Michael Tsai on the Battery Time Remaining Estimate

Michael Tsai:

I tend to think that an inaccurate (but constantly updating) estimate is better than none. Otherwise, people will have to make their own estimates, which takes attention and is likely to be even less accurate. I never liked how the estimate claimed to be accurate down to the minute. I would like to see an estimate with fewer significant digits, both to hide the erratic changes and to avoid over-representing the accuracy.

My earlier “This is like being late for work and fixing it by breaking your watch” analogy was a little unfair. It’s more like having a watch that doesn’t keep accurate time and fixing the problem by no longer wearing any watch, rather than fixing or replacing the broken one. That’s not as funny though.

I know iOS has never had a time remaining estimate. That’s fine for iOS. I think it’s useful on MacBooks, especially just as a loose estimate.

(And the code that estimates battery life is definitely way off on the new MacBook Pros. With a 100 percent charge on the 13-inch MacBook Pro (with Touch Bar), MacOS 10.12.1 was estimating I only had 4:50 of battery life. I used the machine for web browsing, email, and Slack for 45 straight minutes, at a high display brightness, and the estimate was at 5:09.)

Tuesday, 13 December 2016