I’ve got a 2015 MacBook Pro and, being self-employed and reliant on the upkeep and maintenance of this device, I need to take good care of it and eek out the most of every single penny that has been spent on it. To that end, making sure that the battery is looked after is one of my most important responsibilities.
It’s all too easy to leave your MacBook on charge for long periods of time, however this is not good for the long term life of your battery. The ions need to move. When the battery is charging, the positively-charged lithium ions move from one electrode to the other (these are called the cathode and anode if you’re interested!). When this happens, electrons concentrate on the anode, which is the negative side. When your device discharges, the reverse happens.
Batteries have a set life-span because this process can only take place a certain number of times. To help with this, I use an application called FruitJuice by The Battery Project.
As they know far more about the lifecycle process of the lithium-ion battery than I, I’m happy to follow their advice during my sessions of work. That’s right - as you are working, FruitJuice offers guidance as to when you should plug your laptop in or run from the battery, through notifications. Sounds simple, right? That’s because - that’s exactly what it is! And I’m all about simplicity with my life currently, which makes FruitJuice a key application for me.
In order to ascertain when you should plug/unplug your machine, FruitJuice requests that you run a maintenance cycle when you first launch the app. This is simply a controlled discharge from 100% to 20% of the battery life, at which point you receive a notification asking you to connect back to the charger. Fruit Juice then tracks your usage and attempts to keep you running from your battery for around 20% of the time you typically use your laptop.
Clicking the menu bar icon shows your battery time for today, the average for the last 7 days and the last 30 days. You can also view a well laid out bar graph that plots your statistics for a pre-defined time period by clicking on Power History.
Preferences allow you to choose the icon style in the menu bar, as well as information that it displays.
You can also run your own Maintenance Cycle from the menu bar icon, although FruitJuice will, of course, remind you on it’s own when a cycle is due.
There are other applications available, some of which are free. At £9.99, it’s not the cheapest option, however it’s full featured and, most importantly, regularly updated, so I know it’s not going away any time soon. Being able to maximise my battery life for under a tenner is a no-brainer for me!
Check out the UK App Store version here.