iPad Pro and iPad Air 2024 have a hidden upgrade iPad users have needed for years

The iPad Pro propped on a bench.
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Apple gave the iPad Pro 2024 and iPad Air 2024 several upgrades compared to their predecessors. But there's one important upgrade Apple didn't mention during the launch. You can finally check your tablet’s battery health through a dedicated menu.

As we can see in this screenshot, taken on Tom's Guide 13-inch iPad Pro review unit, under the Battery section of the Settings menu is a new "Battery Health" screen. It gives you a description of your iPad's battery health, its maximum capacity, how many complete charging cycles it's gone through and when it was made and first used.

A screenshot of the iPad's battery health menu on an iPad Pro 2024

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

There's also a toggle to stop the battery charging at 80%, like the iPhone 15 series offers. This can be a good option for some users if you want to extend the operational life of your battery and don't mind plugging it in a little more often.

This is exciting news, since iPads have up until now lacked a battery health page, something that iPhones have offered for a good number of years already. Instead, the current best way to check your iPad's battery health is to plug it into another device, or use on-device analytics to find the battery details hidden among a boatload of unrelated text.

Here comes the catch

But here is where we have to break the bad news — it appears that this feature is not coming to older models. My 2021 iPad Pro, updated to the same iOS 17.5 software version as these new iPads, does not have a battery health section. This was rumored to be the case prior to these iPads' release, but we had our fingers crossed that it wouldn’t be the case.

So it seems for some reason that Apple's decided to keep this as a feature for its newest, most expensive models. Of course, this battery health menu is not a good reason to upgrade to the new iPads by itself. But it is an extra sweetener alongside the iPad Air's new 13-inch size option and upgraded chipset, or the iPad Pro's OLED display, M4 chip and new thinner design. 

iPadOS 18 could possibly change things once it arrives. We should be hearing more about it at WWDC 2024 in June, although there are no rumors that we know of about battery analytics coming to more iPads.

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Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.