If you want to get the most from your Mac’s battery try one of the few dozen battery utilities. A few have nominal price tags but most are free.
Here are four that I like.
Battery Health: This one I use. Battery Health has a pop down window which displays the current battery charge, the current maximum charge of the battery, the battery’s original maximum charge, and how much time is remaining depending on your Mac usage (music, movies, standby, and so on).
Battery Expert: This one features a neat graph which measures battery usage, and a bar which displays how many cycles are left, battery temperature, and more details. BatteryExpert is free.
Battery Guard: This is a Mac Menubar battery utility. Battery Guard also displays current charge, maximum charge, original maximum charge and time left (but not how much time remains depending on which activities you use on your Mac). It also displays the battery temperature, and the battery’s age.
You see where all this is going, right? Apparently Apple provides Mac notebooks with sensors and access to those sensors in OS X, so clever Mac app developers figure out what to tap and then display it.
Battery Guru: Another free battery utility which also works in the Menubar. Battery Guru displays much of the same information in a one-click pop down menu.
A few other battery utilities, including Battery Time Remaining and Battery Status cost 99-cents and $1.99 respectively, but do much the same as the free apps.
Other apps, such as BatterySqueezer and Appriority may actually give you longer battery life, depending on usage and requirements, as they freeze apps you don’t need while you’re working on another app.
The most expensive and different battery utility is iBatt. At almost $19 (yes, just a dollar and a penny less than $20) it displays similar information as the other apps but features more in depth reporting and data comparison.
There’s only one reason I haven’t tried out iBatt. Yet. I’d rather plunk the $20 down on a new battery when my MacBook Air’s battery is ready to give up the ghost.