Battery Tips: iPad 2 Edition

So you have your new iPad2, you’ve gone through the Amazing Apple Unboxing Experience and you’re so excited that every little detail takes on huge importance in your mind.

One consideration that came out during our latest unboxing was:

“How long do I charge the iPad 2 battery before first use?”

You wonder if by making the wrong choice maybe you’ll ruin your battery life forever for your shiny new piece of awesomeness.

Never fear, our ‘Battery Tips: iPad 2 Edition‘ is here!

First Charge

In general, it’s a good idea to charge your battery overnight when you get a new device. Apple’s batteries charge to 80% in the first hour and do what is called a “trickle charge” after that. So it can take another few hours to charge it up fully, depending on how discharged the device is to start with.

Memory Issues Got Left Behind With NiCad

In general, the modern lithium-ion polymer battery used by Apple does not suffer from the “memory” of the past nickel-cadmium battery technology, plus it allows Apple to mold the battery to best make use of the available space inside the device.

You should know that the new nature of Apple’s high-tech batteries DOES have some implications: you need to charge and discharge your battery regularly. Of all the advice I can give you here, this is the most important. This fact, however, should not be misunderstood to mean your battery has memory issues.

Apple Batteries: High Tech

Apple’s batteries are among the most technologically advanced available, and Apple has led the way in advancing the use of modern technology to manage what are now referred to as ‘charging cycles’.

Stay Up TO Date: iOS & Firmware

A charging cycle is managed by special firmware & software within your laptop, or iOS device like the iPad, iPad2, iPhone or iPod. By staying up to date, you ensure that any battery software or firmware improvements Apple has made are used on your iPad2.

Regularity Is The Key: Charge & Discharge

If you’re among the legion of people who keep their computers plugged in all the time, or forget about charging your iOS device’s battery, or leave your iPod in your hot car; you may be creating a problem for yourself.

Apple goes so far as to have created iCal reminders for it’s customers on charging and discharging their laptop and iDevice’s batteries. Minimum is once per month.

Those of you who live in warmer climates beware:

“If you use your iPod, iPhone, iPad, or notebook in temperatures higher than 95° F (or 35° C), you may permanently damage your battery’s capacity. That is, your battery won’t power your device as long on any given charge. You may damage it even more if you charge the device in these temperatures. Even storing a battery in a hot environment can damage it irreversibly.”

Also, here are a great list of links to information on batteries from several authorities I would recommend:

iPhone Battery Tips from Apple

Apple – Batteries

Apple – Batteries – Notebooks

Extending the Life of Your Laptop Battery

Determining Battery Cycle Count

Calibrating your computer’s battery for best performance

Battery University

How Stuff Works Litium-Ion Battery Info

Three Point Summary

1) Regularly Charge and Discharge your Apple device’s battery. 2-4 weeks is a good cycle.

2) Avoid heating your device over 95 degrees. That is to say, make sure the device itself isn’t over 95 degrees.

3) Keep your device’s firmware and iOS version up-to-date.

Thanks to Regis Chapman from RegisChapmanDesign for this great post.