What's Pinging My iPad Battery?

As I posed previously, I recently swapped out my third generation Wi-Fi only iPad for a 4G version from Verizon. As with my first iPad I noticed some decreased battery life, but I assumed after the battery was appropriately conditioned all would be well. Unfortunately that wasn't so. After about three complete cycles of the iPad battery, I was noticing that I had to charge the 4G iPad more frequently than usual. Of course, I expected this when using the 4G radio, but I wasn't using it regularly and hadn't used it in weeks. I was using my 4G iPad exactly the same way I used my Wi-Fi iPad but I was having to charge it far more often. I followed all the general troubleshooting tips. Checked the charger, refreshed the battery, turned off services like cellular data and bluetooth when not in use, turned down the screen brightness. Still, I was having to charge the iPad 2-3 times more frequently than normal. Something wasn't right. I tried to stress test the battery by streaming a video over Wi-Fi. The battery dropped less than 10% in an hour. That was very normal and appropriate. So what was the cause of the battery drain?

After additional investigation I discovered the iPad was consuming power normally when active, but was draining more power than expected when in sleep or standby mode. What was the cause? In my case, I've narrowed it down to Ping, Apple's nearly forgotten "social network for music."  Like all good Apple geeks I checked out Ping when it was first introduced and setup an account, but I haven't touched it since. Nevertheless, it seems that the Ping service will regularly check in with Apple's servers in the background. I'm never going to use Ping, so it was time to disable it, though figuring out how to do so isn't exactly straightforward.

Disable Ping Screenshot

To Disable Ping you need to tap Settings > General > Restrictions > Enable Restrictions > Ping > OFF

Note you'll have to enable restrictions and setup a password to do this, but from now on Ping shouldn't be pinging your battery life anymore while your device is in standby mode. After switching off Ping, my iPad standby time has been holding strong for the last several days and all appears to be back to normal.

If you're still experiencing poor battery life on your iOS device, Apple offers advice on a few other things you can try. Though like anything, preserving battery life many times is a trade off between convenience and function. The more basic functions of your device you disable, the longer your battery will last, but also the less functional (and fun) your device will be.