The indicator on top in the menu bar does provide a good estimate of the battery life remaining but like all things electrical, this deteriorates over time and you need to recalibrate for optimal performance. Now in general terms if you do not re calibrate, nothing bad happens, no planes fall out of the skies, or no building fall, but when you anticipate that the your laptop would give you 30 minutes more of battery life, it just dies on you instantly. This is in fact more serious than the planes falling out of skies, coz the possibility of your laptop dying on you is higher than a plane falling on to you.
When you install the app, it stays in the MenuBar (creates another entry - my only concern, with the real estate on the menu bar already low, an additional icon duplicating the system battery is a bit discomforting). This also pops up the wizard menu that goes through 5 steps. Charge your laptop fully, discharge it completely, let it rest, charge it completely again and your battery should be calibrated. Simple and easy. This utility stays in the background and monitors the battery and provides you with how much more time is required before the step is completed.
I am not sure if a lot of people know this but batteries like light bulbs have a finite life. I shall not get into physics and electronics here to explain what and how a battery works. The battery is a large capacitor, a store house of electrical charge, but as time passes, it gets weaker and weaker in retaining that charge completely and dies out after a finite number of charges. On my MacBook Pro 15" (pre-unibody the battery is valid for 300 charges, which translates to approximately a complete charge cycle everyday on weekdays before it dies on me)
Watts can integrate with Growl for notifications and provides detailed battery information including logs of the previous calibrations, etc. It also provides information on how many cycles the battery has undergone and what is the design cycle of the battery, and a bar to display the capacity.
As mentioned earlier, this is a simple yet very important app for laptop owners be it a MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air. For those wanting to save money, yes there are two ways you can go about doing this,
1. The trial version is available for a period of 30 days, that can provide two rounds of calibration
2. The cheaper alternative can be employed, just charge you battery to 100%, then unplug it and let it drain while you keep the laptop on then leave it for about 5 hours and then recharge to 100% this should have done something similar to what the utility would do.
So head over and give it a spin from ( http://binarytricks.com/ )
Software : Watts
Publisher : Binary Tricks
Website : http://binarytricks.com/
Platform : Mac OS X (10.5.x or higher)
Demo : 30 days
Price : $6.95
And we have a copy of #WATTS for one lucky winner, all you need to do
1. Follow @whatsin4me
2. Retweet the message "Read reviewme.oz-apps.com, follow @whatsin4me and RT this msg. You might win a copy of #Watts from #BinaryTricks"