How to check the battery in your Mac, iPhone, iPad

Battery warningUse coconutBattery on your Apple MacBook to view the status of the battery and its health. This free app also tells you the status and health of the battery in your iPhone and iPad too.

An increasing number of devices these days are battery powered and keeping them healthy and running properly is a worry. Are they charging fully or are the batteries beginning to weaken? How many charges have they had? Are they near the design limit? Are they getting too hot, which might result in heat damage?

All these questions can be answered by the oddly spelt coconutBattery, a free app for the Apple Mac that also shows the status of your iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad. Although there are other battery status apps for the Mac, showing iOS device battery information is unusual, which makes coconutBattery stand out from the crowd.

Check your MacBook battery

Download the app from coconut-flavour.com and the This Mac tab is selected by default. It shows the MacBook model and manufacture date. The current charge and maximum charge is displayed.

When the MacBook’s battery is fully charged the current and maximum should be close to the Design capacity figure. As the battery ages it becomes less good at charging up and the maximum falls.

coconutBattery

If the maximum is a lot lower than the design capacity and it is not lasting as long as it used to, you should consider replacing it. All batteries need replacing eventually, but some last longer than others.

It might sound strange, but the more a battery is used, the longer it lasts. Having a high number of load cycles is generally good and it means that the battery has been used a lot. People that have problems with their battery are often ones that rarely use it and the the MacBook is plugged into the mains power for days or weeks at a time.

Use it or lose it - unplug the mains power and use the battery. It will last longer.

coconut Battery

There are two buttons and Mac details shows some brief information about the Mac, such as the model including code number, manufacture date and age.

The Battery details button shows the battery manufacture date, age, load cycles, temperature and other information. The battery might be older than you think, especially if you have purchased a second hand MacBook or a refurbished model. This could be the reason why your MacBook’s battery is not lasting as long as it should.

coconutBattery

Check your iPhone and iPad battery

Plug an iPhone or an iPad into the Mac and if Photos, iPhoto, or iTunes opens, close them. Click iOS Device in coconutBattery and the status of the battery in the iOS device is displayed.

Some brief details about the iOS device are displayed, such as the model and numeric code, the manufacture date, space used and iOS version. Click the Device details button to get more information.

As with the MacBook battery, look at the age of the battery and see how many years old it is. See how many load cycles it has had - a very high number, such as 1000, could mean that the battery is nearing the end of its life.

coconutBattery

Compare the maximum charge to the design capacity and see how much has been lost over the life of the iOS device.

In the screenshot is an iPad 2 which is over four years old and has been charged 668 times. You can see that it only charges up to 5720 mAh (it is 100% charged), but the design capacity is 6583 mAh. This means that the current battery capacity has dropped to just 86.9% of the original (the green bar under Design capacity.

Record the battery history

There i a History tab and at first it is empty. In order to record battery charges, go to the coconutBattery menu and select Preferences. Set the app to automatically run every time the Mac is started. This enables it to monitor when and by how much the battery is charged. The maximum capacity will decrease slowly over time - months or years - and this is normal.

 

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