The New iPad: Battle Of The Battery

A new study by DisplayMate Technologies is suggesting that Apple needs to change the algorithm which is used to display the charged percentage for the battery on the new iPad. The study, by Dr. Raymond Soneira of DisplayMate, suggested that the iPad continues to draw 10 watts of power for over an hour after it displays 100% on the battery indicator on the iPad. Dr. Soneira then went on to note that the responsibility lies with Apple to fix the algorithm which displays the battery percentage so that users can unplug their iPad at the appropriate time.

In short, Apple responded to this suggestion by noting that when the power indicator for the new iPad hits 100%, then that is adequate to power the iPad for the time that is specified in advertisements for the iPad. The company said that charging further than that could potentially reduce the longevity of the battery.

This is essentially a battle of semantics. While it may be a more accurate reflection of the battery capacity of the new iPad if a new algorithm was applied which would extend the charging time, if Apple is correct (a given, considering they came up with the device), charging to 100% could reduce the effective battery life.

That said, in practical terms, many users will charge their iPad overnight and will not be waiting by the power outlet for the second that the indicator on the device hits 100%.  The 100% charge indicator therefore provides a buffer for those who want to optimize their battery life and who could disconnect their device perhaps 30 mins to 1 hour after completion.

Being absolutely honest, I stick my iPad on for an overnight charge even if it has 70% battery capacity and turn it off again in the morning.  I would hope that it would intelligently stop drawing power once the battery is charged and that any ‘overcharging’ wouldn’t damage it too much.  The same goes for my iPhone.

In real terms, are the general public any different?

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  • Traumaticacid

    So what happens when you use the iPad if it has been on the charger all night and gone to Superduper 100%?

    Does it stay on 100% for ages and then the percentage starts dropping down or does the reverse not apply?

    • AppleBitch

       Haha – would love to see the charging indicator read ‘Superduper 100%’ :P

  • jamesdbailey

    All Lithium Ion batteries have to have smart chargers that stop charging when the battery is fully charged to specification. Anything else would be very dangerous. You can leave the iPad plugged in to a charger for as long as you like. It won’t charge after it is fully charged. 

    This is an issue of displaying a particular number in the display, nothing more. I suspect that the algorithm is based on battery calibration and it will get better over time as the calibration is done over several charge cycles. But I’m guessing.