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Mountain Lion causing battery drain on MacBooks

Apple's latest operating system, OS X Mountain Lion, is causing a major drop in battery life on some MacBook Pros and Airs.

Users have flocked to Apple's support forums since 25 July - the day Mountain Lion launched - to complain about the issue, though it appears Apple is now looking into the problems. As of Friday, one Apple Support Communities thread about Mountain Lion's adverse effects on battery life was up to 16 pages with 233 replies. A number of other similar threads have been created.

While some users have seen battery life drops of about an hour, others claim performance has been cut in half or worse.

"I can visibly see the battery draining," one user with the handle "tarpus" wrote. "In fact when I first started writing this post my battery was at 96 per cent and now, three sentences later, without doing anything else, and without having any other applications running, my battery life is at 91 per cent!"

Users have tried to remedy the issue in a variety of ways, such as reinstalling Mountain Lion and turning off some of the operating system's new features, but the battery issues remain. Some users have seen some temporary success after resetting the machine's system management controller (SMC), but the problem comes back after continued use.

Apple caught wind of the issue and has been working with impacted users to gather information about the problem.

"They contacted me to get info to give to their engineers," a user with the handle "bleavi" wrote on Friday. "Thus, I think they realise the issue and are working to find a solution. Be patient and hopefully a solution will be found."

Some users have come to expect problems following new Apple releases, and choose to wait before installing upgrades or buying new products so the Cupertino-based company can iron out any kinks. Days after Apple released the iPhone 4S and iOS 5 last year, for example, users began complaining of plummeting battery life.

This is not the first snag Apple has hit during Mountain Lion's rollout either. Some Mac users who are entitled to a free copy of the operating system through Apple's Up-to-Date programme were left frustrated after being forced to wait several days for their redemption codes or receiving non-working codes.

For more, see ITProPortal's full review of Mountain Lion.