Apple releases MacBook Pro firmware update to fix battery issues

Apple has released the MacBook Pro SMC Firmware Update 1.7. The update addresses a very specific issue owners of the MacBook Pro (15- and 17-inch models, Early 2011) and MacBook Pro (15- and 17-inch models, Mid 2010) were having. Though rare, the issue would cause the laptops to unexpectedly shut down or stop functioning after more than 1,000 battery charge cycles.

The firmware update can be downloaded through Software Update on the select models, or users can download it directly here. Last month Apple released the MacBook Pro SMC Firmware Update 1.6, which addressed asimilar issue on other models.

[Source: TUAW]

CES 2013: Nectar's fuel cell pack claims to store up to two weeks of extra power

The Nectar mobile power system had its debut earlier this week at CES' Unveiled pre-show, and if nothing else, it's an impressive boast: The system claims to provide up to two weeks of power for your devices (including the iPhone) from a pack that fits very easily in a pocket. It's a pretty wild idea -- obviously, we haven't gotten a chance yet to really run the device through its paces just yet, but if the Nectar can do what the company says it can, it could be a very handy addition to your travel kit.

The way it works is that you buy the core base unit for US$299, and then you can pick up extra fuel cell units for just $10 each. Use up the included fuel cell, and you'll have to replace it, but that much power should definitely be handy if you need it all while out and about. Other fuel cell tech like this can be heavy and bulky, but Nectar is designed to be both very portable and very powerful.

The units will be available for sale at Brookstone later on this year, and we'll try to grab one then to see just how these claims stack up under trial. In the meantime, Engadget has a nice gallery of the unit showing just what it looks like in person.

[Source: TUAW]

Next Generation iPhone Battery Only Marginally Higher Capacity

Part photos of the new battery for the next generation iPhone have been posted by9to5Mac. The part shows only a minor increase in capacity from 3.7V/1430mAh/5.3Whr in the iPhone 4S to 3.8V/1440mAh/5.45Whr in the rumored iPhone 5. No dimensions are provided to compare the size of the battery to the current iPhone batteries. 

The next generation iPhone is believed to be a taller but thinner device. The increased height, however, is more than offset by the reduction in thickness which results in a decreased internal volume of the device as compared to the iPhone 4 and 4S. If this part leak is to believed, Apple hasn't been able to significantly increase the battery capacity on the new iPhone. 

The new iPhone is expected to include LTE data networking for the first time. LTE has traditionally required more power than the currently supported 3G networks. Apple's Tim Cook has said that the reason that Apple hadn't used LTE in iPhones is due to the "design compromises" required to build such a device. This has widely believed to have referred to the increased power requirement of existing LTE chips. Qualcomm is poised to release a new LTE chip that Anandtech believes will "likely increase LTE battery life to reasonable levels."

[Source: MacRumors]