MacOS Sierra Update Corrects MacBook Pro Graphics Glitches and Drops the Battery Remaining Estimate

It turns out the graphical issues weren't hardware related after all.


Today, Apple is releasing a new update for macOS Sierra that solves several severe problems users have been having with MacBook Pro laptops. Battery life issues and graphical ailments are the top two issues that the update addresses, but there has also been an update to the iCloud Desktop and Documents setup and opt-out process that makes it a lot less confusing to understand what exactly the service entails.

Solving Issues with Battery Life

Users of 2016 MacBook Pros have launched a myriad of complaints against the devices seemingly low battery life. Some users reported that their laptops were only reporting a total battery life between 3 and 6 hours. However, many came to those conclusions using the estimated battery life figures shown under the battery icon in the menu bar.

The estimated battery time has always been just a ballpark figure, but with Apple's use of newer Intel CPUs it almost never shows a true time. Intel's latest CPUs have dynamic power states, meaning that the OS can call upon more or switch down to using less CPU power on the fly. Because these changes can come very rapidly, the result is the estimated battery time can't ever calculate a reliable number. If you're opening a program and CPU is high, the estimated time remaining will be based on current CPU usage. Once the CPU switches back down into low gear, you'll get an entirely different number.

According to Apple, its examined battery life data collected from installed systems and determined that battery life is within the parameters that it reported the systems would have. Therefore, Apple has decided that the simplest way to solve this issues is to just remove the inaccurately estimated battery time from the menu bar.

Graphical Glitches Gone

MacBook Pros from 2016 have been reported to be affected by checkboard patterns, visual artifacts, and screen tearing. The model that seem to be affected the most by this behavior is the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar equipped with AMD Radeon Pro 460 graphics. However, there are reports of standard 15-inch MacBook Pro sans Touch Bar with AMD Radeon Pro 450 and 455 GPUs displaying the same symptoms.

The update to macOS Sierra released today should have fixed any MacBook Pro affected by these issues. It was previously believed the glitches were caused by malfunctioning hardware, but it seems that a software fix was all it took to cure it.

Other Issues Fixed

Today's update also updates the iCloud Desktop and Documents service that allows you to share a Desktop and Documents between Mac computers, to be less confusing. The new process will help users understand that their desktop files haven't been deleted, only moved to a new folder.

There's also the host of bug fixes, stability, and quality improvements, and other minor tweaks to improve the macOS Sierra experience.

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