How hard can that be? Every MacBook with a battery lets you view the battery’s power state from the Menubar. Except what you get in the Menubar isn’t really enough to tell you anything other than how much the Mac’s battery has been depleted so far. Is there a better way? Yep. And there’s an app for that.
Battery, The Scourge
My husband and I have worked at a large Chicagoland private school which has hundreds of Macs, PCs, iPads, cheap-assed tablets, and a growing number of Chromebooks. All but the few desktop models have batteries that need tending, and Apple’s own MacBook battery notification is anything but the cat’s meow of information.
For the latest MacBook Pro models Apple even took out the time remaining indicator because confusion. Sure, it’s been around forever so the confusion may not be as severe as Apple’s engineers, marketers, and executives may think, but since those new MacBook Pros don’t get anything near 10 hours of battery life under normal conditions, you can see why Apple implements the disappearing time trick.
Here’s how to get it back.
What you get with Battery Monitor is more than Apple provides to the average Mac notebook user. If your Mac’s Menubar is already so crowded nothing new will fit, the app also resides in the Dock. If you have a new MacBook Pro and miss the battery indicator for time remaining, Battery Monitor brings that back, too. Power or time remaining are handy, yes, but there remains plenty of information you should check from time to time.
Battery Monitor displays more battery details.
- Remaining battery life
- Battery charge state
- Battery age
- Discharge current
- Number of charge cycles
- Expected remaining lifetime
- Retrieval capacity
- Battery cell state
- Battery manufacturer
Additionally, Battery Monitor displays graphics of the capture charge and discharge curves so you can plot battery health and history. There’s also a bookkeeping process regarding the aging process whereby the app keeps a log about charge capacity and more.
Wait. There’s more.
Preferences: These are nominal and self explanatory, ranging from temperature units, hiding windows, setting Notification alerts, and even a continuous charge warning if the Mac has been plugged in too long.
Notifications: Battery Monitor not only displays the battery’s charge state in the Dock, it can tell you know what’s happened with alerts in Notification Center. The latest version also works with the new MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar and displays charge state and estimated time remaining in the Dock icon.
There’s much to like including the nominal price tag.