Find Out Which Apps Use the Most Battery Life on Your iPad

The iPad's battery settings includes a list of which apps are using the most power. Daniel Nations

Have you ever wanted to know what apps are sucking up all of your battery life? A neat new feature of the iOS 9 update is the ability to break down battery usage based on apps. This can be a handy way of diagnosing battery issues if you often find your iPad running low on power.

In order to view which apps are using the most battery life, you will need to go into your iPad's settings. This is the icon with the gears on it. Once you are in settings, scroll down the left-side menu and tap on Battery. Your Battery Usage will be displayed in the main window.

You can view usage over the past twenty-four hours or usage over the last six days. If you have frequent problems with battery life on your iPad, it's best to view the usage over the past 6 days in order to get a better look at the apps you use and how much battery life they are sucking up while they are running.

What Does Battery Usage Tell You?

It can be debatable just how useful the information on this screen actually is for most of us. Certainly, if an app has a bug causing it to use too much battery life, the ability to see it on the screen will make it easier to diagnose. But even if we find an app using an abnormal amount of battery life, what are our options? We can either use the app or not use the app, right?

Sort of. First, we should try to diagnose if the app's usage of the battery is abnormally high. We can do this by tapping the little clock icon right next to the Last 24 Hours / Last 6 Days tab. Tapping this clock will display how many minutes the app has been on the screen. If an app takes up a large amount of battery life but hasn't been on the screen very long, we know it takes an abnormally high amount of power when it is running. This screen will also tell you how long the app was running in the background, so you can differentiate Pandora taking up power while playing songs in the background to Guitar Hero Live taking up a lot of power while you are playing the game.

How Can We Reduce Our Battery Usage? 

There are two ways we can use this information to squeeze more out of our battery life. First, if we know an app takes up a lot of power, we can make sure we close out of the app when we are done with it. The iPad makes it easy to simply set it down and walk away, but those few minutes it takes for the iPad to go to sleep can still take up some battery life. And some apps produce enough activity to delay when the iPad goes to sleep. This problem is magnified if you have changed the Auto-Lock setting to an interval longer than 2 minutes. (I have mine set at 15 minutes!)

We can also look for alternatives to the app. Not all apps have alternatives that you can use, and just because an alternative exists doesn't mean it will be as good as the original. But if you have a real battery hog, it might be a good idea to look around for an alternative. A good way to start is to type the app's name into the App Store's search and see what other apps come up as the result.

What Else Can I Do to Save Battery Life?

A couple of other basic tips to squeeze more out of your iPad's battery are to lower the screen brightness, which can be done quickly on the iPad's Control Panel, and turn off Bluetooth if you aren't using it. Find more ways to save on battery life.