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Apple releases macOS Catalina 10.15.5 with new battery health management feature

Apple finished its round of platform updates this week with macOS Catalina 10.15.5, which brings new battery health management features and bug fixes to the operating system.

After four beta periods, Apple on Tuesday released the macOS update with battery health management. The feature is meant to extend battery hardware lifetime by managing how it is charged.

The new battery management system is a rudimentary version of what is found on iOS. The Energy Saver control panel gains a new, simple dialog box that allows users to toggle the feature on and off. When turned on, the MacBook will detect if and when it spends most of its time on a charger, then charge only as necessary.

By controlling how fast the MacBook charges, and to what percent it reaches when plugged in, the software can elongate the chemical life of the battery. Otherwise the MacBook would charge to 100% as fast as possible every time it was plugged in, causing wear on the battery.

Other tweaks include FaceTime prominence preference, which can be toggled to suppress enlargement of video tiles when a participant speaks, calibration fine-tuning for Pro Display XDR and a host of bug fixes.

Bug fixes and performance improvements include:

  • Fixes an issue that may prevent Reminders from sending notifications for recurring reminders
  • Addresses an issue that may prevent password entry on the login screen
  • Fixes an issue where System Preferences would continue to show a notification badge even after installing an update
  • Resolves an issue where the built-in camera may not be detected when trying to use it after using a video conferencing app
  • Addresses an issue for Mac computers with the Apple T2 Security Chip where internal speakers may not appear as a sound output device in Sound preferences
  • Fixes a stability issue with uploading and downloading media files from iCloud Photo Library while your Mac is asleep
  • Resolves a stability issue when transferring large amounts of data to RAID volumes
  • Fixes an issue where the Reduce Motion Accessibility preference did not reduce the speed of animations in a FaceTime group call

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