It lies. It doesn’t tell exactly how much time is left on the battery. Sometimes it’s way off. Other times I can watch the percentage drop. What to do? There’s an app for that.
Rather, there’s half a dozen Mac apps which do a better job of checking and displaying Mac battery life than the Mac’s built-in app.
Type in “battery” in the Mac App Store’s search field and you get a list of battery monitoring apps that range from free to a few bucks.
My favorite is Battery Health. Click on Battery Health in the Menubar and get a long list of details Apple doesn’t give you in OS X.
Current charge level, total battery capacity, power usages, number of times the battery has been charged, and so on. It even lists how much time is remaining on the battery depending on what you’re doing.
Browsing vs. music. Movies vs. standbye.
Another decent battery monitoring app is BatteryExpert, but the information provided is less than Battery Health.
More expensive is BatterySqueezer which throttles applications and reduces CPU usage for battery hungry apps. For example, it can throttle Flash animations (browser ads), videos, and other apps, but only in the background, after you’ve switched away from the hungry app.
Battery Guard is free, and works about the same as BatteryExpert, but not with as much information as Battery Health.
The most extensive, expensive, and customizable app is BatteryWorks. It gives you controls over the battery indicator, including position, size, colors and more.
Battery Status is a bit different. It also resides in the Menubar, but displays remaining batter life for your connected devices (not the Mac notebook battery), such as Magic Mouse, Bluetooth keyboard, Magic Trackpad.
As cool as any of the others, and only a couple of dollars is Battery Logger, which also lives in the Mac’s Menubar. It also records battery discharge history.
I’d really like an app that displays how much of the Mac’s CPU and screen and battery life an app uses, on a per-app basis.