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Your iPad battery may last longer if you don't charge it fully

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Your iPad battery may last longer if you don't charge it fully
A few days ago, the news came out that the new iPad battery doesn't actually reach a full charge until about an hour after the battery meter reads 100%, and we said that it might be a good idea to leave your iPad on the charger the extra time to make sure you get your full amount of juice. But, that may not actually be the best idea. 

Your iPad battery may last longer if you don't charge it fully
What we hadn't taken into account was the lifespan of the typical lithium-ion battery. You see, there is a tradeoff to be made between how full of a charge you keep per cycle with the overall lifespan of your battery. Batteries can't last forever, and eventually lose their ability to retain a charge. It turns out that charging your battery longer can speed up the degradation process that will forever kill your battery. Battery University found the difference in how fast your battery will degrade based on charging it to certain levels. 

Given that we've seen data saying the new iPad has a temperature of around 86F (30C) when charging, the difference between charging the battery fully and to just 60% is pretty substantial at that temperature. If you keep the battery around a 40% charge, your battery will only degrade 4% over the span of a year, but if you fully charge your battery, you could lose as much as 20% in the same period. 

It's possible that Apple factored in all of this and has set the battery meter to give a false reading in order to provide longer battery lifetimes, but there's no way to confirm that. Either way, maybe it isn't good to leave your iPad charging too long. 

14 Comments
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posted on 26 Mar 2012, 21:12 7

1. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


see.. its not a glitch, its a feature!! your charging it wrong!

posted on 26 Mar 2012, 21:18 2

2. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5520; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


remix - ya beat me to it. It IS a feature!

posted on 26 Mar 2012, 21:33 9

3. tedkord (Posts: 4243; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Why would Apple need to worry about the battery degrading 20% in one year? By that time all the diehard Apple enthusiasts will be buying the newest iPad, regardless of it being an advance or not.

A joke, folks. Don't get all knotted up.

posted on 27 Mar 2012, 01:49 3

9. _PHug_ (Posts: 380; Member since: 11 Oct 2011)


You beat me to my comment but it's not a joke

posted on 26 Mar 2012, 21:37

4. NOKIA.8800.ARTE (Posts: 100; Member since: 26 Mar 2012)


Nice inception... but its a lengthy progress....

posted on 26 Mar 2012, 21:40 4

5. Bluesky02 (Posts: 1439; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


First, the battery doesn't charge fully as intended
Second, if you decided to charge fully your battery will start to degrade.
Strange product, for iFan logic

posted on 27 Mar 2012, 09:43

12. theoak (Posts: 320; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)


This is not "just" Apple ... this applies to any lion based battery.

posted on 26 Mar 2012, 21:55 1

6. wendygarett (unregistered)


iPhoneArena

posted on 26 Mar 2012, 22:04 2

7. rallyguy (Posts: 516; Member since: 13 Mar 2012)


Nothing new here. This is why US military equipment that uses Lion and LiPoly only gets charged to 70%. The charge doesn't last as long but the service life is drastically extended, Of course no consumer product is going to say this because they would have to put in a battery that is 30% larger but only charged to 70%.

http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/how_to_prolong_lithium_based_batteries

posted on 27 Mar 2012, 09:48

14. theoak (Posts: 320; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)


Finally someone that "gets" that this is a lion battery "issue". This has NOTHING to do with Apple. ANY lion battery is going to have this issue.

Lion batteries are used in almost everything these days ... not just phones.

posted on 27 Mar 2012, 01:49 1

8. frydaexiii (Posts: 1175; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


Seem to me like Apple is deliberately placing these glitches here and there just so they can "fix" them in the next iOS update so their customers think they "care". Pretty good marketing...

posted on 27 Mar 2012, 01:52

10. _PHug_ (Posts: 380; Member since: 11 Oct 2011)


Since I love conspiracy theories I am going to start stating this as fact

posted on 27 Mar 2012, 09:46

13. theoak (Posts: 320; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)


This applies to ... ANY ... lion battery.

Lion batteries are not just in Apple products ... but are also in HTC, Motorola, LG, Sony, etc ... and really any device that uses lion batteries. My portable drills use lion batteries for example. I have 3 batteries that I swap around ... when not in use ... I put them in my fridge to extend the life of the battery.

posted on 27 Mar 2012, 05:36

11. andro. (Posts: 1935; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


Ifans are getting very afraid these days to charge to ipads because if the faulty charger does actually charge it now they dont know wether to partially charge it or leave it charge for longer than the 100% mark! All the pr guff about the ipads new better battery is hilarious now especially as that battery is overheating to the point of being a portable cooker for camping trips. You gotta laugh at those ifans yet again caught with yet another apple resolutionary faulty product

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