No, your iPad isn't affected by #iPhoneSlow. Here's why!

iOS 10.2.1 added battery health to the list of things included in the advanced power management system on iPhone. Flash forward and, after customers complained about excessive performance issues, Apple is now offering battery replacements at a reduced price and will update iOS to provide better insight into battery health. But what about iPad? Should iPad customers also be worried about performance throttling or battery health?

No, at least not as far as Apple has indicated to date.

What you need to know about Apple's $29 battery replacement program

Why aren't iPads affected by Apple's power management throttling?

Because Apple hasn't added them to the same battery health-based power management system.

From Apple Support (opens in new tab), emphasis mine:

With a low battery state of charge, a higher chemical age, or colder temperatures, users are more likely to experience unexpected shutdowns. In extreme cases, shutdowns can occur more frequently, thereby rendering the device unreliable or unusable. iOS 10.2.1 (Released January 2017) includes updates for previous models of iPhone to prevent them from unexpectedly shutting down. This includes a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE to dynamically manage the instantaneous performance peaks, only when needed, to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down. This capability was also extended to iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus with iOS 11.2, and we will continue improving our power management feature in the future. This feature's only intent is to prevent unexpected shutdowns so that the iPhone can still be used.

Apple specifically calls out iPhone — and more specifically, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE.

It's possible that a very old iPad with very poor battery health could have trouble dealing with spikes but, since Apple hasn't added them to the power management system, they'd shut down the same way iPhone 5s and previous iPhones would.

Could Apple add iPads to the same power management system?

Theoretically, but iPads have significantly bigger batteries than iPhones. That means they can better handle instantaneous performance peaks over a much, much longer portion of their battery life.

iPads are typically also charged less frequently, are better at dissipating heat, and are less likely to be used out in the cold.

Never say never, but it's not something that's happening now.

But what if your iPad is slow?

There are several things that can affect iPad performance. Excessive heat, for example, has always and will still cause processors to ramp down on any device, including iPads. So can the cruft and bit rot that builds up over months and years of use.

You can try rebooting or even backing up and restoring to improve performance.

If Apple does start throttling iPads to preserve battery health, will you update?

Absolutely. For now, though, cancel the red alert.

What if you have more questions about #iPhoneSlow on iPad?

Drop them in the comments below!

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • All I know is I’ve had nothing but problems with battery drainage since 11 was released and with each minor upgrades since. Now my push notifications push out at once after about every 5min. I have seen my cpu usage is below 5%, plenty of hard drive space, and ram is usually 40% Free, so I just don’t get it.
  • With every major iOS update, there is usually some extra battery drainage as Apple do not have the sufficient time to make all the necessary optimisations for the ".0" release. The battery drainage should go back to normal with each minor update to iOS 11 (e.g. 11.1). Just make sure you're on the latest version :)
  • All I know is I have had no problems at all. I have 11.2.1 on everything from an iPad mini 4, to an iPhone 6s Plus, to iPad pros (both 13” and 10”) and an iPhone 8 Plus. All are running fine AND faster than on 10.3.3. No battery drain issues. Of course, the 8 Plus came with 11.0.2, but I immediately updated it to 11.2.1. For the others, I did not install 11.0.0 the day it was released. I waited until 11.2 AND I reset them all and did the “setup as new device”.
  • Pardon me if I don't believe Apple at this point. My iPad Air has been noticeably slower in the past few months, particularly after iOS 11 launched. I finally did a full restore as a new iPad and turned off several features (such as background app refresh) and it has improved somewhat. It's still draining battery faster and it seems slower than its original performance (and you shouldn't have to sacrifice features in exchange for a performance boost). As another article stated, this basically exposes the fact that Apple does not adequately test its updates on older machines (at least from a user experience standpoint). Frankly, that's inconceivable given its enormous resources.
  • When Apple releases a _major_ OS update (i.e. 9.0, 10.0, 11.0), they usually do not have the sufficient time to make all the necessary optimisations. This, in turn, affects older devices more than newer ones. However, rest assured that _minor_ updates (i.e. 11.1, 11.2) bring the necessary optimisations needed which helps with battery drainage and restores performance on older devices. Just keep an eye on updates and make sure to apply any minor updates that are released
  • Agreed. I own 6 iPads and all are slow now since iOS 11. I plan to run tests before and after a battery replacement to see if there is an improvement.
  • If iPads were affected, it would be called #iPadSlow.
  • Or rather #iOSslow ;)
  • My iPad mini 4 was running along very nicely and then upon recent 11 updates wham bang, hey Mam everything went crazy battery readings going up and down, draining rapidly, shutting down at around 20%. Coincidence? Not sure!