The new iPad models ship with this battery feature missing from older devices

iPad Pro with M4 chipset
(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future)

Apple's iPad line-up just got a major overhaul. Both the iPad Air 6 are iPad Pro M4 are now both available in 11in and 13in sizes. The new Air packs the M2 chipset and supports the all-new Apple Pencil Pro. While the Pro is noticeably thinner, lighter, has a stunning OLED screen, and has more power on tap with the M4 chipset. And it turns out that both models have a battery feature borrowed from the iPhone that's not available on older devices.

First spotted by iCulture, the latest iPad Air and iPad Pro models have been equipped with a shiny new Battery Health menu, making its debut right in the heart of the Settings app. It works just like the menu on iPhones, giving you a look at the condition your device's battery is in.

The newly minted Battery Health menu comes fully loaded with diagnostics such as Battery Health (with statuses like Normal), Maximum Capacity, and Cycle Count. But the cherry on top is the 80% limit – a charging optimization option. This allows users to cap their battery charge at 80% to avoid unnecessary strain and extend the battery's lifespan. Previously, this was a luxury only iPhone 15 users could enjoy, making older iPad and iPhone models look on with green-eyed jealousy.

The 80% Limit isn't just your run-of-the-mill charging cap. It's separate from the Optimized Battery Charging feature found on earlier iPhones, which plays a guessing game with your routine to decide when to charge past 80%. The new limit is a hard stop, ensuring the iPad doesn't overindulge in power, except on special occasions to keep the battery’s state-of-charge estimates sharp.

What about other iPads?

This update is a part of the enhancements rolled out with iPadOS 17.5, but appears to be exclusive to the latest M4 iPad Pro and Air models. At least, for now. Since the feature is part of iPadOS 17.5, we might see it roll out to older iPad models in future software updates. Or, Apple could opt to keep it an exclusive feature, akin to the iPhone 15.

If it is coming to older iPads, expect to hear about it at WWDC 2024. At the developer conference, we expect to see the announcement of iOS 18 (and iPadOS) – Apple's next major software update. Here, we expect a slew of new features, the biggest of which will be powered by AI. Siri is set to get a major overhaul thanks to AI, as well as other new features.

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Connor Jewiss

Connor is a technology writer and editor, with a byline on multiple platforms. He has been writing for around seven years now across the web and in print too. Connor has experience on most major platforms, though does hold a place in his heart for macOS, iOS/iPadOS, electric vehicles, and smartphone tech.