Apple issues software fix in response to MacBook Pro battery problems

After Consumer Reports found wild variations in the new MacBook Pro's battery life, Apple blamed the problem on a Safari bug.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

Apple has issued a fix to a Safari bug that it blames for problems with the new MacBook Pro's battery life.

Consumer Reports has refused to recommend the laptop to consumers after its tests showed the battery life on the machines would last anywhere from 19.5 hours to 3.75 hours.

Apple said the findings did not match the results of its own tests.

Now, after reviewing Consumer Reports' diagnostic data, the Cupertino company says the problem can be attributed to a Safari bug that was triggered by the settings Consumer Reports used.

"We appreciate the opportunity to work with Consumer Reports over the holidays to understand their battery test results," said Apple in a statement to Consumer Reports. "We learned that when testing battery life on Mac notebooks, Consumer Reports uses a hidden Safari setting for developing web sites which turns off the browser cache... We have also fixed the bug uncovered in this test."

The fix for the Safari bug is currently only available to those who sign up for the Apple Beta Software program, but it will be a part of a broader software update available in a few weeks.

Luckily for Apple, Consumer Reports says it's re-running its battery tests after downloading the software fix and will give the MacBook Pros a recommended rating if the problem is resolved.

These models were the first MacBooks to not receive recommended ratings from Consumer Reports -- and they were the only laptops out of 140 tested that demonstrated such inconsistent battery life.

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