After upgrading my own MacBook Pro to OS X 10.8, one thing I noticed above all else was the SMC Fan Control plugin reporting my Mac seemingly getting a lot hotter than it did under OS X 10.7.x.
I also vaguely noticed that I seemed to have less battery life than I did previously, along with noticing that Apple had removed the battery icon’s ability to show how much time was remaining – in the menu bar itself.
Given the fact that OS X 10.8 left your Mac with less battery life than OS X 10.7.x, potentially because of how much harder the system and fans were working, Apple might have removed the time remaining feature for this reason, although that is but pure speculation.
Actually, it is possible to see the time remaining, but you have to click on the battery icon first, which is an extra step that wasn’t previously necessary if you had chosen to display the time remaining.
I have read “complaints” online that the time remaining wasn’t always accurate, but naturally, this always depended on what you were doing with your Mac, how bright the screen was, whether the keyboard backlighting was on and how bright that was, how many apps you had open etc etc.
I have since helped a couple of other people update their Macs to 10.8.1 and noticed a OS X notification explaining that an update was available on one of those Macs, so Apple is obviously letting OS X 10.8 users know.
However, Apple made no mention in its 10.8.1 notes that battery life had been updated, and it wasn’t until I read a Digital Trends article that “OS X 10.8.1 update may fix decreased battery life found in Mountain Lion” that I realised I, along with many other OS X 10.8 portable Mac users, would be getting some battery life back.
10.8.1 also seems to be running cooler than it was under 10.8, but that may also be because I’d switched on the “click to plugin” add-on for Safari in an attempt to cool things down.
It also has to be said that some 10.8.1 users aren’t reporting more battery life at the same time that others are, so the claim of more battery life sadly is not a guarantee that you’ll enjoy the same.
All of that said, it is wise to update to 10.8.1 if you’ve already ridden the Mountain Lion in its initial 10.8 incarnation, and given that Apple is already testing 10.8.2 and will have more point updates to come, the crunchy company is undoubtedly doing what it can behind the scenes to ensure its operating systems are as battery and temperature friendly as possible in future point updates following the big upgrades between OS versions.
So… if you’re using OS X 10.8, the time to update yet again has come, and if you’re lucky, the time between charges may have come to be more like what you remembered it was under OS X 10.7.x.
Or it might not, as your mountain mileage may very well wary.
Ultimately, we’re all still waiting for those amazing battery breakthroughs reported at places like EETimes to actually become reality, delivering days if not weeks or months of active, full-strength battery power, rather than mere hours.
Sadly, however, those batteries aren’t available at retail as yet, but unless the world collapses in an environmental, economic or war-torn episode of devastation, those batteries are, one day, coming.
Until then, a quick upgrade to OS X 10.8.1 may well be the quick fix you need to fix up your battery with a bit more of its previous boost!