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Is OS X Mountain Lion Preying on Battery Life?By Jennifer LeClaire
Posted: August 6, 2012 2:26pm PDT
It may not go down in Apple history as "Mountain Lion-gate," but it's nonetheless making headlines. Some MacBook users that have upgraded to the latest OS X are reporting shorter battery life. Apple is reportedly investigating the issue, but could not immediately be reached for comment.
Mountain Lion made its market debut July 25. Soon after, dozens of MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air owners starting flocking to Apple's discussion forums to post their complaints about battery life issues. At press time, there were about 500 posts on the topic, "Battery life dropped considerably on Mountain Lion."
"I upgraded to Mountain Lion and now my battery life is about half of what it was before upgrading. Shouldn't the update improve battery life? Also, what can I do about this?" asked a MacBook Pro user who calls himself "jpengland96."
Complaints Grow Louder
User "SPS206" noticed the same issue: "Battery used to last all day easily on a 13" MBP with room to spare. Its now 3:30, I have used it less than normal and I am at 5% left. I hope this is not something that will be ongoing. Perhaps the OS needs to read a full cycle of the battery in order to use it properly or something. If not, this is a major disappointment."
Meanwhile, another user named "Tarpus" wrote: "I've noticed my battery life decreased after the Mountain Lion upgrade, too. Why is this? The CPU does not seem to be slammed. But, I can visibly see the battery draining. In fact when I first started writing this post my battery was at 96% and now, three sentences later, without doing anything else, and without having any other applications running, my battery life is at 91%!"
Apple last week announced that the latest iteration of its Mac operating system, OS X Mountain Lion, is the company's most successful ever in terms of adoption. Apple reported more than 3 million downloads from its Mac App Store in the first four days. The ninth major release of the Mac desktop OS, Mountain Lion offers more than 200 new features. Consumers are downloading it by the millions from the Mac App Store as an upgrade to Lion or Snow Leopard for $19.99.
A Bloated OS X?
Roger Kay, principal analyst at Endpoint Technologies Associates, told us he's not surprised to discover that some bloat may have crept in to the champion operating system. Although Apple likes to keep everything lean and mean, he said, the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs may have been the only one who could have halted a bloated operating system from hitting the market.
"There are a lot of settings you can change to optimize power. If you actively manage your power you can usually get more battery life. Some of the features may be set by default on. That would drain power and maybe that's not a good trade-off," Kay said.
"Users may be in control of that but theoretically Apple is known for making the right budget in the first place and people don't even have to think about it. That's the theory anyway."
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