The handy Batteries widget for Mac by former Apple engineer Rony Fadel is a simple yet tremendously useful macOS utility with which you can easily track connected devices’ battery levels from your Mac, get notified when they need recharging and more.
Battery levels, anywhere
The software works with your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices, as well as the AirPods earbuds and other supported Bluetooth accessories. As soon as you connect a wireless Bluetooth accessory to your computer, it will appear (along with its current battery charge level) in the Batteries widget within the Today view in your macOS Notification Center.
If you thought this description sounds a lot like Apple’s Batteries widget for iOS, you’d be right — but do keep in mind that this piece of software includes a few other notable features as well, such as the ability to see device battery levels in the Touch Bar of your Mac notebook.
On top of that, you can click the app’s menu bar icon to instantly see device charge levels.
Works with most Bluetooth devices
Batteries for Mac works with any Bluetooth headphones, including Beats, which is a life-saver when juggling different headphones so there’s definitely some real utility right there.
I was also able to see the battery charge levels for my Magic Keyboard, Trackpad and Mouse without any hiccups using this cool widget. Some Bluetooth devices, however, wouldn’t show any battery read-outs in the widget whatsoever — try as I might, but I couldn’t for the life of me get my Satechi M1 mouse and aluminum wireless keyboard to work with the app.
I later learned that’s because macOS with its current Bluetooth stack cannot get battery charge info from Logitech, Satechi and some other wireless keyboards and mice (that’s why you don’t see their battery levels reported in the Bluetooth, Keyboard and Mouse preference panes).
Get notified when it’s time to recharge
Perhaps the best feature of this widget — nowhere to be found in Apple’s Batteries widget on iOS — is the ability to get notified when you need to recharge.
You will receive a notification on your Mac every time any of the connected iOS devices run low on battery, so that you have plenty of time to recharge before leaving home or office (be sure that the per-device notification setting is set to enabled in the Batteries app).
To make this feature work with your iOS devices, they must be connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your Mac and the option “Show this device when on Wi-Fi” must be enabled in Catalina’s Finder (if you’re on macOS Mojave, turn on Wi-Fi sync in iTunes).
I’ve found this unobtrusive and easy to use widget to work as advertised.
It’s got all the features you’d come to expect from a battery-focused widget although much of what it can do comes down to the specifics of the Bluetooth protocol and the macOS Bluetooth stack. You also cannot see the battery charge levels for your Apple Watch, Apple Pencil or Apple Smart Case with this app because these devices can’t pair with Macs.
To be clear, Rony appears to have found ways to work around this restriction because he said on Twitter that Apple Watch support was in the works.
Apple Watch support coming to Batteries soon 🙂
— Rony Fadel (@ronyfadel) May 15, 2020
If you miss some of the little things that make iOS special and need a clear view of device battery levels straight from your Mac, do take this app for a quick spin to see if you like it.
Pricing and availability
Batteries for Mac is free to download and comes with a free 14-day trial.
After the trial expires, you can purchase a $5 license key to continue using it uninterrupted on up to three computers simultaneously. The app is currently unavailable on the Mac App Store but you can download and use it free of charge as part of your Setapp subscription.
It requires macOS 10.14 Mojave or later.