The new Apple MacBook Pro recently suffered the indignation of becoming the only one of its brethren ever to miss out on a recommendation from the influential Consumer Reports website.
However, it turns out the ‘wildly unpredictable’ battery life issues – anything from 3.75 hours to 19.5 hours – that prompted the damning verdict may have been caused by a bug unlikely to affect the vast majority of users.
Apple is putting the issue at CR’s door, claiming the methodology used to test the MacBook Pro utilised a hidden developer setting in Safari which unearthed the bug, causing the discrepancies in battery life.
In a statement, Apple said: “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.”
Consumer Reports admitted as such today, but also pointed out this is a method it uses to test all laptops, beyond those running macOS.
The idea is to ensure all laptops are tested equally while web browsing, rather than certain models coincidentally benefitting from some websites being visited more than others.
As for that Safari bug Apple mentioned, it has been addressed by a new beta version.
Apple said: “[Consumer Reports’] use of this developer setting… triggered an obscure and intermittent bug reloading icons which created inconsistent results in their lab.
“After we asked Consumer Reports to run the same test using normal user settings, they told us their MacBook Pro systems consistently delivered the expected battery life.”
Consumer Reports says it will retest the MacBook Pro and update its findings. The 2016 MacBook Pro may yet earn the coveted recommended rating after all.