How to Maintain the Battery Life of Your iPhone, iPad and MacBook.
Apple recently found itself in trouble over what many customers have long suspected: performance degradation on older iPhones. After the revelation, Apple explained that it only degraded the iPhone’s performance when the device’s battery was depleted to the point where running at full speed would shut it down.
Apple insisted it was done to prevent premature client updates, experts believe it was the right solution to a complex problem, customers filed lawsuits, and news agencies continued to cover the gateway scandal.
While Apple has agreed to act more transparently, the issue has raised awareness of the need for proper battery maintenance, including doing whatever it takes to extend the life of your device’s battery, be it a laptop, phone, or tablet.
Lithium-ion (Li-ion) and lithium-ion polymer (LiPo) batteries are currently the most popular type used in modern laptops, tablets and phones. These batteries offer a number of advantages over previous technologies, including faster charging and longer battery life.
Many devices that use lithium-ion batteries quickly charge the first 80 to 90 percent and then continuously charge the remaining 10 or 20 percent, allowing you to use your device with a dead battery much faster than with previous technologies.
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Another advantage of lithium batteries is that they do not have the “memory” of previous batteries such as Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH). Nickel-metal hydride batteries work best when they are fully discharged and then fully charged. Otherwise, if the battery were only partially discharged, it would gradually lose its full capacity, given the lower partial recharge capacity.
Because of the characteristics of lithium-ion batteries, there are special ways to keep them healthy.
How to maintain battery health
Avoid extreme temperatures. Many lithium-ion batteries are rated to operate in the 32 to 95 ° F range. While cold temperatures can temporarily reduce the battery capacity of your device (and unexpectedly shut down), extremely high temperatures can cause permanent damage. Therefore, do not leave the device in hot, closed rooms.
It is also recommended to periodically check that the ventilation slots on the laptop are clean and free of dust or clogging. Likewise, some types of cases – for phones, tablets, or laptops – can restrict airflow and trap heat. While this is usually not a problem in day-to-day use, the additional heat generated during charging can be amplified in such cases.
Use the correct charger – Since lithium-ion batteries are rated to be at the last 10 or 20 percent constant charge, the charger must be able to detect this and adjust the charge accordingly. The manufacturer’s chargers are guaranteed to charge the respective device, but the same cannot be said for the cheap third-party charger, the likes of which can be found at your local gas station or truck stop.
Often these cheap chargers will try to continue charging the device long after it reaches full capacity, which is often referred to as a “recharge”. When this happens, it generates extra heat that can cause damage. Therefore, use the manufacturer’s charger whenever possible. If you are using a third party charger, be sure to select a charger from a reputable and reputable third party supplier.
Store it half charged – Due to the nature of how lithium-ion batteries store energy, it is best to store them half-charged for a long time. Storing them when they are discharged can cause them to drop below the 2.5V per cell threshold, causing the battery to completely no longer hold a charge.
If this happens, only dedicated battery analysis software can save the battery. Conversely, storing it in a fully charged state for an extended period may cause a lithium-ion battery to slowly lose capacity.
Discharge the battery from time to time – Under normal conditions and unlike previous technologies, a lithium-ion battery should not be completely discharged for best performance. Ideally, a laptop, phone, or tablet with a lithium-ion battery should be between 30 and 90 percent charged. This serves to “train” the battery and move electrons inside it.
While this is the best way to run a lithium-ion battery under normal conditions, most battery experts recommend fully discharging it approximately every 30 cycles. While this does not directly affect battery capacity, it does recalibrate the internal software that acts as a battery meter.
Over time, the power meter may become slightly inaccurate in its estimate of the remaining capacity. Discharging the battery to the shutdown point allows the internal software to reset and re-sync to the actual battery capacity.
Lithium-ion batteries represent a significant improvement over previous generations. In fact, some manufacturers claim that even after 1000 charge cycles, their devices will still retain 80% of their original capacity. However, like all batteries, lithium-ion batteries degrade and lose their capacity. However, following the steps above will help you conserve your device’s battery and get the best performance and longevity. Enjoy!