When it comes to Apple, “Bendgate” is just another snafu borne of high expectations. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Bendgate is the latest in a long line of minor Apple problems that get blown out of proportion by the Internet’s echo chamber and the media jackals that inevitably swoop in and howl about the latest “crisis.”
The same sort of over-the-top backlash happened with the iPhone 4’s reception issue (Antennagate) and the iPad’s trickle-charge feature (Batterygate). It’s a familiar cycle: Apple’s fantastic new device captures the world’s attention, a glitch arises and suddenly the world is coming to an end — at least until it’s not.
“Apple’s ability to trigger consumer demand is probably without rival across the globe — that’s no small feat,” says Larry Barton, a pioneer in corporate crisis management who studies the causes of and responses to incidents like these. “Their core, loyal customer has proven to be forgiving across several minor incidents, and Bendgate is just that — a relatively minor snafu that’s not uncommon with a first-generation design.”
Technically, this is the most your new iPad's battery should ever be charged.
Last week, Dr. Raymond Soneira of DisplayMate Technologies discovered that when he charged his new iPad, it continued to draw current long after iOS reported its lithium-ion polymer battery as being 100% charged.
Doing some experiments, Dr. Soneira discovered that if allowed to charge until the point where the 10W charger stopped drawing full current from the mains, his iPad could last 11.6 hours on a single charge, compared to just 10.4 hours if he unplugged it the second it reached 100%.
Why does the new iPad do this? Dr. Soneira believes that it’s a bug in the way the new iPad reports its battery charge. Apple has since spoken out and called it a “great feature” in iOS. But what the heck is really going on?
The truth is more complicated. Apple’s being disingenuous calling this a “feature” of iOS. In fact, technically it harms your new iPad’s battery. That said, it’s certainly not a bug, as Dr. Soneira emphatically suggests. Rather, this is the way all gadget batteries charge. To understand why this is, and how you can maximize your device’s battery life and longevity, you first need to understand a little bit about how batteries charge.