Apple has issued a software fix for its newest Macbook Pro laptops, coming just weeks after Consumer Reports failed to recommend the new computers.
In December, the consumer organisation ran the new Macbooks through a series of tests to determine their battery life, revealing highly variable results.
“For instance, in a series of three consecutive tests, the 13-inch model with the Touch Bar ran for 16 hours in the first trial, 12.75 hours in the second, and just 3.75 hours in the third. The 13-inch model without the Touch Bar worked for 19.5 hours in one trial but only 4.5 hours in the next. And the numbers for the 15-inch laptop ranged from 18.5 down to eight hours,” Consumer Reports found at the time.
The organisation shared its test results and data with Apple engineers, who began work on a fix and identified the issue.
The Apple forum also saw complaints about the battery life of new Macbook Pro laptops
“After investigating the issue, Apple says that the variable battery performance we experienced is a result of a software bug in its Safari web browser that was triggered by our test conditions,” Consumer Reports elaborated.
More specifically, the organisation turned off the browser cache as part of its testing process, triggering the bug.
“In our tests, we want the computer to load each web page as if it were new content from the internet, rather than resurrecting the data from its local drive. This allows us to collect consistent results across the testing of many laptops, and it also puts batteries through a tougher workout,” it explained.
Consumer Reports said that when it re-enabled the cache function, it saw high battery life results.
The fix is currently available to people who sign up for Apple’s beta testing programme, but will be pushed out to all users in due course.