Apple has made iPad Air battery replacements slightly easier with a small but welcome change to the newest model. While it’s still difficult to get inside the device, removing its large battery pack is a simpler task for repairers.
It’s just one of many improvements you get with the fifth-generation iPad Air.
iPad Air 5 is sooo much better
iPad Air 5 is so good that it makes the 11-inch iPad Pro look like a pretty bad buy for the majority of Apple customers. It’s got a faster USB-C port, 5G connectivity, a new Center Stage camera, and of course, the excellent M1 chip.
Apple has also made a small but important change on the inside that will make battery replacements significantly simpler.
iPad Air gets battery pull tabs
iFixit discovered during its teardown of Cupertino’s latest slate that it now features pull tabs that hold its battery in place. The tabs can be pulled out when necessary, releasing the battery from the shell.
That’s a huge improvement over Apple’s earlier approach, which was to fix the battery in place using a copious amount of strong glue. The only way to remove that was by bathing it in a solvent like isopropyl alcohol.
Again, it’s only a small change, but it’s one that will make future iPad Air battery replacements easier, faster, and presumably more affordable. It should also make the new iPad Air more recyclable later on.
Apple embraces pull tabs
Apple has been using battery pull tabs inside iPhone since the iPhone 5s, and in recent years, they have started appearing in more of the company’s devices — including the latest MacBook Pro lineup, and the newest iPad mini.
However, in the new iPad mini, Apple combines those pull tabs with glue (for some inexplicable reason), which defeats their purpose. We’ll have to wait for iFixit’s full teardown to see if the same is true for iPad Air.