Improve iPad battery life

Improve your iPad's battery life

Apple’s iPad boasts an impressive battery life – up to ten hours before needing a charge. But many iPad users struggle to get near this figure. Watching movies at full screen brightness and having push notifications for all your email accounts and apps going in the background can severely reduce your iPad battery life. Here are our ten top tips for keeping your iPad’s battery running for longer.

TIP 1  Switch to Airplane Mode
Apple’s iPad is designed to constantly search for a wireless signal to always stay connected, but this places a big drain on the battery. So if you’re using your iPad to play games, write notes and don’t need to use the Internet or connect to other devices, switch off the wireless connection temporarily.

To quickly turn off all four wireless services – Wi-Fi, 3G, Bluetooth, and GPS – in one fell swoop, simply switch your iPad to Airplane Mode. Click the  Settings icon and move the switch next to Airplane Mode (the top option) to ON.  iOS 7 users can toggled Airplane Mode on and off using the new Control Center. Simple swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access these controls.

TIP 2  Dim screen brightness
The brighter your iPad screen the more power it demands from your iPad battery. Reduce your screen brightness will help preserve battery life. Click Settings > Brightness & Wallpaper. Drag the slider to the left to lower the screen brightness to a comfortable level to use. And turn Auto-Brightness off too, as this stops the iPad automatically brightening the screen when you use it in low light conditions.

TIP 3  Turn off wi-fi and 3G/4G
Searching for and connecting to Wi-fi, Bluetooth and 3G/4G networks places a big drain on your iPad battery. If you don’t want to switch all off at once using the Airplane Mode (see TIP 1), consider switching off those you don’t currently need to save power. To switch off Wi-Fi, click the Settings icon and then Wi-Fi move the button to Off. To disable 3G/4G, choose Settings, then Mobile Data and toggle Mobile Data off. Turn off Bluetooth if you’re not using Bluetooth devices such as keyboard, as this saves battery power too. Go to Settings, and click Bluetooth and then move the switch to Off.

TIP 4  Ditch push notifications
Many apps use push notifications – messages that pop up on screen – to alert you to something new. But serving up a constant stream of notifications from all your apps is thirsty work for your iPad. Most push notifications are simply distractions rather than essential alerts, so it’s a good idea to turn this feature off. In Go to Settings > Notification Centre. Under Include, you’ll see a list of apps that are allowed to send notifications. Select the app you wish to stop receiving notifications from and on the next screen toggle everything off. Repeat for other apps you wish to stop. Alternatively, to block notifications from all your apps, click Settings > Do Not Disturb and under Silence tick Always.

TIP 5  Fetch email less often
The more often your iPad checks for and receives email, the more battery power is used. To help save battery life, change your Mail settings to stop new messages downloading automatically to your iPad and reduce the frequency that your iPad checks for new email. Click the Settings icon and then select Mail, Contacts, Calendars and click Fetch New Data and turn off Push. Next set the Fetch option to Every 30 minutes or Hourly. For the best power saving, click Manually to allow the iPad to check for new email only when the Mail app is opened.

TIP 6  Turn off location services
Many apps installed on your iPad use GPS location services to track your iPad’s whereabouts and provide relevant information such the local weather forecast. Location services, however, place a big drain on your battery. So if you don’t need them, turn them off. Here’s how: click the Settings icon. Next click Privacy and then Location Services. Turn this off, either for all apps or just certain apps.

TIP 7  Turn off Background App Refresh
iOS 7’s Background App Refresh lets your apps automatically update and refresh even when you’re not using them – all the while draining your precious battery life. However, you can disable this feature to save power. While an app may take a little longer to update when you launch it, this slight delay is a small price to pay for a longer battery life. Turn off this feature by going clicking the Settings icon and clicking  General, then Background App Refresh. Move the switch to OFF.

TIP 8  Turn off 3D effects and dynamic backgrounds
iOS 7’s 3D motion effects and animated wallpapers make your iPad look great, but both are battery hogs so consider ditching them. Click the Settings icon, click Wallpapers & Brightness and then Choose Wallpaper. Pick  a still wallpaper rather than a dynamic one. To turn off the homescreen’s 3D parallax view, click the Settings icon, click General and then click Accessibility. Then turn off Reduce Motion.

TIP 9  Lock your iPad
Locking your iPad when it’s not in use will help you squeeze more life from your battery charge. Press the Sleep/Wake button at the top of your iPad when you’re finished using it. Another battery lifesaver is reducing the iPad’s auto-lock setting. This is the amount of time before the screen turns off when the iPad is left idle. A constantly powered screen will quickly drain battery life so for an optimum battery saving set the auto-lock to just 2 minutes of idleness.

TIP 10 Keep up to date
Using the latest iOS and patches from Apple can help optimize your iPad’s battery life. To see if an update is available, click the Settings icon, General and then Software Update. If available, an update can be downloaded – this is done automatically when your iPad is connected to Wi-Fi and a power source. Tap Install Now to update your software.

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