It seems that Apple’s latest operating system for desktops, Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, has also introduced some nifty bugs besides a collection of heart-winning features. As more and more users complain, Mountain Lion decreases battery life of every portable device with up to 50%. Although the information comes straight from the forums, some have actually set up a testing procedure to prove the glitch and it seems that Apple is in deep trouble this time.

Is there really a Mac OS X 10.8 battery bug?

Well, after analyzing the on-going discussion between more than 300 members of the official Apple forum, it seems that not every copy of Mountain Lion may bear the battery curse. We are not yet sure what part of the software is truly affecting the battery consumption rate, but by the looks of it, the bug has nothing to do with the hardware found in any Mac notebook but solely to the software (the operating system).


While some users say that after installing Mountain Lion the battery life actually increased, more and more complains are received affirming the exact opposite aspect. Most of the users experiencing the battery bug claim that their device can only run half the period that it was supposed or, even worse. Take a look of the most noteworthy testimonies:

  • Battery used to last all day easily on a 13″ MBP with room to spare. Its now 3:30, I have used it less than normal and I am at 5% left.
  • I can visably see the battery draining. In fact when I first started writing this post my battery was at 96% and now, three sentences later, without doing anything else, and without having any other applications running, my battery life is at 91%
  • I just unplugged it and in the past 30 minutes, my battery life has dropped to 77%. This is on a mid-2011 MBA with Spotlight disabled.
  • Snow Leopard had great battery life. Lion sucked it down to about 5 hours. Mountain Lion has dropped that down to about 4.5. I might as well install Windows 7 on it.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It seems that although some try to blame the huge battery consumption rate on 3rd party software, like Safari, the CPU and memory performance percentage has never escalated.

Testing proves it

Chris Foresman of ArsTechnica has tested the “white lion” himself and the results were more than expected. When using a MacBook Pro with Retina Display and a HD4000 GPU with applications that are used in a day-to-day experience, such as Chrome, Twitter, Colloquy, Photoshop, Mail, Outlook and others in that category, Foresman’s battery has dropped from 8 hours to 5. During the test, the quad-core processor was below five percent, excepting the small 20% peaks when a new application was opened and things of this sort.

Moreover, one forum user has contacted Apple and asked for an explication, receiving indeed the confirming answer: it seems that an update will soon be launched via the Mac App Store and will fix the problems, for anyone owning a MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air devices. This is not something new for Apple’s products, as in the past, we have also written about the fact that iOS 5.1 might be a cause for battery drain.


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Feature Writer

Alex holds an engineering degree in Telecommunications and has been covering technology as a writer since 2009. Customization is his middle name and he doesn’t like to own stock model gadgets. When he’s away from the keyboard, simpler things like hiking, mountain climbing and having a cold drink make his day.