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What’s new in OS X 10.8.1: MacBook battery life and more

24 August 2012 4,594 views 8 Comments

The question of the hour — Does OS X 10.8.1 Update fix the well-documented MacBook battery issue? — doesn't have a clear cut answer for all affected users…

The first Mac desktop operating system point-update since the release of OS X Mountain Lion just under a month ago brings bullet points, but much of what has changed isn’t reflected therein. Further, as is often the case, some users are finding their problems solved while others are still waiting.

Two issues your correspondent experienced (2007 iMac) — login items failing to launch and balky “password on wake” input — have been addressed by OS X 10.8.1 Update. Not ameliorated a little, they’re gone.

However, the question of the hour — Does OS X 10.8.1 Update fix the well-documented MacBook battery issue? — doesn’t have a clear cut answer for all affected users.

For example, some Apple developers using OS X 10.8.1 betas said the update fixed their battery life issues. But that unfortunately is not the whole story.

Fixes and feature tweaks in OS X 10.8.1:

OS X Mountain Lion Update v10.8.1 (download)
— Resolve an issue that may cause Migration Assistant to unexpectedly quit
— Improve compatibility when connecting to a Microsoft Exchange server in Mail
— Address an issue playing audio through a Thunderbolt display
— Resolve an issue that could prevent iMessages from being sent
— Address an issue that could cause the system to become unresponsive when using Pinyin input
— Resolve an issue when connecting to SMB servers with long names
— Address a issue that may prevent Safari from launching when using a Proxy Automatic Configuration (PAC) file
— Improve 802.1X authentication with Active Directory credentials
— As of this writing, security info hasn’t been published

MacObserver went the extra mile, testing OS X 10.8.1 Update on an Apple portable that had developed post-Mountain Lion battery life issues. On their a 2011 MacBook Pro, at least for this particular unit and configuration, they discovered OS X 10.8.1 did improve battery performance, but not back to the OS X Lion baseline:

That is disappointing, but not entirely unexpected — sometimes these things take time to work and there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon.

OS X 10.8.1 isn’t the final word

Apple has begun issuing OS X 10.8.2 betas to developers and, well, MacObserver and others will either have to figure out a work around on their own or wait for a solution from Cupertino. Assuming Apple maintains a similar pace vis-a-vis updates, the next Mountain Lion update could be in user hands in about a month.

That said, there are a number of active OS X 10.8.1 problem discussion threads on support.apple.com, but no obvious barn burners.

Did OS X 10.8.1 solve your Mountain Lion issues, create new ones or are you wondering why you’ve been so lucky? Sound off in the comments below…

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— How to: Make an OS X Mountain Lion install disk, DVD or USB

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