So you’ve got a new iPad (or even an older one)...it’s time to keep it healthy and operating to it’s maximum potential.
Here are a few tips:
- Battery Power. Keep your battery optimized and conserve power when you can.
- Software Updates. Always update to the latest version of the software. You can do this through Settings > General > Software Update. Your iPad will indicate if you need an update.
- Manage your screen’s brightness. Auto-Brightness adjusts the screen’s brightness based on ambient lighting conditions. Lowering the brightness in low light situations will extend battery life. You can also find this in Settings > Brightness & Wallpaper.
- WiFi vs 3G. Use Wi-Fi when available since it will utilize less of your battery. If you know you won’t be using Wi-Fi, go to Settings and turn it off. Your iPad will always try to maintain a connection with Wi-Fi or 3G so you can also turn it to Airplane Mode (via Settings) in low or no-coverage areas.
- Location Services allows apps and Maps to determine where you are and help you find businesses, directions, etc. This will also utilize your battery and can be turned on/off via Settings > General > Location Services. Or, you can selectively manage which apps you want to use Location Services. If you have any of these apps, you’ll need Location Services turned on for each (AroundMe, Maps. Weather-related apps).
- Notifications. Some apps will ‘push’ Notifications to your iPad to alert you of new data or your turn in a game. Having many of these turned on can affect your battery life. In Settings > Notifications you can selectively turn them on and off.
- In Mail, you have the option to fetch or push emails to your device. Mail accounts such as iCloud, Yahoo and Microsoft Exchange can ‘push’ emails to you. If you set an account to ‘push’, it will send the email to your device as soon as it’s received. This uses more of your battery than fetch. Alternately, you can ‘fetch’ the mail each time you access that mail account. To modify this, go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Fetch New Data and set Push to ‘Off’. Mail retrieval will be based on the Fetch settings below (Manual, Every 15 minutes, etc.). Or, if you want to select certain account for ‘push’ mail, go to the Advanced setting and change the accounts on an individual basis.
- Auto-lock (in Settings > General) determines how much time will elapse before your iPad will go to sleep due to inactivity. Set this to 2 minutes as a baseline on your iPad and see how it works for you. You can always increase the time.
- Battery Recharge. You should allow your battery to fully cycle once a month to allow proper reporting of the remaining charge. To achieve this, charge it to 100 percent and then let the battery totally run down to 0 before recharging.
There are a few other operating tips to keep your iPad healthy.
- Keep at least 1gb of free space. This is needed by the operating system and also if you 3rd party apps. To check your free space, go to Settings > General > About and look for available space.
- Delete any unwanted apps to free up space. \If you’re like me, you try quite a few free apps and decide you don’t want to keep them. To remove an app, tap and hold on any app icon until they wiggle. Touch the “X” in the upper left corner of the app you want to delete. You’ll get a message indicating that deleting the app will also delete the data. Touch “delete” and hit the home button to lock in the changes. The icons will stop wiggling.
- This final tip is a bit controversial. In the multi-tasking tray (accessed by double-clicking the home button), you’ll see the apps that have recently been accessed. Apple, and a few tech bloggers, indicate that having these running don’t impact battery life. However, many users and bloggers have also experienced a bump in performance and battery life by shutting down these apps. My opinion is this: If you don’t need fast app switching and startup, there is no harm in shutting down the apps in the multi-tasking tray. To do this, double-tap on the home button and you’ll see the multi-tasking tray. Hold down any icon until they all start to wiggle. For the one you want to quit, tap on the red minus sign to shut down that app. Continue with all apps you’re not currently using.
Most of these tips also apply to the iPhone. If you’ve got any helpful tips to keep your iPad healthy, please share them with Patch.