MacBook laptops have a built-in Low power mode but Apple’s website only includes a single sentence about this potentially critical feature. The newest MacBook Air and MacBook Pro are excellent at extending battery life through the use of high-performance yet extremely efficient M1 series processors. However, every laptop reaches a point when the power starts to run low. At that moment, it’s important to give the user more time to wrap up a project or reach a save spot in a game before the MacBook shuts down.
The Mac gained one of the most powerful processors on the planet with the launch of Apple Silicon, in terms of performance per watt. Easily surpassing AMD and Intel processors for low-power use in laptops, Apple accumulated great experience in this area, having designed chips for the iPhone and iPad since 2007. The architecture used in its laptop processors is the same, an ARM-based system enhanced with more cores, greater cache memory, and other improvements that deliver top-tier performance. Of course, there are still plenty of Intel-based MacBook laptops still in use and Apple only started offering its own chips in 2020.
Low power mode is available on several of Apple’s MacBook laptops that were manufactured in 2016 or later and provides a way to extend battery life when it starts to run low. Apple describes it very briefly, stating, Low power mode “reduces energy usage to increase battery life.” However, a chat with an Apple Support representative was able to add a bit more detail to that short summary and anyone concerned about a big drop in performance or heavy restrictions on use can relax. It is a gentle reduction in performance, mostly affecting background processing, and shouldn’t affect the normal operation of the laptop or connectivity other than potentially slight slowdowns.
According to Apple Support, enabling Low power mode could result in screen brightness dropping. Using the screen is one of the biggest power draws with modern technology and this is a quick and easy way to extend battery life. In Low power mode, macOS also tells all apps that are running to reduce energy usage to something less than maximum capacity, which might disable some background processes but shouldn’t affect overall behavior.
As with the iPhone, background internet processes and preloading will likely be paused as well. Foreground tasks, such as the current page or current app in the foreground shouldn’t suffer, and in testing, internet download speed was unchanged. While Low power mode shouldn’t affect Apple Continuity features overall, transfer speed could be lower. For example, Unlock with Apple Watch should work as expected, but Apple Support indicated that AirDrop transfers could be slightly slower. The MacBook’s Low power mode can be found in System Preferences’s Battery section and enabled by checking the box.
Read more: screenrant.com