Charging for 7 hours straight and you’re still at 60%? Well, that’s a problem! Many users would attest that charging their iPad takes forever to complete (and that might even be an understatement). Of course, most of us experienced slow charging at some point in time. But there are certain cases where charging is just way too slow for convenience. As simple as it sounds, charging may not really be as straightforward as it is supposed to be.
Compared to an iPhone, the battery capacity of an iPad is way bigger (in terms of capacity). This is only reasonable since an iPad powers larger screen and superior processor. All iPads are equipped with lithium-ion polymer batteries – lightweight but heavy duty cells. An iPad’s battery life is also superior compared to other tablets in the market. But as a trade-off, the length of full charging duration lasts longer (usually around 7 to 8 hours).
A fully charged iPad Pro usually lasts for more than nine to ten hours (though it should be noted that some applications require bigger processing cap which results in faster usage rate). Its full charge cycle is respectively divided into two parts: fast charge (speedily fueling the device up to 80%) and trickle charge (the last 20% – slow charging that eases the intake of current). The variation in charge pattern (from the first 80%, up to the last 20%) is designed to extend its overall battery lifespan. As Apple notes, “It charges fast for convenience and slow for longevity.”
As a built-in fail-safe, your hardware is intended to restrict charging too fast to avoid frying the device (That’s an expensive gadget after all. You don’t want that to be in the trash bin sooner than expected.). Because of iPad’s long charging duration, many users look for an optimal charging method to lessen the valuable time and to save some extra energy. This article is written to address this concern.
Why iPad Charging Takes So Long?
There are a couple of things that impact the speed of charging an iPad (or most electronic device for that matter). Some are easier to resolve than the other. Listed below are three of the most common reasons why iPad charging takes so long. Luckily, all of these reasons can easily be addressed.
Using iPad while charging.
There are times when we really need to use our iPad while it is still charging. Even though it is okay, it is very noticeable that the device’s charging speed drastically slows down (while some won’t even charge at all). This is even more observable if you are using graphic-intensive apps (e.g. watching videos or playing games) or if the brightness of your screen is in 100%. These are apps that need lots of power to run their beautiful pixels.
Charging in PC or laptop.
It is common knowledge that we can also charge our iPad in PC or laptop with working USB port (most of these are equipped with 2.5W). But this method will always be slower because PC/laptop have smaller power terminal as compared to your normal brick chargers. A 2.5W output is too small considering that new iPad brick chargers offer 12W (will be further discussed in the next section).
Using faulty charger.
Do not use a faulty charger on any device! If you really want to save money, putting up with inconsistent faulty charger is definitely not the way to go. A faulty charger will only lengthen your charging time; or worse, fry your iPad’s battery. Shortening the life of your iPad is not really a smart financial decision, right? As such, replace your charger the moment you observe mechanical malfunctions.
How to Make iPad Charge Faster?
There are a couple of things that you can do for faster iPad charging.
Use the most powerful iPad brick charger.
In case you are not familiar, there are actually different ways of charging an iPad. The most popular would be the use of issued standard brick charger (power adapter) that comes with your device. You can also use an iPhone’s standard power adapter. Though it is significantly slower, connecting your device to a MacBook Pro’s USB port (and even other PC/laptop) also works. Lastly, you can charge your Apple iPad using a compatible third-party charger. It is of note that the speed of charging drastically varies from one method to another.
For your reference, the fastest way of charging an iPad is through the use of powerful brick chargers in the market. These chargers come in 5W, 10W, and most recently, 12W. Brick chargers work best because your iPad enjoys their enhanced 2A capacity (this means “Faster charging!”). This feature is absent in iPhone chargers. Not to mention that most iPhone chargers are only equipped with 5W power terminal. That is why the use of iPhone brick when charging an iPad is way too uneconomical and slow.
If you really want to cut your charging time, use the most powerful iPad brick charger. Currently, the fastest is the 12W power adapter that comes with the newer generations of iPad. In case you have an older iPad model, it is likely that you are using a 10W or a 5W power adapter (you can verify this at the bottom of your brick).
Fortunately, any other iPad models may utilize newer charging bricks. If you are interested, you can easily purchase an official Apple 12W power adapter for around 15%. There are also third-party companies that offer good quality 12W brick charger (the last section of this article discusses this point in detail).
Activate the iPad’s Airplane Mode.
If you are not using any connectivity applications, it would be helpful to turn on your iPad’s Airplane Mode. Airplane Mode basically disables all transmission processes such as Wi-Fi, radio, Bluetooth, and all other forms of online communication. As a result, you cannot access the Web, check your GPS for direction, and send/receive messages. The good thing about this, though, is that you can save extra energy because system processes are far lesser.
You can see Airplane Mode option (represented by the airplane icon) by swiping up the bottom of your Home Screen. Press the icon to activate it. You’ll know if it is activated when the Airplane Mode icon appears at your iPad’s status bar.
Do not use your iPad while charging (if applicable).
Lastly, you need to understand that the charging speed of your iPad will simply slow down if you are actively using it. Running background application, even those not used actively, also drain the device’s energy. Most of us might have noticed that some of our apps are constantly checking the internet for an update or to sync new data files. Some apps are even coded to automatically refresh their content when you are on Standby. Though most of them are convenient, they also consume a good amount of energy. So, it would be good to always check the apps that are draining your battery life. If applicable, turn off your iPad if you really want to reach its optimum charging speed.
If there are running apps on your iPad such as Siri or any other applications that contribute to fast battery usage, you may want to end their processes or uninstall them. You can also check the Battery page in the Settings to see which apps are battery hogs for the past couple of days.
Other Powerful Power Adapter for iPad
As mentioned earlier, Apple is not the only company that produces brick chargers for iPad. There are several known companies that also offer quality 12W power adapter for iPad.
But if you decide to buy a third-party power adapter, you always need to make sure that what you are purchasing is compatible with your device.
Taking Care of Your Battery
Charging becomes problematic if your iPad’s battery is already faulty or too old. Thus, you need to practice several things if you want to extend its overall battery lifespan.
Apple recommends full recharge cycle once a month if you want to preserve our iPad’s battery lifespan. Simply put, you’ll need to completely drain the energy of your device, then charge it to 100% without interruption.
Lithium-ion polymer batteries are designed for heavy usage rate. In fact, it can stand several complete charging cycles without much degradation. Thus, use your iPad every day (even for just an hour or two). This will maintain the engines running.
Avoid charging in hot conditions. This is why you need to avoid placing your iPad under direct sunlight. Any temperature higher than 95°F will do no good for your device. This is especially true when charging since your iPad will also heat-up as it absorbs electricity. Remember that heat permanently harms the device’s battery lifespan. Temperature below 32°F (rated as extreme cold) is also bad for your iPad. Always be mindful of the device’s environment.