a surprise upgrade aimed specifically at the latest 13-inch MacBook Air. According to the release notes, updating such machines to Sonoma will "better optimize long-term battery health."

Details of this improvement, which was first spotted by MacRumors, remain unclear. Apple doesn't specify what they've done to achieve these optimizations, which only get a single line at the very end of the release notes. It simply refers to battery health management, a macOS feature that was added in a Catalina update back in 2020, being "updated".

Battery Health Management does not affect a Mac's battery life in the short term, but rather is intended to slow down the process by which battery performance degrades. The feature analyzes your Mac's charge history and the temperatures it typically reaches, and then adjusts the way charging takes place to reduce damage to the battery.

It's also not clear why Apple has focused on the 13-inch M2 MacBook Air in particular since the 15-inch Air and 13-inch Pro share the same chip. There are no known issues with that machine or battery performance. Then again, given that it came out last summer, long-term issues may not have had a chance to surface. We praised its "killer battery life" in our review, but that reflected weeks of intense testing, not months.

It's possible that Apple is trying to get ahead of a crisis that the public and media aren't yet aware of, but it's also possible that we're reading too much into a small improvement that the company didn't make a big deal about. because it's not a big deal.

macOS Sonoma is a free software update running on the following machines:

  • MacBook (2015 or later)
  • MacBook Air (2012 or later)
  • MacBook Pro (2012 or later)
  • Mac mini (2012 or later)
  • iMac (2012 or later)
  • iMac Pro (2017 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (2013 or newer)

To install Sonoma on your Mac, follow our simple guide.

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