iPad Air, iPad mini and iPad battery charging / maintenance

The new iPad Air boasts a built-in, 32 WHr rechargeable, lithium-polymer battery sealed up in an aluminum-and-glass shell, hard to open for customers, while in Apple tablet of previous gen (i.e. iPad 4) there is a 42,5 WHr one. iPad mini / iPad 2 / iPad is less avid for power and conceals the battery of 25 WHr. In fact, all generations of Apple tablet integrate separate 3.75V lithium polymer cells.

Hint Mind you, advice on iPad below are iPhone / iPod touch applicable.

Apple claims that a properly maintained iPad battery is designed to retain up to 80% of its original capacity at 1000 full charge and discharge cycles. So, the question is how to treat iPad battery to extend its life? Following are a few simple iPad tips, first five are the most important:


    1. Make sure that you fully recharge iPad's battery at least once per month (fully recharge means running the battery down to 5% and then charging it to 100%).
    2. Don't drop the battery charge to low (less than 5% is very risky as lithium-polymer cells being near their critical voltage drop the charge very sharply, so you may face completely dead battery that has no juice to start new charging cycle. Each battery cell has its own safe-voltage-limit (~ 3 V). Except the cells in the battery are perfectly matched for capacity and voltage, whereas you both charge and discharge them as a whole battery, there is a chance that sooner or later individual cells will be driven outside their safe voltage range even if the pack, as a whole, stays within it. The cells will start out balanced and tend to stay that way. It can cause the failure of the battery as a whole. Mind you, a good point is that you should start charging Apple tablet when the battery charge is less than 10%. Over discharging the battery will shorten the lifespan of its battery. The red indicator that will pop-up on your iPad screen is a good signal to start the recharging cycle.
    3. To prevent failure, never store the battery fully discharged. Apply some charge (optimal is 50%) before storage, and then charge fully before use.
    4. When possible avoid frequent full discharges. Instead, charge the battery more often. There is no concern of battery's memory when applying unscheduled charges. A high residual charge before recharge is a benefit rather than a disadvantage for chemistry of Li-Pol battery on all iPads. The winning practice is to keep battery between 40% and 80% charged. After LiP battery of iPad is charged to 80% capacity it switches to trickle charging with a potential to cause plating of metallic lithium, a condition that renders the cells unstable. One more incentive to keep battery of iPad between 40-80% is the rate of the charge loss when gadget is not in use. The charge loss amounts up to 6% per year when battery is fully charged, but only 2% per year when it is half-charged. Nevertheless, short discharges with following recharges do not secure the regularly calibration needed to synchronize the fuel gauge with the battery's state-of-charge. A deliberate full discharge and recharge every 30-40 charges fixes this problem.
    5. Do not overcharge iPad. Overcharging iPad by leaving it charging for the whole night shortens the battery lifespan.Be aware that eventually the controller that normally keeps charging voltage constant after battery riches 70% of its maximal capacity ( thus reducing the charging current) may fail. This is the main reason why overcharging is dangerous.
    6. Avoid iPad from both overheating (> 35 °C)and undercooling (< 0 °C). The optimal temperature for IPad is 22 °C.The elevated temperatures hasten permanent capacity loss for iPad battery. The worst condition is running iPad with a fully charged battery at elevated temperatures. While the battery is kept fully charged, the inside temperature during operation rises to 45 °C. So if your iPad exposures direct sun run it at about a 40% state-of-charge. Apple claims that temperature is the most important factor that influence the lifespan of iPad battery.
    7. Free iPad from its leather or any other case when charging the battery. These cases prevent from adequate ventilation, and cause extra temperature rise while charging.
    8. To safe battery's power turn off : background app refreshing (implemented by iOS 7), and/or Wi-Fi when it is not in use, push notifications and/or push mail, and/or the sound effects (if they are frequent and as they are activated by default); adjust screen brightness, and/or minimize the use of location services, and/or increase Fetch New Data interval.These can be done by going to iPad's "Settings".
    9. Be aware that disabling PING service in the Restriction area of the tablet's Settings will dramatically improve the life of its battery.
If you have just bought your new iPad and are in doubt whether to charge it before first use look at percentage meter for the battery level indicator at the top-right corner of the status bar on the screen. If indicator reading is more than 40% (in 99,9% cases it is true) then use your new iPad (currently iPad Air / Retina iPad mini) as you want until battery level drops to 20%. After this, apply your first iPad charging to 100%. Mark this as your first full recharge of the new iPad. Starting from this mark follow above advice. To enable the percentage meter for the battery level indicator at the top-right corner of the status bar of your new iPad take the following steps:
    1. Tap Settings
    2. Tap General (this will trigger the General submenu on the right-half of the screen)
    3. Tap Usage on the General submenu of the Settings.
    4. Scroll down the usage submenu to find Battery Usage.
    5. Set Battery Percentage ON
    6. Return to the Home screen

It takes around 250 minutes to completely recharge the iPad / iPad 2 from nearly empty with the use of included Apple 10W Power Adapter. First 130 - 140 minutes of charging power an iPad to 80% capacity, then 120 - 110 minutes charge gadget fully, if iPad is not used while charging. As to iPad 4 / iPad 3 its charging time with original 10 W Power Adapter is roughly half again as much as that for iPad 2. Such "slowness" is due to increased capacity of iPad 4 / iPad 3 battery. Because iPad Air model has battery of much smaller capacity its charging is quicker. It takes around 245 min to charge iPad Air from 10% to 100%. In comparison with iPad 4 it is about 85 min less. To speed up charging of Apple tablet disable its wireless capability:


    1. Tap Settings
    2. Toggle Airplane mode to ON
and completely shut down device before charging.

Some times there is a need to use Apple tablet in the course of its charging and you start asking yourself questions like this "can I use iPad Air /iPad /ipad 2/ iPad 3 iPad 4 or iPad mini while charging the battery". The short answer is YES, you can! To avoid damage for 32-pins proprietary tablet's port take care for USB cable connection

Read further if you are concerned with multitasking effect on iPad battery life or unveil 50+ secrets that can help you maintain iPad