macOS 11 Big Sur brings back the buzzer, battery life is still estimated

While much of the focus on macOS 11 Big Sur is about preparing the Mac for the future, there are a couple of changes that are reminiscent of days gone by. With macOS Big Sur, Apple has added the Mac startup bell, as well as the remaining estimates of battery time.

Starter bell

With the introduction of the MacBook Pro 2016, Apple removed the iconic Mac startup sound on startup. This meant that his Mac would start silently, which was a small change at the time but it marked the end of a long tradition. People finally realized that it was possible to do a new MacBooks ringtone again, but it involved NVRAM tweaks through Terminal.

However, with macOS 11 Big Sur, the Mac startup bell is back in all its glory. When it boots you will hear the iconic sound, and there is a new setting to enable or disable it as you like.

To find the new settings, open the System Preferences application, then navigate to the “Sound” preference panel. From there, choose “Sound Effects” and you will see a new check box for “Play sound at startup”. It appears to be enabled by default, but you can uncheck the box if you wish.

Remaining battery time

Again, going back to the introduction of the 2016 MacBook Pro introduction, Apple removed the “remaining time” estimates of battery life. This decision came after an increasing number of complaints about the battery life performance of newer MacBook Pro models. We explained Apple’s reasoning at the time:

We understand the reason is because of how the latest low power processors work when switching between various tasks. Inaccurate “remaining time” predictions could not keep up or provide accurate information for users on newer machines. Apple investigated complaints about battery life extensively over the past few weeks, and concluded that the batteries in the new MacBook Pros are performing as expected, according to sources familiar with the investigation.

However, with macOS 11 Big Sur, Apple appears to have figured out how to accurately display battery “remaining life” estimates. From the menu bar, you can now click on the battery icon and see an estimate of how much time your MacBook has left at its current charge.

You can also access the details in the System Preferences application by selecting the “Battery” preference panel. Here you can see usage history as well as details on power management controls and battery status:

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