How to Extend Your iPad's Battery Life

iPad battery low
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With each iPad release, one constant remain.  The iPad is becoming faster and faster and the graphics get better every year, but the device still maintains an amazing 10 hours of battery life. But for those of us that use our iPad throughout the day, it's still easy for it to run low.  And there's nothing worse than trying to stream video from Netflix only to have that low battery message pop up and interrupt your show. Luckily, there are a few tips you can use to save iPad battery life and keep that from happening as often.

Here's How You Can Get the Most Out of Your iPad's Battery:

  1. Adjust the brightness. The iPad has an auto-brightness feature which helps tune the iPad based on the light quality in the room, but this feature is not enough.  Adjusting the overall brightness may be the best single thing you can do to eek out a little more from your battery.  You can adjust the brightness by opening the iPad's settings, choosing Display & Brightness from the left-side menu and moving the brightness slider.  The goal is to get it where it is still comfortable enough to read, but not quite as bright as the default setting.
  2. Turn off Bluetooth. Many of us don't have any Bluetooth devices connected to the iPad, so all the Bluetooth service is doing for us is waste the iPad's battery life. If you don't have any Bluetooth devices, make sure Bluetooth is turned off.  A quick way to flip the switch for Bluetooth is to open the iPad Control Panel by swiping up from the very bottom edge of the display.
  3. Turn off Location Services. While even the Wi-Fi-only model of the iPad does a great job of determining its location, most of us don't use the location services on our iPad as much as we use them on our iPhone. Turning GPS is a quick and easy way to save a little battery power while not giving up any features. And remember, if you do need GPS, you can always turn it back on.  You can turn off locations services in the iPad's settings under Privacy.
  1. Turn off Push Notification. While Push Notification is an excellent feature, it does drain a little bit of battery life as the device checks to see if it needs to push a message to the screen. If you are looking to do the most to optimize your battery life, you can turn Push Notification off completely. Alternatively, you can turn it off for individual apps, decreasing the number of push notifications you receive.  You can turn off Push Notification in settings under "Notifications".
  2. Fetch Mail Less Often. By default, the iPad will check for new mail every 15 minutes. Pushing this back to 30 minutes or an hour can help your battery last longer. Simply go into settings, choose the Mail settings and tap the "Fetch New Data" option. This page will let you set how often your iPad fetches mail. There's even an option to only check for mail manually.
  3. Turn off 4G. Most of the time, we use the iPad at home, which means using it via our Wi-Fi connection. Some of us use it at home almost exclusively. If you often find yourself low on battery power, a good tip is to turn off your 4G data connection. This will keep it from draining any power when you aren't using it.
  1. Turn off Background App Refresh. Introduced in iOS 7, background app refresh keeps your apps updated by refreshing them while the iPad is idle or while you are in another app.  This can drain some extra battery life, so if you don't mind whether or not the iPad refreshes your Facebook newsfeed and has it waiting for you, go into Settings, choose General Settings and scroll down until you find "Background App Refresh".  You can choose to turn off the service as a whole or simply turn off individual apps you don't care as much about.
  2. Find out what apps are eating up all of your battery life.  Did you know you can check your iPad's battery usage?  This is a great way to find out what apps you are using a lot and which apps may be eating up more than their fair share of your battery.  You can check usage in the iPad's settings by selecting Battery from the left-side menu.
  3. Keep Up With iPad Updates. It is always important to keep iOS updated with the latest patches from Apple. Not only can this help optimize battery life on the iPad, it also makes sure you are getting the latest security fixes and patching any bugs that have popped up, which will help the iPad run smoother.
  1. Reduce Motion.  This is a trick that will save a little battery life and make the iPad seem a little more responsive.  The iPad's interface includes a number of animations like windows zooming in and zooming out and the parallax effect on icons that make them seem to hover over the background image.  You can turn off these interface effects by going to settings, tapping General settings, tapping Accessibility and touching Reduce Motion to find the switch.
  2. Buy a Smart Case.  The Smart Case can save battery life by putting the iPad into suspend mode when you close the flap.   It may not seem like much, but if you aren't in the habit of hitting the Sleep/Wake button every time you are finished using the iPad, it can help give you an extra five, ten or even fifteen minutes at the end of the day.

Does the iPad Have a Low Power Mode?

Apple recently released a neat new feature for iPhones called "Low Power Mode".  This feature alerts you at 20% and again at 10% power that you are running low on battery life and offers to put the phone in a Low Power Mode.  This mode turns off a number of features, including features that couldn't ordinarily be turned off such as special graphics used in the user interface.   It's a great way to get the most juice out of the dregs of the battery, but unfortunately, the feature doesn't exist on the iPad.   

For those wanting something similar, I've detailed most of the features to turn off in the steps above.  You can also follow the iPad Low Power Mode guide.