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6 Easy Tips to Help Extend Battery Life of iPad Air & Retina iPad Mini

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The iPad Air has a long battery life that lasts a long time up up to 10 hours of continuous use, but like many devices running iOS 7, the device’s battery life can be maximized by adjusting a few settings accordingly. Some of these tricks reduces eye candy and special effects across iOS, but if you’re more concerned about cutting down on a device’s maximum battery life instead of blinding lights, zippers, zooms, and background updates, you’ll find the tradeoffs are worth it.

Of course this one tips also applies to other iPad devices including the earlier generation iPads, iPad Mini and Retina iPad Mini if ​​you happened to find one.

1: Keep the display brightness low

The iPad’s large screen requires a lot of power for backlighting, so reducing the brightness of that screen can greatly help extend or conserve battery life. Fortunately, this is now very easy to adjust with the new Control Center of iOS feature:

  • Wipe up from the bottom of the iPad to invoke Control Center, slide the screen brightness setting as low as possible for maximum battery life

Adjust the brightness in Control Center for iPad

For almost everyone, controlling screen brightness and controlling brightness levels has the biggest impact on iPad Air battery life (or any iPad for that matter). If you don’t do anything else, just focus on adjusting the screen brightness. For indoors, I usually aim for 25%, and low-light reading of around 10% -15% can be fine. If you’re using the iPad Air in direct sunlight, you should of course have it brighter, but keep in mind that 100% brightness will lead to rapid drainage.

2: Disable Background App Refresh

Background App Refresh keeps apps updated even when not in use. But the iPad (and other iOS devices) are mainly used for one app at a time, so who cares if an app is being updated in the background or not? If you care about battery life, you’ll want to turn this off feature:

  • Settings> General> Background App Refresh> OFF

Note that even the settings for this one say “Disabling apps can help extend battery life” – just turn the whole thing off. If you don’t care about battery life, you can leave it on, but this article is written for those who do. Many users also notice this feature off slightly increases the speed, although it is much less noticeable on the latest devices with higher processing capacities.

3: Turn off automatic app updates

Automatic app updates ensure that your applications automatically update themselves when a new version is available in the App Store. Luxury feature, but like anything else that runs unnecessarily in the background, it can use up unnecessary system resources and affect battery life. Shut it down:

  • Settings> iTunes & App Store> Automatic Downloads> Updates> OFF

Yes, you’ll have to manually update your apps from the App Store like some kind of tech dinosaur we all were before iOS 7, but your iPad Air’s battery life should thank you.

4: Lose the movement and zoom transitions

The eye-pleasing zoom and motion effects certainly look nice, but just like any other eye-candy-centric feature, it requires resources to use. So, disabling the zoom and replacing it with fading transitions can affect battery life, and make the iPad feel faster:

  • Settings> General> Accessibility> Reduce Motion> ON

The fading transition effects are still attractive, this isn’t much of a loss. Note that enabling Motion Reduction also disables the parallax effect, which is the interesting effect that the icons and background move as the device itself is physically moved.

5: Ditch the Fancy Moving Wallpapers

Just as the zoom transitions require system resources to fly around on a 10 ″ screen, so does Dynamic wallpaper. Does it have a purpose beyond eye candy? Not really, so if you’re concerned about battery life, don’t use the (admittedly fancy) dynamic wallpapers:

  • Settings> Background and brightness> Choose background> Photos> anything that is not dynamic

In addition to batteries, choosing the right wallpaper can also make a pretty big difference in the overall usability and appearance of iOS, aim for something without a lot of clashing colors for best results.

6: Turn off unnecessary location services

Location-based services are notoriously hungry because they have to check your location regularly to trigger an event or notification. Turn off as many location services as possible for best results:

  • Settings> Privacy> Location Services> turn OFF anything unnecessary
  • Settings> Privacy> Location Services> System Services> Frequent Locations> OFF

This is especially important for LTE devices, as location services use the LTE band and GPS to attempt to locate the device. This can lead to unnecessary battery drain if you mainly use the iPad in one place, such as your couch.

If you use the iPad almost exclusively home, consider turning off all location capabilities except apps like TV guides who use location only once, or for things like Siri and weather, who only use location when prompted.

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