Pilots tend to focus more on optimizing the iPad’s battery life than the average iPad user since this is critical to keeping the device functioning in the airplane over the course of a flight. Fortunately, there’s a dedicated utility in the main iPad settings to help shed some light on which apps are using the most power, possibly while running in the background.
Go the main iPad settings app and scroll down to the “Battery” option from the list on the left side of the screen. Here you’ll see a breakdown of battery usage by app, with the option to view it either over the last 24 hours or 7 days. Next, tap the clock symbol to the right of the “Last 7 Days” button and you’ll see the usage time for each app, including stats on whether the app was open on the screen or running in the background.
In addition to showing the percentage of battery used by each app, you may also see the note “background activity” just below the app’s name. This means a portion of the battery drain came during times when the app was updating content in the background while you weren’t actively using it. If you don’t use this app often and want to disable that capability, go the main page of the Settings app -> General -> Background App Refresh. Here you can disable background updates for the iPad altogether, or choose to disable it for individual apps.
While you’re performing iPad housecleaning, we’d also recommend you go to iPad Settings -> Privacy -> Location Services and review the settings for each app’s ability to track your location in the background, which can significantly reduce battery life. Check out this article for more information on how to optimize the Locations Services settings.