How to solve iPad’s rapid discharge when reading books.

5 years ago, I bought iPad Air 2 for my wife. It worked just fine but about 2 years ago I started to get complains from her about battery. She is using iPad only to read books and she was saying that iPad can discharge battery in just few hours. Reading books is not something that should discharge batter that rapidly. So, I started investigation.

That time iPad has iOS 11 and I did install few tools that show battery degradation and battery was at perfect condition. I did check if battery charge is measured correctly and iPad switched itself off at about 0%. I did calibrate battery and many other things and asked my wife to check it. She stated that it is a bit better. Occasionally she still complains about it, but it wasn’t something critical. But few days ago, she started talking about new iPad. When I asked why, she said that iPad is barely usable. So, I had a look.

I charged iPad overnight and, in the morning, started using it. I opened Safari and started reading some things I usually read on my Phone. I have iPhone 6 S Plus that is 4.5 years old and usually in my morning routine of playing games, reading some blogs I use about 10% of my charge. But on iPad just reading blogs took more than 15%. I checked Battery section in Settings. Found that Background activities of some applications took quite a lot of battery. Rest was Safari. I checked last 10 days, and it has the same picture but also there was Kindle application. I disabled Background App Refresh, I disabled automatic updates, notifications, iMessage, disabled receive calls from iPhone, disabled FaceTime and many other things. But battery still discharging at alarming rate. Next step, I started Kindle application, opened book and leaved it there and periodically touched screen to prevent it switching off. After about 2 hours of use battery went from to 71%.

Clearly something is bad. Then I left iPad and came back to it in about 4 hours. Battery was at 51%. Standby took 20% of charge in just 4 hours. Cleary battery is dead. Perhaps we were unlucky and got defective battery. I felt kind of betrayed. I have iPad 2 that I bought in 2011. I usually watch YouTube on it every day for about 40 minutes. It usually lasts about 10-12 days. That iPad survived two my kids that were totally not cared about iPad proper charge and dropped it many times. It even lost 2.4GHz Wi-Fi connectivity and only works with 5 GHz. And I expected that newer iPad that was in really good hands will last even longer. Bummer. But nothing I can do about it and I started looking for new iPad.

But then I decided to try one more thing. I decided to reset iPad to factory defaults as last resort. After all I had nothing too loose. After I did it, I similarly disabled Background App Refresh, I disabled automatic updates, notifications, iMessage, disabled receive calls from iPhone, disabled FaceTime etc. I didn’t install any application. And then I left it overnight. Next morning charge was still at 100%. This was really great feeling that my idea worked. After that I did install Kindle application and my wife used it as well as watching some videos and after 48 hours there was still 95% of charge. It is clearly way better than before and so far, looks promising.

I don’t really understand what happened. I think during iOS update battery calibration was messed up, or perhaps it was treated as iPhone battery or something like that. Or probably there was some glitch that drains battery. I don’t really know. But I’m glad that it is working now.