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nph

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Feb 9, 2005
1,046
214
I charged it up to 92% Friday and now down to 17% after less than 2 hours of use. Any advice? I use my iPad for reading and I bare get a few hours! So disappointed while my 2021 M1 macbook pro easily gets close to 20 hours!
Check my numbers, not even 2 hours of on screen and 8 minutes of off screen time. I checked it at an Apple Store and they said no issue with it.

I have the latest sw and I think I have optimized it but anyone else seeing the same? Is there some settings I need to change?
 

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bradbomb

macrumors 6502a
Jan 7, 2002
565
308
Los Angeles, CA
The chart is showing from approximately 6pm the day before to now and is showing decline from that point, not just 2hrs. Seeing that WSJ and Safari are using the bulk of the battery, did you have anything downloading on Safari in background. I’m not familiar with the WSJ app, but does it try downloading and caching articles in the background? Also, did you click “Show Activity” to change those percentages to minutes? That will give you perspective on time used by those apps.
 

FeliApple

macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2015
3,676
2,078
With so little screen-on time and so much standby, it’s honestly difficult to tell.

As far as standby goes, it hasn’t been good on iPads since iPadOS 13 (and it hasn’t been good on iPhones since iOS 12). For a very clear example, see: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/what-happened-to-the-legendary-standby-time-of-ipad.2376100/

I’d suggest you try to use it with less standby. If the cause is standby, I don’t think there’s anything you can do. You can try the usual standby drain culprits like push Mail (unsure whether that’s on, but mail shows up on your screenshot). Apart from that... yeah, standby is abhorrent for any and all iPads since iPadOS 13.
 

Isamilis

macrumors 68020
Apr 3, 2012
2,106
1,007
It really depends on few factors such as what program did you use, what iPadOS version did you have, how do you update the iPadOS, how much storage left, did the iPad has cellular connection, what program that runs in the background, etc etc.
 

nph

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Feb 9, 2005
1,046
214
Well, 256 Gig RAM. no Cellullar no background downloads. Minimum set of apps. I use Safari and Wall Street Journal app.
Biggest issue is the drop of battery in standby mode. Try to kill all other programs to minimize background processes.
 

okkibs

macrumors 6502a
Sep 17, 2022
974
915
I can confirm the iPad Air 5 has terrible battery life. I lose a couple percent in sleep overnight, whereas the Macbook actually doesn't lose a single percent (though these are all estimates anyways). And then when actually using the iPad I barely get a couple hours. And that's on a new device with 100% of the battery design capacity.

I lose about 8-10% every 15 minutes using the iPad on a sunny day at full brightness and with moderate usage, Wifi on, Bluetooth off.

For example, I tried to watch a 2:40:00 movie from 100% charge, where I absolutely need the brightness to see anything in darker scenes. The battery ran out a couple minutes before the credits rolled. I had a dozen tabs open in Safari, but these were all static websites, and a couple other apps I use day to day for taking notes or playing music. These were all running in the background because I don't want to lose the apps' states, which would be lost if I closed them.

At lower brightness I get about 3.5-4.5 but that's really it.

I charged it up to 92% Friday and now down to 17% after less than 2 hours of use.
Are you sure? From what I can tell, even though you charged it to 92% on Friday, you probably used it on the weekend, because on Monday at 6am the battery was down at 50%. So you went from 50% down to 17% in 1 hour 48 minutes. If you had started at 100% the battery would have lasted over 5 hours with the screen on.

Or did the iPad really drain from 92% to 50% over the weekend on its own? That would be too much. If you switch the graph from 24 hours to 10 days we could see that.

I suspect the tiny iPad chassis just doesn't have much space for a battery to feed the M1. Your MBP goes on for so long because that M1 chip in your MBP has a similarly low power draw as that of our iPads, but at least in the MBP there is a lot of space left for a big battery.

And I noticed from my use that the iPad Air 5 due to its excessively large RAM (which is of course a good thing to have!) almost never closes unused apps. It happens to me maybe about once a week, only if I actually open more than a dozen apps at once. Otherwise all the apps keep running in the background, and I do suspect that also kills the battery life. I'd swipe up from the bottom in the middle to get the running apps overview and then close all apps there that you don't need. That will close the apps so they can't keep using up battery.

Sadly for me that is no solution as I have that iPad precisely so I can have as many apps open at once as possible. My older iPad Pro with 6GiB of RAM struggled with that, which is why I upgraded. I had to get a 30W quickcharger as the default 20W Apple charger actually can't quickcharge and was significantly slower. The iPad can pull about 27W. So I suggest switching chargers too.
 

bradbomb

macrumors 6502a
Jan 7, 2002
565
308
Los Angeles, CA
The question I have for everyone is if they are using HomeKit or not, or find my network/airtags. I know on iPads that are not on my iCloud that don’t have my home or with my AirTags, that still has great standby.
 

FeliApple

macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2015
3,676
2,078
I can confirm the iPad Air 5 has terrible battery life. I lose a couple percent in sleep overnight, whereas the Macbook actually doesn't lose a single percent (though these are all estimates anyways). And then when actually using the iPad I barely get a couple hours. And that's on a new device with 100% of the battery design capacity.

I lose about 8-10% every 15 minutes using the iPad on a sunny day at full brightness and with moderate usage, Wifi on, Bluetooth off.

For example, I tried to watch a 2:40:00 movie from 100% charge, where I absolutely need the brightness to see anything in darker scenes. The battery ran out a couple minutes before the credits rolled. I had a dozen tabs open in Safari, but these were all static websites, and a couple other apps I use day to day for taking notes or playing music. These were all running in the background because I don't want to lose the apps' states, which would be lost if I closed them.

At lower brightness I get about 3.5-4.5 but that's really it.
As far as full brightness goes, no iPad has been good with that usage. People who drew on the 1st-gen iPad Pro at full brightness always reported 4 hours of screen-on time at most. Of course, it won’t harm the iPad to use it at full brightness, but you have to expect poor battery life.

2h 40 min from 100% does sound a little less than I’d expect, but like you said: Apple has thinned out the iPad, so there isn’t enough room. If it had a 12,000 mAh battery, the numbers would be different.

That said, I doubt Apple cares too much about battery life at full brightness.

I’m very surprised about your battery life at lower brightness, doing what? Because my Air 5 with low brightness and light use is astonishing north of 25 hours, and far better than any other iOS device I’ve tried. I think that with heavy usage Apple’s stance doesn’t change: any device will struggle with one of the two, or both: high brightness, and/or heavy usage. It is simply not compatible. Either of those, and battery life must be expected to suffer. Based on the numbers you provided, I have to assume that your usage is very heavy. Apple claims 10 hours at half brightness of fairly light use, if I recall their test parameters correctly, and they do provide that. Breach those parameters in any way (to the heavier side, obviously), and results plummet. They plummet today, and they have plummeted throughout iOS’ entire history.

I don’t mean to get into this topic, but it adds to the point: all of that falls apart with iOS updates: my 9.7-inch iPad Pro got 14 hours at low brightness with light use, and I am sure that it met Apple’s numbers, back when it was on iOS 9. After Apple forced it to iOS 12, it struggles to get 10-11 hours with the same usage with which it got 14. In no world (including this one) does Apple’s numbers remain true after enough iOS updates.

So, the requirements for Apple’s numbers are very strict: usage that doesn’t fall out of parameters in one of two ways, or both: brightness and usage (and settings, but that’s easier to solve); original iOS version. You have that, you are guaranteed to get 10 hours. You don’t have it? You are guaranteed to fail.
 

FeliApple

macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2015
3,676
2,078
The question I have for everyone is if they are using HomeKit or not, or find my network/airtags. I know on iPads that are not on my iCloud that don’t have my home or with my AirTags, that still has great standby.
I don’t have HomeKit on my iPad Air 5 on iPadOS 15 and my iPhone Xʀ on iOS 12 and standby battery life is abhorrent regardless.
 

okkibs

macrumors 6502a
Sep 17, 2022
974
915
As far as full brightness goes, no iPad has been good with that usage.
Well sure, the fact remains I wasn't able to finish that one movie before the battery ran out. I absolutely understand that big bright displays are the number one battery killer in any mobile device, I do. But I can't pretend it's that great of a mobile device if the battery can't last for a movie, no matter what the reason might be.

People who drew on the 1st-gen iPad Pro at full brightness always reported 4 hours of screen-on time at most.
4 hours would be nearly double what I get on the Air 5, that would be pretty good and more in line of what I'd expect. But I mean it's fine to me, I wanted that extra mobile 11" tablet form factor and I knew battery life wouldn't be fantastic. It's a great iPad really, as I said I prefer the extra M1 performance over battery life.

my Air 5 with low brightness and light use is astonishing north of 25 hours
That is insanely long but perhaps you are using it on relatively low brightness? Mine's still at least 50%. That is really the minimum for me to see well in a bright room during the day.

Mainly what I do is multitasking with stage manager and I am on Wifi only with nothing external connected. I like switching between half a dozen apps a lot. So I rely on the M1 and the 8GiB to keep all apps in memory and not close/reload anything ever. I suspect that is what reduces my battery runtime. I have two browsers open with about two dozen tabs with one Safari tab usually playing content in PiP mode, speakers on low volume. Sometimes I play back high quality H.264 camera footage with VLC in between. That's about all it takes to deplete the battery in roughly 2 hours. Apps like Music, Mail, Notes and so on are always open in Stage Manager in the background.

I don't think it's very heavy usage, I do not do any processing/transcoding at all, I mostly rely on the big memory, I don't care about the M1 performance much otherwise. I am sure the Apple estimated 10 hours at half brightness at extremely light workloads like reading a book and playing music in the background is realistic, but I wouldn't say my usage is very heavy. Very heavy for me would be my multi tasking but additionally editing videos as well, anything that is CPU intense. And I don't have anything that takes up a lot of CPU resources.

In no world (including this one) does Apple’s numbers remain true after enough iOS updates.
I am hoping the Air 5 will age better due to M1. The abundance of memory for example means it will be many years before iPadOS needs to start closing apps, preserving app state, reloading that...

In the end, the Air with a tiny 60W "GaN" quickcharger is incredibly powerful with a very small footprint in my backpack, so I'll take that on the go over my 14" MBP any day.

The question I have for everyone is if they are using HomeKit or not, or find my network/airtags.
No HomeKit, no airtags. But Find My is enabled as I need to be able to wipe the device in case of theft because I handle confidential customer data and am thus required by law to have such measures in place.
 

FeliApple

macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2015
3,676
2,078
Well sure, the fact remains I wasn't able to finish that one movie before the battery ran out. I absolutely understand that big bright displays are the number one battery killer in any mobile device, I do. But I can't pretend it's that great of a mobile device if the battery can't last for a movie, no matter what the reason might be.
Agreed. I mentioned this on my other reply to you, but tests have shown that new iPads are worse on their original iOS versions with heavy, high brightness use when compared to early iPad Pros.
4 hours would be nearly double what I get on the Air 5, that would be pretty good and more in line of what I'd expect. But I mean it's fine to me, I wanted that extra mobile 11" tablet form factor and I knew battery life wouldn't be fantastic. It's a great iPad really, as I said I prefer the extra M1 performance over battery life.
You are not wrong in expecting that. iPads have always been able to deliver that. It can’t do that now because Apple forced it to iOS 12, but I played Minecraft once, many years ago (an extremely heavy game), in broad daylight with my 9.7-inch iPad Pro on iOS 9 and it dropped from 100% to 70% within 2 hours. That’s insanely good, and my Air 5 probably wouldn’t be able to reach those numbers.
That is insanely long but perhaps you are using it on relatively low brightness? Mine's still at least 50%. That is really the minimum for me to see well in a bright room during the day.
I am using it at very low brightness, yes. It’s impossible to get to those numbers at higher brightness. 50% is way too high for that.
Mainly what I do is multitasking with stage manager and I am on Wifi only with nothing external connected. I like switching between half a dozen apps a lot. So I rely on the M1 and the 8GiB to keep all apps in memory and not close/reload anything ever. I suspect that is what reduces my battery runtime. I have two browsers open with about two dozen tabs with one Safari tab usually playing content in PiP mode, speakers on low volume. Sometimes I play back high quality H.264 camera footage with VLC in between. That's about all it takes to deplete the battery in roughly 2 hours. Apps like Music, Mail, Notes and so on are always open in Stage Manager in the background.
And your usage is far heavier. I don’t have Stage Manager as I am on iPadOS 15 (frankly, even if I blame iOS updates all the time, I doubt the first major update is too significant), and speakers are extremely draining. Two browsers, Stage Manager, speakers, PIP, high quality camera usage. That’s very heavy. I reckon your can’t expect much. Obviously, my 9.7-inch iPad Pro can’t do that, but I reckon it may only be moderately better (if better at all) on iOS 12 with the closest approximation to that usage that I could muster.

I don’t think your device is bad, I think your usage is way too heavy to expect good battery life.
I don't think it's very heavy usage, I do not do any processing/transcoding at all, I mostly rely on the big memory, I don't care about the M1 performance much otherwise. I am sure the Apple estimated 10 hours at half brightness at extremely light workloads like reading a book and playing music in the background is realistic, but I wouldn't say my usage is very heavy. Very heavy for me would be my multi tasking but additionally editing videos as well, anything that is CPU intense. And I don't have anything that takes up a lot of CPU resources.
I think that while no individual activity is heavy, all of that together is. The battery isn’t large enough, and the M1 is too powerful for the “small” battery on the Air 5 to cope.
I am hoping the Air 5 will age better due to M1. The abundance of memory for example means it will be many years before iPadOS needs to start closing apps, preserving app state, reloading that...
I replied to the longevity aspect on the other thread.
In the end, the Air with a tiny 60W "GaN" quickcharger is incredibly powerful with a very small footprint in my backpack, so I'll take that on the go over my 14" MBP any day.
And this is the most important aspect. You can change it can extremely quickly, so at the end of the day, enjoy it, use it for everything you want and need it to, and charge it.

My recommendation is controversial and unpopular, but if your use case allows, keep it on iPadOS 16. You won’t see any battery life degradation even if the battery degraded (this is if you are planning to keep it long-term), and it will last for a very, very long time.

My 9.7-inch iPad Pro was forced in August 2019 from iOS 9 to iOS 12 (by Apple’s A9 activation bug on iOS 9), and it saw an immediate 20-25% decrease in screen-on time (from 13-14 hours of light use to 10-11), but it has seen no degradation since. I can extrapolate that if it were on iOS 9, it would be perfect, like-new, even if it is 7 years old. The battery life has been exactly the same throughout that device’s entire stay on iOS 9 (2016-2019), it saw the immediately degradation I mentioned after iOS 12, and it has remained exactly the same since (2019-2023), which allows me to conclude that excluding the iOS 12-induced degradation, it has seen no decrease in battery life even after 7 years of use.
 

okkibs

macrumors 6502a
Sep 17, 2022
974
915
I am using it at very low brightness, yes. It’s impossible to get to those numbers at higher brightness. 50% is way too high for that.
Ok makes sense then, I use the iPad during the day on the go and at night I'm on the couch with the Macbook. Surprised that my usage really counts as heavy. I see content creators on Youtube actually editing their videos on iPads, or using it for audio mixing and Ableton Live. That to me is real pro use, not browsing and PiP mode. One actually requires a M1 iPad, whereas I can browse and use PiP on my 5 year old Android smartphone just fine. But yeah, at least in terms of memory usage I am up there, which is why I wanted more than the usual 6GiB on the iPad to begin with.

My recommendation is controversial and unpopular, but if your use case allows, keep it on iPadOS 16. You won’t see any battery life degradation even if the battery degraded (this is if you are planning to keep it long-term), and it will last for a very, very long time.
I rather take the reduced battery runtime and have the software improvements. Weirdly enough, iPadOS 16 is rock stable with zero bugs for me and has been that way on the old iPad 9th gen as well. Whereas iOS 16 and Ventura are both a hot mess. I like Stage Manager so much I could not go back to v15, and I'd like to see what Apple improves about it in iPadOS 17 and onwards.

But I don't upgrade immediately, I wait a couple minor releases to make sure the worst bugs are ironed out, and I read reviews, especially the arstechnica ones are invaluable. In the end, I am required to install updates anyways due to using the device for my business as well, using software that receives security updates is mandatory for me.

Since iPads keep a high resale value I might just replace it too early, after just 3 or 4 years. Although I suspect the Air 5 will be a one-off cheap device with such a high-end chip. If it wasn't for the A15 chip shortage affecting iPhone 13 deliveries, Apple might not have given it the M1. So in the future the cheaper Airs might revert to mid range chips. And I would never pay the insane price for an iPad Pro. The Air was $359 I think. Anyways, thanks for the good chat!
 
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FeliApple

macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2015
3,676
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Ok makes sense then, I use the iPad during the day on the go and at night I'm on the couch with the Macbook. Surprised that my usage really counts as heavy. I see content creators on Youtube actually editing their videos on iPads, or using it for audio mixing and Ableton Live. That to me is real pro use, not browsing and PiP mode. One actually requires a M1 iPad, whereas I can browse and use PiP on my 5 year old Android smartphone just fine. But yeah, at least in terms of memory usage I am up there, which is why I wanted more than the usual 6GiB on the iPad to begin with.
Browsing and PIP mode isn’t enough to use an iPad’s battery in two hours, but full brightness is. I reckon that’s mostly the issue. I am not saying “you are using it wrong”, there’s no right or wrong way, but battery life will not be good at full brightness, almost regardless of usage.

I once used my 9.7-inch iPad Pro on iOS 12 to watch a sports livestream at full brightness, and I think it dropped from 80% to 0% in 3 hours or so. That’s abhorrent, but I know I can’t expect more at that brightness.

Brightness is the #1 battery killer because it is so independent of tasks. You can use it for audio mixing and it will be abhorrent, and you can use it to read light articles in Safari... and it will be abhorrent too. Better, obviously, but abhorrent.


In the end, you have found a solution. Fast charging allows you to charge it without that being much of an issue, so it’s alright as long as it does what you want it to do.
I rather take the reduced battery runtime and have the software improvements. Weirdly enough, iPadOS 16 is rock stable with zero bugs for me and has been that way on the old iPad 9th gen as well. Whereas iOS 16 and Ventura are both a hot mess. I like Stage Manager so much I could not go back to v15, and I'd like to see what Apple improves about it in iPadOS 17 and onwards.
There’s nothing wrong with that as long as you are able to accept the price on battery life. I’ve always stated that iOS updates are a very simply transaction: you buy features and compatibility with performance and battery life. There’s no right or wrong answer there: every person likes different things and uses their iPads for different things.


But I don't upgrade immediately, I wait a couple minor releases to make sure the worst bugs are ironed out, and I read reviews, especially the arstechnica ones are invaluable. In the end, I am required to install updates anyways due to using the device for my business as well, using software that receives security updates is mandatory for me.
The Ars Technica reviews I’ve read have been very accurate. I haven’t read all of them, only a few, but yeah, very accurate.
Since iPads keep a high resale value I might just replace it too early, after just 3 or 4 years. Although I suspect the Air 5 will be a one-off cheap device with such a high-end chip. If it wasn't for the A15 chip shortage affecting iPhone 13 deliveries, Apple might not have given it the M1. So in the future the cheaper Airs might revert to mid range chips. And I would never pay the insane price for an iPad Pro. The Air was $359 I think. Anyways, thanks for the good chat!
That’s a great price for the Air 5, I’d recommend it at full price, let alone that discount. Like I said, I have it too, and it’s a great device.
 
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