All iPads iPad Air 2 Longevity?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by 524119, Jan 28, 2015.

  1. 524119 macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2015
    Hi! I received an iPad as a surprise gift for Christmas, and it seems really cool. However, before I begin to spend money on apps, games etc. I want to know about how long the device will hold up before the OS updates will become too much for it to handle, the battery will fail, etc. etc. Basically how many years of use can I get out of this thing? Thanks!
  2. mmomega macrumors 68030


    Dec 30, 2009
    DFW, TX
    As I can't speak for the longevity of the iPad Air 2 being as it was recently released. I do have one and it is definitely the quickest and best of all my iPads.

    That being said I have 2 - iPad 2's that are my oldest tablets that get used many times a day. I picked them up in April of 2011 and I get zero negative remarks from my Dr.'s, actually while updating it last week one of the Doc noted how long we've had it and it still works great. It came out with iOS4 and is running 8.1.3 fine. Now we don't do any gaming but do plenty of AirPlay and using to view and show XRays.
    I can just speak from personal experience and that of those that work for us.
  3. 524119 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2015
    Wow! Thanks for the quick reply! Do you regularly update your 2011 iPad's so they're running the current OS? Have you had to replace batteries or anything like that?
  4. DynaFXD macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2010
    East Coast
    You're kidding, right? You were given an iPad Air 2 (!), and before you start paying for anything to use on it, you're questioning its serviceable life? You're given a $400 item, and before you start springing for $1 - $5 apps, you want to know how long you'll be able to use them for? I'm dumbfounded. All I can think is that you're looking for a conversation opener to talk about your iPad. Which is fine, nothing beats the gleam of new electronics for the gee-whiz factor. But really? If you're serious, then I'd say return it to whom ever gave it to you because I am not sure you realize the worth of what was just handed to you for nothing.

    BTW, my iPad1, 2, 3 and Air all still work great and someone in the family has one or all of them going all the time. No new batteries, never even think about the OS any of them are running. They just jug along.

  5. Mivo macrumors regular


    Jan 23, 2015
    The apps aren't tied to the device, by the way, just to your account. You probably know this, but just in case. :)
  6. Thekarens macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2014

    This.....I had the original iPad, moved to a nexus tablet and just recently bought an iPhone and all my paid apps were waiting for me :)
  7. 524119 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2015
    @DynaFXD next time you're going to regurgitate unintelligent verbal blabber onto my thread, please do me a favor and count to thirty (if you're at all able), reconsider your post, and try to word it in a more kind, relevant, and intelligent manner. Thanks and come again:)

    @Thekarens how is it that apps you purchased through apple are available on your Nexus? Doesn't the Nexus run android os?
  8. sanke1 macrumors 65816


    Nov 9, 2010
    Longevity: guaranteed 3 years of iOS updates. So by 3rd update iOS 11, the same iPad will feel slow by then standards and you would have purchased (or got gifted) a newer model already :)

    Don't think too much about it. 2GB RAM is going to make a huge difference.
  9. s0nicpr0s macrumors regular


    Sep 1, 2010
    That is correct. What they meant, was that once they bought their iPhone, all of the apps purchased for the iPad were available to it. There are exceptions such as iPad only apps, but those are increasingly rare from my experience, as most apps are now universal and include the iPhone and iPad versions for a single price. The Nexus 7/9/10 (and nearly every other non-iPad tablet) do run Android, and have a separate app store where things would need to be repurchased. Short of newer iTunes music purchases, nothing will be able to be shared between an iPad and an Android tablet.

    As an answer to your original set of questions, the iPad Air 2, will receive support for at least the next three iOS versions as sanke1 said. I'd be surprised if my Air 1, was cut out of that round of updates. The iPad Air 1 and 2 are both incredibly powerful tablets that Apple will have no reason to not support with future OS updates. Eventually, the first generation Air will be left behind because of tech specs (almost guaranteed to be the 1 GB of RAM), but the Air 2 will be supported for quite a while.

    In the off chance that you've received some sort of lemon, where the battery dies out on you within the first 2-3 years, I'd except you to have some pretty close to original battery life for the next 3+ years. Apple rates their batteries as holding up to 80% of their charge after 1000 charge cycles. I hope I don't step on anyone's toes or insult your intelligence, but am going to explain what a full charge is. Whether you charge it twice from 50% back to 100%, from 60% to 80% 5 times, or from 0% to 100% once, they all only count as one cycle. Even charging it daily, the battery should still do just fine for the next 4 years. Considering the full capacity is supposed to provide 10 hours of battery life, 8 hours would still be plenty for most people. Apple does have a service where they will replace the battery. At $100 before shipping and possibly tax are figured in, it isn't the cheapest option, but it is much cheaper than a new device. The warranty Apple provides, only covers the battery for the first year. There can be exceptions where extended warranties have been provided for devices, but that has meant that a large quantity of devices were affected, and someone likely won a lawsuit against Apple for such problem. The 2011 MBPs are the first to come to mind, but I know certain models of iPod have had similar experiences.

    My family own iPads of various model types, ranging from the iPad 4, iPad Mini, and iPad Air. This all being spread across 2 of my siblings, myself, my mother, aunt, cousin, and grandmother. The iPad 4 was purchased early 2013, the 4 iPad Minis were all late 2013, and the 2 iPad Airs early-mid 2014. No one has made any mention of bad battery life or any noticeable difference, in fact I'd like to give an example using my own Air. For a quite a while, it's general use was roughly 2 hours of YouTube a day and maybe an hour of web browsing, I'd have to charge every 4 days or so. I'd run it from 100% down to around 5%, then plug it in and let it fill up. With that sort of usage, I'd expect to charge my device less than 100 times a year, battery would theoretically hold ~80% of it's battery capacity for 10 years. You won't realistically get that sort of life expectancy from a mobile device, I just did this to show you that the battery will likely outlive your plans for the thing. Apple will stop providing updates way before you need to tether it to the wall to use it.

    I do want to warn you, that as your device nears the end of Apple's support, apps are likely to become less optimized and more taxing on it. Currently, I don't believe I know of any apps that actually challenge the Air 2 in terms of processing power or memory usage. If Apple were to release an iPad with a quad-core processor with 3+ GB of RAM, and programmers manage to create something that utilizes all that power, only then will your Air 2 struggle (this is likely to be many years out yet). In the meantime, I hope you can enjoy your new gift, and utilize it in any way that works for you.

    Finally, as another example of how long these devices can last, my job gave iPad 2s (Wi-Fi + Cellular) to some of our salesman. Rather than providing them with Laptops and teaching them to set-up tethering on their phones, IT purchased the cellular capable iPad 2s and deployed those. Granted, they aren't playing the latest games on them, but for completing tasks such as accessing Microsoft Office documents, using our web applications, and email, they can't be beat.

    You should expect a minimum of 3 years of good usage from your new iPad. It should be able to last quite a bit longer than that, but I wouldn't expect more than 4 years of support from Apple. The battery will likely outlast your interest in continued use of it.
  10. Thekarens macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2014
  11. trevpimp macrumors regular


    Apr 16, 2009
    Inside A Mac Box
    Bro my cousin still uses her iPad 1st Gen, it still runs good and everything. Not the fastest but it works perfectly.

    When people say earlier versions run slower it doesn't necessarily mean a huge difference. I say you got 5 more years with the air 2
  12. oldmacs macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2010
    Going by the iPad 2 - a long time. The ipad 2 is coming up to 4 years old and I still use mine for everything. I have updated every time and I'm still happy. In October of last year the iPad 2 held the biggest market share of any iPad so it has remained a great ipad! It has slowed a little with iOS 8 - but its still fast enough and the new features make up for that. If you treat your iPad well it should last. My dad's launch day iPad 2 gets crazy battery life to this day (like 20 hours of usage).

    The iPad air 2 is similar to the iPad 2 as bOth had massive speed enhancements and both doubled the ram of their predecessor.
  13. aneftp macrumors 601

    Jul 28, 2007
    As others have stated. You will get a good 3 solid years out of iPad air 2 because of its massive upgrades (3 cores and 2 gb ram). Way more than enough to power the retina screen.

    4 years maybe (according to iPad air 2 owners who managed to stretch their iPad 2 this long) since iPad air 2 was major upgrade from iPad 1 while keeping the sAme screen resolution as iPad 1.

    To me this is one of the main reasons iPad sales have been tanking. People just hold onto their iPads for longer and don't need to upgrade every 2 years.
  14. ptdebate macrumors 6502


    Jul 3, 2014
    Dallas, Texas
    I'm still using an iPad 1. Web browsing in Opera works great and it's still an awesome e-reader. It even plays most games that are compatible with iOS 5.
  15. yegon, Jan 31, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2015

    yegon macrumors 68030

    Oct 20, 2007
    As others have said, likely very high. 2gb ram + cpu/gpu that can easily power the screen.

    Conversely, I'd be fearful for the next iPad. I think it's reasonable to expect a higher res screen and likely the same 2gb ram. Will the gpu have the oomph to truly power the new resolution? Possibly, but assuming it'll be the same or thinner, and Apple don't go the route of the iPad 3, will battery life suffer? For single app usage I'm sure the next iPad will be stellar, but what about multi window support (if it happens)? Will performance drop as it renders multiple windows across a (maybe) slightly sub 4K screen?

    I think the Air 2 is a really nice balance of hw, like the iPad 2 and iPad 4 were before it*. Not sure if the same will be true of the next iPad, we'll see.

    *I've previously owned an iPad 1 and iPad 3, so I'm certainly not saying "The stuff I've bought was the best". I'm also ignoring the Mini's, I've got the Mini 2, it's still excellent bar the ram. The laminated screen and reduced weight is great on the Air 2, but it's undoubtedly the 2gb RAM that I feel is the best upgrade from my rMini. So fewer crashes, so fewer app/tab refreshes, very smooth, the Air 2 is a revelation in this regard.
  16. Traverse macrumors 604


    Mar 11, 2013
    That was/is my fear and one reason I wanted an iPad Air 2, but wasn't happy with the build quality.

    But think about it this way. The iPad 3 was just sufficient (slightly inadequate) to drive the 2048x1536 display, but it still did the job. The iPad Air 2's A8X SoC has 10x the graphics performance of the A5X so an even more powerful A9X SoC should be able to handle a reasonably higher res screen. The chokehold here is the battery. Apple will not give up their "10 hours", but they sure aren't going to increase it. I could see (and hope) that the next iPad has the same 2048 x 1536 display, but enhanced as "Retina HD" with the iPhone 6's technology and superior contrast.

    Still, even more than that, I fear all the iPad models will be pushed aside for this mystical "iPad Pro/Plus".
  17. 524119 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2015
    Thanks so much for all the informative replies guys!

    I'm gathering that this device will last around 3-4 years without the hardware or software starting to "tire out", and then potentially a few more years after that (albeit at a slower pace)? And it seems like the batteries are built to last as well?
  18. crjackson2134 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2013
    Charlotte, NC
    The iPad air 2 will likely still be cranking along with no issues when the first ipad pro model is used up. The reason being that the Air 2 can so easily handle/push out graphics on the current screen. Likely the new/larger screened model (if it comes to fruition) will become more taxed, more quickly, while the Air 2 is still pushing out fast pixles. The second Gen. of the new pro model will be the first one I personally would consider after the Air 2.

    Anyway, that's all just an opinion, I'm sure others who feel differently.
  19. tmarks11 macrumors 6502a

    May 3, 2010

    That would be an insane move on Apple's part.

    Remember the whole marketing basis for the "retina" label was that the pixel size was such that individual pixels could not be seen unaided unless you held the screen like 2" from your face.

    Why would you need a higher resolution than that? Higher resolution would mean slower operation, more heat from GPU, more memory use, etc.

    How is that an improvement?

    I could see Apple pushing for improvements with a better quality screen, switching to AMOLED or some other technology as it matures, striving for better contrast, speed, etc.

    back to the OP:
    You are probably safe to install at least 2-3 years of iOS upgrades before you start taking a performance hit from the iPad just not having enough guts to support the new iOS features. After that, you can just use it at that fixed iOS level for another couple of years. At that point, iOS programmers will no longer offer apps at your iOS level, so you will want to buy a new iPad.
  20. bushido Suspended


    Mar 26, 2008
    "Retina HD"
  21. Traverse macrumors 604


    Mar 11, 2013
    Well, I partly agree with you. Honestly, the iPad is only "Retina" if you hold it as far away from your eyes as Apple allows. I think the iPad could use a higher resolution eventually (I see pixels), but it is not the most pressing thing now. I would prefer a "Retina HD" display with dual domain pixels, photo alignment, and greatly enhanced contrast.

    I'm honestly blown away by my iPhone 6's color and display quality. The 1400:1 contrast ratio is great and very noticeable with black colors.
  22. yegon macrumors 68030

    Oct 20, 2007
    I'm happy with the current res, but you really think it's going to stick around for years to come? We are firmly in the diminishing returns territory but there is unquestionably room for improvement in the areas you mentioned AND in resolution. Maybe not the next one, but I'd put money certainly on the one after that.

    A 2048x1536 screen on their flagship tablet (ignoring a possible Pro) revealed in late 2016, into 2017?

    I raise you one ?!

  23. Abazigal macrumors G4


    Jul 18, 2011
    The iPad seems to have reached that nice equilibrium where 2048x1536 resolution is able to maintain that 10-hour battery life. I don't see either changing anytime soon. A higher resolution would mean shorter battery life, unless we see improvements somewhere.

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22 January 28, 2015