Preserve battery life

Tara Brady
10 September, 2011
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All the different kinds of batteries need different types of maintenance, and it is difficult to get information about what kind of battery a device has – some last longer if they are fully charged, some if they are about half charged, and some last longer if they are barely charged. 

I want to know how best to preserve my iPad 2 battery. I get the impression that I should let it run down quite low (how low?) and then recharge fully.

I read that the number of charging cycles is a natural limit for battery life, so I am concerned about the small amount of charging that happens when I connect it to my Mac Pro for syncing and adding new apps, which presumably counts as a cycle. 

Is there any way to prevent the iPad from charging when connected to the Mac?

Are these short cycles significant? Does a series of short charging periods affect the battery’s ability to charge fully? Does it shorten the battery’s life?

- Pat

Check out some of this useful info from Apple. It is a great resource and it will provide you with a lot of useful information about the iPad, and ways to help battery life.

There is no way to prevent the iPad from charging while plugged into the computer via the USB port as it needs to produce a certain amount of charge through this cable to be able to sync across information. This is why if a USB port doesn’t put out enough charge – which is around 2.4W – the iOS device will be unable to connect and another port should be used.

Charge cycles are important when looking at an entire lifespan of a device, as every battery has a limited number of charge cycles before it’s considered ‘consumed’. (The device is considered to have received a full charge cycle every time it’s placed on to charge – regardless of how long it was and how much charge was received.)

Proper management of charging should be used to prolong the life of the battery and different habits can assist you with this.

It is important to remember that a piece of mobile technology is made to work all the way to 0 percent, so when it gets to 50 percent there is no rush to plug it in to get extra juice.

Having said that, letting your battery run all the way to 0 percent every time isn’t needed, but should really be done once a week to let the device power off, and then by using the correct adapters to re-charge with power using the iPad wall charger or high-power USB port.

You can try and coincide this with a weekly backup/sync of all your devices.

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