Apple: Consumer Reports MB Pro battery results were due to a hidden Safari setting

As we reported last month, for the first time ever, Consumer Reports failed to recommend new models of Apple’s MacBook Pro line. The laptops did very well in measures of display quality and performance, but as far as battery life goes, models "varied dramatically" from one trial to the next. However, Apple says the battery tests were inaccurate, as the publication had enabled a hidden setting in its Safari browser.

Apple's full statement, as noted by iMore: "We appreciate the opportunity to work with Consumer Reports over the holidays to understand their battery test results. 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. This is not a setting used by customers and does not reflect real-world usage. Their use of this developer setting also 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. We have also fixed the bug uncovered in this test. This is the best pro notebook we've ever made, we respect Consumer Reports and we're glad they decided to revisit their findings on the MacBook Pro.”

Apple has supposedly fixed the Safari bug in the latest macOS Sierra beta seeded to developers and public testers this week. Also, Consumer Reports has released its own statement regarding the tests.