Apple's latest offering, the new iPad 3, has become the hottest-seller ever when compared to the other devices introduced by Apple so far. the new iPad 3 is the first device to feature a high-resolution display to match the screen density of the iPhone 4 and it has enjoyed a bumper sale with over three million units sold, since its launch on March 16.
The new device, though, has its share of minor issues and it is evidently going to build negative publicity for the new iPad.
Soon after the new model hit shelves of markets globally, consumers started complaining about the tablet's heating issues. Some news reports pointed out that the new iPad 3 heated up to 47 degree celsius compared to just 39 degree celsius of its predecessor iPad 2.
Then, a problem occurred with some smart covers, which were not functioning as well as they should have with the third generation iPad. Nevertheless, these minor problems were disregarded by the buyers still reeling under the aftereffects of the impressive features of the iPad 3.
However, after all these trivial issues, a bigger complication has come to the attention of buyers. It looks like Apple's new iPad battery meter is inaccurate and faulty.
Latest research done by a display research company confirmed that Apple's new tablet batteries do not actually reach full charge when 100 percent is indicated and need up to an extra hour before the charging is done, Mashable recently reported. Further, the research also claimed that when the battery indicator initially indicates 100 percent, the battery is actually only 90 percent charged and the user would get 1.2 hours less running time.
Charging After 100% Indicator: The Story So Far
Recently, Dr. Ray Soneira, president of DisplayMate, the world's leading display and display tuning company, did a research on the new iPad 3 and showed that the device's retina display drains significantly more power than previous models.
The company conducted a test that indicated that the iPad kept drawing power at the full recharging rate of about 10 watts for two hours after it initially reported having a 100 percent charge.
Soneira said in a media report that he was not setting out to test the battery and that he only looked at the iPad's power usage to see how much is going to the screen. However, when he noticed that his iPad was still charging even after the screen said 100%, he decided to study the issue further. And it was then that he discovered the extended charge time.
Further testing by Soneira indicates that at 2 hours after reporting 100 percent charge, the new iPad hardware started to reduce the charging power. At 2 hours and 10 minutes, the recharging cycle fully terminated with a sharp decrease in power. He finally concluded that the new iPad battery gets truly fully recharged after 2 hours and 10 minutes, subsequent to prematurely reporting on screen that it was fully charged. Hence, the new iPad could take 1.2 hours of extra running time, to get it fully charged.
However earlier last week, Apple had quoted in a media report to CNBC that if the new iPad is charged more than when the battery indicator reads 100 percent, the owners could actually harm the longevity of the battery.
Soneira refuted this and called it incorrect in a Zdnet media report and explained, Damaging the longevity of the battery is then exactly what the new iPad's internal battery charging hardware and software are doing since it is their responsibility to properly control and manage the battery recharging process. It is pretty obvious that if the new iPad knows that it is fully charged then it should automatically stop the charging. So according to Apple, the new iPad is configured to damage the longevity of its own battery if it is not manually disconnected from the AC charger when the 100 percent indicator appears. Anyone that recharges their iPad unattended, especially overnight, will be doing this.
He further added, If the users stop charging the iPad when the battery indicator says 100%, they won't get the maximum running time - something that is very important to many people. I repeated the Battery Running Time measurements exactly as above, but stopped the battery charging when the battery indicator reached 100%. For the new iPad at the Middle Brightness Slider setting the Running Time decreased by 1.2 hours to 10.4 hours (10 percent). While at first sight this appears consistent with Apple's own up to 10 hours running time my tests were in Airplane Mode with no Wi-Fi and no activity or running Apps of any sort - just a static display. The 11.6 hour running time above for a fully charged battery would most likely deliver a real use running time of over 10 hours as indicated by Apple, but the 10.4 hour time would most likely not.
What Went Wrong?
The new iPad 3 boasts considerably more powerful battery than its predecessors, jumping from a 25-watt-hour lithium-ion battery to a 42.5-watt-hour battery. So what exactly went wrong?
Explaining this, Soneira as quoted by Zdnet media report said, The battery charge indicator on all mobile devices is based on a mathematical model of the charge rates, discharge rates, and recent discharge history of the battery. It uses this information to estimate how much running time is left. It is actually rather difficult to do because most batteries degrade slowly as they discharge and then tend to surprise with a precipitous decline near the end. Note that batteries are based on complex chemistry so there is no practical way to measure the charge level in hardware. So there is something wrong with the battery charge mathematical model on the iPad. It should not say 100 percent until it actually stops recharging and goes from the full recharging rate of about 10 watts to a trickle charging rate of about 1 watt. Otherwise the user will not get the maximum running time that the iPad is capable of delivering.
Best Features, Worst Enemies!
The new iPad 3 has a stream of robust features including the brilliant 2048 x 1536 Retina Display that boasts 3.1 million total pixels, which is about 1 million more than an HDTV, and has 44 percent greater saturation than the iPad 2. A new A5X chip with quad-core graphics helps make the videos and games really come alive. The new iPad is also the first Apple iOS device to feature bands for the high-speed 4G LTE network. And to support these cutting edge features Apple has clocked the latest iPad with the largest and the best battery. However, all these features and especially Retina Display use up a lot of power within a matter of few hours, leaving the battery life of the latest device the same as its predecessor iPad 2, with more thickness and weight.
Is Apple Coming Up With A solution?
Apple seriously needs to find a quick solution for such battery issues. The company can fix this issue in the new iPad by introducing a software update to tighten up the charging mechanism. In the meantime, new buyers can keep their latest iPad fully charged by leaving it plugged a bit longer than the usual time or could also charge it overnight to keep it working without any discomfort.
Do you face the same problem or a new one in your new iPad? Share your issues and solutions below.