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Vref

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I posted this as a reply elsewhere, figured I should make this a post here as well

So we all know about the percentage of battery life in settings, however what’s good enough?

In the aviation sector most all pilots have iPads (the mini is very popular) to use as EFBs, electronic flight bags, it has all our charts, company manuals, can preform landing and takeoff calculations, check weather on the ground etc, since EVERYTHING needs the FAAs approval many of us also have the minimum battery life before we are required to have the battery or device replaced

I thought some might be interested in this, so here it is


Batteries in xxxx devices are not replaceable and require no maintenance. There is no recommended battery replacement interval nor are there recommended charging procedures.


Flight crews shall report any device that does not properly charge or discharge. Any reported device will undergo at lease full charge/discharge cycles utilizing the testing procedure below. If the unit does not satisfactorily test it will be sent to the manufacturer for repair or replaced.


Each device serving as an EFB will undergo routine battery testing every 12 months using the following procedure


Device configuration will be as follows:


Battery fully charged


Airplane mode: On


Wi-Fi: Off


Cellular Data: Off


Bluetooth: Off


Brightness: Maximum (unit's screen illuminated for duration of test)


Auto Lock: Off

Ambient temperature between 70 - 80 degrees Fahrenheit.


  • When the test is ready to begin the unit will be unplugged from its charging source and the time noted. Time will be noted again when the unit discharges to 50%.
    Any unit discharging from 100% to 50% in under three hours will be sent to the manufacturer for repair or replacement.
  • Results will be tracked by the EFB Program Manager.”
 

FeliApple

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Apr 8, 2015
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It’s funny because whether any device can reach those three hours has absolutely nothing to do with battery capacity and age and everything to do with the iOS version it runs. Not a good test.
 
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chabig

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Sep 6, 2002
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It’s funny because whether any device can reach those three hours has absolutely nothing to do with battery capacity and age and everything to do with the iOS version it runs. Not a good test.
Agreed. That and which applications are running, which is unspecified in the above test.
 
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FeliApple

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Agreed. That and which applications are running, which is unspecified in the above test.
Yeah, that too! Three hours… on what iOS version and doing what? Gaming on a device that has been through seven major iOS versions? You are going to replace a million batteries and you’ll never reach the number you want.

Another activity on a new device? Depends on the activity.

Battery life has so many variables… and they chose to ignore two of the most important ones to conduct a meaningless test.
 
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russell_314

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Feb 10, 2019
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Agreed. That and which applications are running, which is unspecified in the above test.
It doesn’t mention running any applications. From reading that I would restart the iPad with nothing running, put it in Airplane mode, set the screen lock not to activate and then turn on 100% brightness. It’s just screen on time. I think this purposely avoids any factors with the operating system or applications but rather just using the screen power draw as a test. Basically can it power the screen for three hours without going below 50%.
 
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Vref

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BD87050-D-0604-4-F0-D-9-DE9-C59-EDE3-C903-B.jpg
Doesn’t say, but it’s with all apps closed


Aviation wise we’re pretty much all just running a app called foreflignt
 
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chabig

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Sep 6, 2002
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Fair enough. An unnamed small private charter flight operations company created an in-house iPad battery test. I guess it doesn't hurt to know that. Here is what the FAA requires.

https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/AC_120-76D.pdf:

10.3.1 Battery-Powered EFBs. Useful battery life must be established and documented for battery-powered EFBs. Each battery-powered EFB providing Type B EFB applications must have at least one of the following before departing:
  • An established procedure to recharge the battery from aircraft power during flight operations;
  • A battery or batteries with a combined useful battery life to ensure operational availability during taxi and flight operations to include diversions and reasonable delays considering duration of flight; or
  • An acceptable mitigation strategy providing availability of aeronautical information for the entire duration of flight authorized by the principal inspector (PI) with certificate oversight responsibility.
10.3.2 Battery Replacement. Battery replacement intervals must meet or exceed the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) recommendations. If the EFB manufacturer has not specified a battery replacement interval, then the original battery (or cell) manufacturer’s specified replacement interval must be followed.
 
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Vref

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Fair enough. An unnamed small private charter flight operations company created an in-house iPad battery test. I guess it doesn't hurt to know that. Here is what the FAA requires.

https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/AC_120-76D.pdf:

That’s not how aviation works, a AC or advisory circular IS NOT REGULATORY

The test I pasted was part of a GOM (general operations manual) which has to get FAA approval and is a operators “bible” so to speak

A AC is no where near as binding as a GOM in aviation
 
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chabig

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Sep 6, 2002
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So your Principal Operations Inspector approved your company created test. That is certainly not an industry-wide test. At my company, we are required to start a flight with at least 67% charge or have flight deck power. The iPad gets replaced if it discharges from 100% to 50% in less than two hours (unspecified operating conditions).
 
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Vref

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So your Principal Operations Inspector approved your company created test. That is certainly not an industry-wide test. At my company, we are required to start a flight with at least 67% charge or have flight deck power. The iPad gets replaced if it discharges from 100% to 50% in less than two hours (unspecified operating conditions).

Yes, that’s how a GOM works…


That GOM had similar additions about minimum charge before flight etc, I didn’t include that as it didn’t have relevance in this topic

That being said there are companies who write these things for most operators, and the FAA has some guidelines as well, a little into the weeds.

I thought some folks might like to see the testing methods on what’s a good battery and what isn’t per some more serious use accepted tests
 

MacManiac76

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Apr 21, 2007
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The brightness at 100% is probably going to drain the battery faster than any other aspect of the iPad. Brightness at max should never be needed unless in direct sunlight. Seems like a somewhat flawed test to measure accurate battery life.
 
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I7guy

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It’s funny because whether any device can reach those three hours has absolutely nothing to do with battery capacity and age and everything to do with the iOS version it runs. Not a good test.
Maybe the FAA disagrees? As well as others. Of course this point could be debated in circles.
 

xaqt93

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Jun 17, 2011
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The brightness at 100% is probably going to drain the battery faster than any other aspect of the iPad. Brightness at max should never be needed unless in direct sunlight. Seems like a somewhat flawed test to measure accurate battery life.
When we are flying, the iPads are pretty much always max brightness. Those cockpits can be very bright seeing as we have giant windows that give us a 270 degree field of view.
 

FeliApple

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Maybe the FAA disagrees? As well as others. Of course this point could be debated in circles.
Even if they did (they’d be wrong), other aspects of the test are not good as well. Like I said, regardless of the iOS version, three hours doing what? That is a huge part of whether the device can reach their standards.
 

I7guy

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Gotta be in it to win it
Even if they did (they’d be wrong), other aspects of the test are not good as well. Like I said, regardless of the iOS version, three hours doing what? That is a huge part of whether the device can reach their standards.
It boils down to usage and how not everyone uses their devices the same way. I for one disagree that iOS version upgrades have a detrimental effect for doing the same task. Use more concurrency use more battery life. But that’s doing tasks an older iOS version can only dream of.
 

FeliApple

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It boils down to usage and how not everyone uses their devices the same way. I for one disagree that iOS version upgrades have a detrimental effect for doing the same task. Use more concurrency use more battery life. But that’s doing tasks an older iOS version can only dream of.
iOS updates (malware) obliterate battery life regardless of the task performed, but as far as this test goes, it’s hard to tell because they left a million aspects undefined that would impact the result, regardless of the iOS version.
 

I7guy

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Nov 30, 2013
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Gotta be in it to win it
iOS updates (malware) obliterate battery life regardless of the task performed, but as far as this test goes, it’s hard to tell because they left a million aspects undefined that would impact the result, regardless of the iOS version.
Yes, we agree we have diametrically opposing opinions on this. iOS updates (security and functionality) have little or no impact on more modern iphones. You have yet to show this with a device, such as an Xs max both with new batteries, one on the original iOS version and the other on the latest release doing the same task.

Such a test would be an indication of this alleged “degradation” you claim of.

In the meantime I posted a video of such a test between iOS 15 and iOS 16 showing run times within a statistical margin of error. If there is little difference between iOS 15 and iOS 16, there’s a good bet there is no or little difference between iOS 15 and iOS 14 and iOS 13 and iOS 12.
 

HDFan

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Jun 30, 2007
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I thought some folks might like to see the testing methods on what’s a good battery and what isn’t per some more serious use accepted tests

Thanks for starting discussion about aviation use and battery life of ipads. Interesting.

Thumbs down on posts arguing about IOS battery life which have no place in this discussion of iPads used in aviation.
 
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