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

A screenshot of battery life usage on the iPad

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. Here's how to view your battery usage:

  • Launch the iPad's Settings app
  • Tap the Battery option from the left-side menu.
  • The battery usage screen is divided into two sections. The top sections shows our activity and usage over time using graphs and the bottom section lists out all apps and how much time they've been active.
  • You can also turn on Battery Percentage at the top of this screen. This will turn on or off the actual percentage notation next to the battery in the status bar.

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? The best step may be to delete the app and reinstall it in case it is using more battery than it should, but if that doesn't correct the problem, we can either use the app or not use the app.

The first thing to note of are the graphs showing battery charge level and activity on the iPad. If you seen an inordinate amount of battery usage at a time when the iPad isn't very active, you may have an issue with an app.

The battery usage by app list below these graphs can help diagnose this problem. If you tap on any individual app in this list, more details will emerge showing how much activity the app had while on screen and how much was in the background. Apps have the ability to download new data and perform other updates via a feature called background app refresh.

How Can We Reduce Our Battery Usage? 

Information on battery usage for our iPad is crucial, but what about actions we can take? There are a few 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.
  • Last, we can turn off background app refresh. We can do this by opening the Settings app, choosing General from the left-side menu and choosing Background App Refresh. You can turn the feature off completely or simply turn it off for an individual app.

    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.