Apple seeds second macOS Catalina 10.15.5 beta to developers, includes Battery Health Management feature

It has been a bit of time since Apple seeded the first beta of macOS Catalina 10.15.5 to developers, but now the second beta is here.

Apple on Thursday officially seeded the second developer beta of macOS Catalina 10.15.5, and we already know there is a pretty significant new feature joining the desktop operating system. Apple is including a new Battery Health Management system as first outlined by Six Colors today. According to the company, this new feature is designed to “reduce the rate of chemical aging of the MacBook’s battery, thereby extending its long-term lifespan”, all without actually compromising the overall lifespan of the battery itself.

The feature works by analyzing the temperature of the battery over time, as well as the charging pattern the laptop has experienced—in other words, does the laptop frequently get drained most of the way and then recharged fully, or is it mostly kept full and plugged in? In the latter case, Battery Health Management is more likely to stop a bit short of full capacity in order to extend the battery’s long-term lifespan.

One way to help with that, is keeping tabs on how your MacBook charges when it’s plugged in all the time, as explained above. This should help reduce the strain on the battery, keeping it from charging to full capacity all the time, even if you don’t always unplug your machine.

Apple adds that all the charging data associated with the machine is kept on device, so user privacy is still a key factor. Individuals can opt-in to sharing their battery health data with Apple if they want, though. The new feature will be available for Mac notebooks outfitted with Thunderbolt 3 ports (which includes all MacBook Pro models released since 2016, and all MacBook Air with Retina displays).

The new feature will be present in the System Preferences app. However, it’s worth noting that when macOS Catalina 10.15.5 does arrive to the public this new feature will be switched on by default. You’ll be able to turn it off if you want.

Registered developers can download and install the latest macOS Catalina 10.15.5 beta now.