New iPad battery issue is a feature not a bug, says Apple

Apple's spoken out against claims that the new iPad's battery displays its charge incorrectly, saying there's no problem at all.

Luke Westaway Senior editor
Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.
Luke Westaway
2 min read

Apple has spoken out regarding claims that the new iPad's battery displays charge inaccurately, saying that far from being a bug, everything is proceeding according to plan.

The criticisms stemmed from reports that Apple's new tablet continues to top up after the battery icon shows it having 100 per cent charge. Sounds devious, but Apple says this quirk is deliberate, and is shared with other iOS devices to boot.

The battery does continue to charge beyond showing the 100 per cent mark, at which point the iPad will keep charging to its actual 100 per cent point, then discharge slightly and charge back up, repeating these steps until your iPad is unplugged.

Lithium-ion batteries (of the kind used in tablets and smart phones) don't respond well to over-charging, so this mechanism seems to be how the iPad keeps its battery topped up.

"The circuitry is designed so you can keep your device plugged in as long as you would like," Michael Tchao, Apple's vice president of product marketing told AllthingsD. "It's a great feature that's always been part of iOS."

Tchao says you'll get the new iPad's promised 10-hour battery life regardless of what stage in that top-up-and-drain cycle the tablet is at. The decision not to have the battery percentage fluctuating up and down on-screen was apparently made so as not to distract or confuse people using the tablet.

I've been impressed by the last two iPads when it comes to battery life, and Apple's tablet is one of the few gadgets out there that's good at staying alive away from the mains.

It looks like Apple may have dodged this battery bullet. But the Cupertino company is in hot water down under, with an Australian consumer commission deeming the tablet's 4G claims 'misleading'. Apple is now offering refunds to anyone who bought the new iPad mistakenly thinking it would offer 4G speeds.

What do you think? How is your iPad's battery behaving? Let me know in the comments below, or over on our supercharged Facebook page. For more, read our new iPad review, or watch this video.

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