Apple Calls iPad Battery Behavior 'Great Feature' - InformationWeek

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03:41 PM

Apple Calls iPad Battery Behavior 'Great Feature'

Apple's response to user complaints about the new iPad's battery overcharging? It says there is no problem at all.

No Apple device launch is free of controversy in one form or another. So it is with the new iPad, which overheats, takes too long to charge, doesn't take a full charge, and has iffy Wi-Fi, if we're to believe all the complaints pouring across the internet.

Apple has already responded to the new iPad's supposed heat problem. Though Consumer Reports measured the iPad's exterior reaching 116F in its tests, Apple said the new iPad operates within "normal thermal guidelines." Consumer says it gets warm to the touch, but so do many other electronic devices.

Today, Apple has responded to accusations that the new iPad continues to charge even when the battery indicator reads 100%. (One report said the battery meter is "lying" to customers.)

[ Peek inside the latest iPad. See New iPad Teardown: Inside Apple's Tablet. ]

"That circuitry is designed so you can keep your device plugged in as long as you would like," said Apple VP Michael Tchao, speaking to AllThingsD. "It's a great feature that's always been in iOS."

According to Tchao, all iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch) will show a 100% charge just before the battery is fully charged. Even though the indicator reads 100%, the device continues to charge until it actually reaches 100%. Once it reaches a full charge, the device will then discharge some battery power and then recharge back up to 100%. It will repeat this cycle until the device is unplugged--but always reads a 100% charge during this cycle.

This behavior has always been present in iOS devices, but has gone unnoticed until now. Tchao noted that Apple made the decision not to show a device continually charging early on, in hopes to prevent consumer confusion. (Looks like that didn't work out so well.) Instead, once the battery reaches a near-full level, it simply reads 100%.

Whatever the battery meter reads, Tchao said that iPad users will get 10 hours of battery life over Wi-Fi (and nine hours over 4G) as Apple advertised.

What about the lengthened charging time? That's purely due to the larger size of the new iPad's battery, of course. It is 42.5 watt-hours, or 70% bigger than the iPad 2's 25 watt-hour battery. It takes longer to charge because it is a bigger battery.

Anyone want to guess how Apple plans to spin the supposed poor Wi-Fi reception of the new iPad?

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