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Apple provides information for prolonging battery life, but there are other tips you should know. Lithium ion batteries, the type used in the iPhone and iPad, need some periodic maintenance in order to last. With proper know-how, you can even prolong battery life during long-term storage. If you do not actively protect battery life, you will find your iOS device running out of juice and in constant need of charging. With proper care, your iPad or iPhone’s battery can last a few years without the need for replacement.
First, do not leave your iPad or iPhone in an excessively warm environment. Take your iOS device with you, instead of leaving it in your car on a hot day. Even if it is not that hot outside, your car is like a greenhouse. Sunlight comes in through the windows and creates heat, which is trapped inside. Don’t risk damaging your battery. When in doubt, take it out. Some iPhone and iPad cases can trap heat in the device. If you notice that your iOS device gets warm while charging, make sure to take it out of its case. Again, too much heat will damage your battery.
You should drain your battery once a month, according to Apple. This holds true for any device with a lithium ion battery. If you do not use your iPhone or iPad batteries often, you must remember to do a full charge cycle every month. You need to keep power cycling through the battery in order to maintain the lifespan. Your iPhone is designed to hold 80% of its charge for 400 charging cycles. The iPad can complete 1000 charge cycles. I’ve had my iPhone for almost 20 months now, and the battery is as good as the day I bought it. I use it every day and charge it about once in 5 days. For more information on how to calibrate your iPhone’s battery, read this article.
I do a full charge cycle at least once a month, if not more often. I generally try to use the battery until it gets down to 5%, and then I will force it to die. This can be easily accomplished by turning the brightness all the way up and playing a video, preferably through a streaming service like YouTube, Netflix or Hulu. The wifi or 3g/4g connection will use more power than a stored video. This should drain your battery in 10-15 minutes. Remember to turn the brightness back down to the desired level. I find setting it half way with auto-brightness on works in most situations. If you are outside in the sun, you may need to increase it, even with auto-brightness on. (continue…)