PadGadget’s iPad Tips: Best Practices for Battery Life Conservation

iPad Battery

My mom called me one day, frantically asking for help with her iPad, which had just up and died on her. She couldn’t get it to turn on. It was working fine when she left the house to spend the day at the lake, but when she tried to turn it on at the end of the day, nothing happened. “Did you take it with you to the lake?” I asked. “Yes, but I left it in the car, so it didn’t get wet or anything,” she responded. My mom lives in Arizona where a cool day is about 95 degrees. That meant her car was probably well over 100 degrees, which is the perfect condition to drain a battery to its last spark of energy.

My mom protested. She had just charged her iPad before leaving the house, so the battery was full. I encouraged her to plug it in to charge it and leave it alone for about 10 minutes. Of course, the next phone call was to thank me for “fixing” her iPad. I love my mom.

If you have ever wondered if you are doing something to ruin your iPad battery’s ability to fully charge, and stay fully charged, we have some tips to help ease your mind. The first tip is, don’t worry. Batteries are a lot more durable than they used to be.

iPad PlugToday’s lithium-ion batteries, which are present in nearly all mobile devices, don’t suffer from the same memory effects that nickel-based batteries used to. After reading some very informative pointers from Lifehacker, we found out a few things that you may want to keep in mind when thinking about your battery’s health.

First, it is not actually a good idea to let your battery get all the way to zero. It is actually better to start charging your battery somewhere around the 50 percent mark. The reason has to do with the cycle-to-usage ratio.

It also isn’t a good idea to keep your battery plugged in and charging all the time. It is best for your device to remain somewhere within the 40 – 80 percent charge. Leaving it plugged in after it reaches 100 percent could put a strain on your battery’s health. The heat generated from the act of charging could damage the battery’s performance. After your device is charged to at about 80 percent, remove it from the charging dock.

Although you don’t want to regularly discharge your battery to zero, you should do it once per month. Think of it as housekeeping for your device. When you drain your battery to zero, it resets the calibration so that your device can more accurately let you know just how much of a charge you have left.

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Of course, as I mentioned above, heat is a source of ouch for your battery. The hotter it is, the worse your battery degrades. Obviously, not everyone lives in comfortably 70 degree climates, so there isn’t a whole lot you can do to avoid the heat. However, you can keep your iPad from suffering damage by thinking about where you are going to leave it when you take it out of the house. Are you heading to the beach where, even in a protective bag, it may soak up more rays than it should? If you leave in your car, will it overheat with no way to cool off because you didn’t leave the windows down for it? When it comes to the heat, think of your iPad as a pet. If you are feeling the burn, your iPad sure is. Just don’t give it any water.

LifeHacker notes that, while these tips are beneficial, you shouldn’t spend too much time worrying about your battery’s power. They all have a limited life span. That’s just the way batteries work. Keep these tips in mind when charging your iPad and, for the most part, your battery will last as long as it should.

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About Lory: Writer of all things app related, traveler of the space-time continuum, baker of really great cookies. Follow me @appaholik

  • Capt. Chris Pike

    This is the worst advice about ipad batteries I’ve ever heard, and goes to show why you should ignore any info from lifehacker. Don’t leave it plugged in? LOL. It stops charging at 100%. Don’t charge past 80? Retarded. Ipad gadget should retract this story.

    • http://www.sacramaniacs.com/ Lory Gil

      I may not have made the information clear enough in my post. Regarding your first issue, if you leave your device plugged in after it is fully charged, the heat from the charger puts undue stress on your battery, which affects its overall health. Regarding your second issue, the theory of keeping your device between 40 and 80 percent has to do with the optimum cycle of charges that a battery has. Keeping it between 40 and 80 percent is the ideal cycle-to-usage ratio.

      • Capt. Chris Pike

        Incorrect on both counts. The device stops charging at 100%, so there is no heat issue. Secondly, the idea that you’d never charge it to 100%, but keep it between 40 and 80 is simply ludicrous. By not charging to 100% you’re voluntarily giving up usage time. It’s insane. All this advice is terrible.