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Managing an iPad’s Battery Use

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Q. Is Apple also slowing down older iPads? If so, will it replace batteries at a reduced rate?

A. In response to accusations that it intentionally hindered older products, Apple’s public explanation and apology says that only certain iPhone models were affected by the software updates designed to prevent the battery from conking out unexpectedly. In fact, Apple’s mea culpa states, “This power management feature is specific to iPhone and does not apply to any other Apple products.”

The “power management” tool was first introduced in early 2017 with iOS 10.2.1 for iPhones. Longer times for apps to start up, lowered audio volume and screen brightness, a disabled camera flash and jerkier frame rates are signs of the performance reduction in action. Apple said only the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE models were included at first, but it added the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus with the iOS 11.2 update in December.

To make amends, Apple is replacing batteries in older iPhones for $29 (instead of the usual $79) until the end of the year; new batteries typically let the phone avoid the power-management throttle kicking in. However, Apple’s price for an out-of-warranty iPad battery replacement is still $99; third-party repair services can cost less but it’s worth researching the provider’s reputation first.

Photo



The iOS 11 battery settings show which apps are consuming the iPad’s portable power.

Credit
The New York Times

Older iPads might be running slower because the latest software is more demanding and is optimized for the processors in newer models. You may be able to boost the performance of older hardware with the standard tricks, like optimizing your settings — including lowering screen brightness, turning off push alerts and disabling location services when not in use. Dumping unused apps and avoiding extreme hot and cold external temperatures when using the iPad can help, too.

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