Your New iPad Might Be Lying When It Says Its Battery Is At 100%

Your New iPad Might Be Lying When It Says Its Battery Is At 100%

It looks like a full battery, but with your new iPad, looks can be deceiving.

It’s a well known fact that the new iPad takes significantly longer to charge than the iPad 2. You can chalk that problem up to the fact that the new iPad has approximately 70% more battery in the same form factor than the iPad 2, requiring almost twice as long to charge. Consequently, the iPad has gone from being something you could charge up in just a few hours to a tablet that needs all night to charge to 100%.

But you shouldn’t stop charging your iPad at 100%. No sirree bob. If you want the most battery life from your new iPad, you should keep the device plugged in for at least an hour after it reports full. Why? The iPad battery gauge lies.

Dr. Raymond Soneira of Displaymate Technologies (and the author of this fantastic iPad display review), wrote in to alert us to an interesting fact.

“I measured the power actually drawn by the AC adapter and found that the new iPad continues to charge for up to 1 hour after it claims to reach 100%,” says Dr. Soneira. “This affects the battery run time if you stop charging when it says 100%.”

The new iPad isn’t alone in this sort of battery charge fudging. Other devices apparently do this as well, according to Dr. Soneira. There’s often a disparity between how much electricity has been drawn from an outlet compared to how full a device thinks its battery is.

Either way, the solution is clear. “If getting maximum battery runtime out of your device is crucial, people need to keep recharging their new iPad for longer than iOS claims.” So if you’re charging your new iPad for eight hours every night, time to start charging it to 9 if you really want a full charge for the day ahead.

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  • Sean Smith

    “The new iPad isn’t alone in this sort of battery charge fudging. Other devices apparently do this as well, according to Dr. Soneira.”

    Doesn’t this make it sort of a non-issue then? I’ve noticed the same thing when charging my iPhones for the past several years. I’ve also noticed that if you charge it up to “full” when the battery isn’t down below 20%, it also seems to drain faster when used.

  • MichaelAhlers

    It has to. Modern batteries require load balancing across the cells. You cannot immediately recharge cells that have been recently discharged. At nearly all times, some portion of the battery will unusable.

  • Demonstr8r

    The new iPad recharged from 5% to 100% in approximately 4 hours. Why are you recommending a 9 hour charge? Perhaps some investigative reporting would lend credence to your articles.

  • Jordan Clay

     Read the article please.

  • Brigham Thorp

    Most of these devices use a fuel gauge circuit to indicate to the user what the battery charge percentage is. This circuit needs to learn the capabilities of the battery. The user has to continue to leave the device plugged in even if it shows 100%. There may be more voltage available in the battery. Once the fuel gauge figures this out, the new 100% level is determined and the user will get a more accurate display of battery status.

  • Demonstr8r

    I did read the article in its entirety, and shared my personal experience too, which is far more than you added to the discussion. In my experience, it takes no more than 4 hours before the new iPad reports the battery is at 100%, thus based on the findings of Dr. Soneira, 5 hours should be sufficient for a truly full charge, not 9 hours as the author recommended.

  • Carlos Novo

    My iPad actually reads 100% for a long while after I start using it from a full charge. I’m talking like 35-40 minutes of web surfing and video playback. In fact, on a couple of occasions it started to deplete going down to 97-99%, and then after a reboot (due to a misbehaving app) it showed 100% again. It would stay that way for a while and then start to decrease again.

  • xMoonDevilx

    This would be akin to all computers saying they have 2gigs of memory, when it is in reality more like 1.75gigs, due to the software that comes with it to make it actually run in the first place requires the .50 gigs of the stated 2gigs.
    Much less stating it occurs, or is typical, of all devices makes this just a restatement of an already known non-issue. And I will corroborate what another stated…. It only takes 4hours from having little to no battery juice (talking like 14% or below even) to recharge to 100%. And recharges in the same amount of time while using the iPad at the time while connected to an outlet (maybe 4.5 hours but about the same time).

  • Mac365

    Re-read the article please.

    You are using his example as an absolute… he said to charge approximately 1 hour longer then is required to reach 100% charge as reported by iOS. So, if yours takes 4 hours then charge for 5.“I measured the power actually drawn by the AC adapter and found that the new iPad continues to charge for up to 1 hour after it claims to reach 100%,”  

  • Mike Rathjen

    Boy you just keep digging yourself deeper into that hole, don’t you?

  • reviewsbyisam

    I’ve noticed that my iPad 2 will show the percentage as 100% for up to a half hour after I finish charging it fully, so this isn’t just pertaining to the new iPad.

  • Josh Ward

    “Consequently, the iPad has gone from being something you could charge up in just a few hours to a tablet that needs all night to charge to 100%.”   …. seems you’re digging your own hole as well. The author should consider consistency in his writing.

  • baby_Twitty

    “So if you’re charging your new iPad for eight hours”…

    Are you sure you own the new iPad? 
    Coz my new iPad went from 5% to 100% in around 3.5 hours.

    Stop all the bullshltting, please.

  • baby_Twitty

    Its John BrownLee, what do u expect?

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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