ipad overheats and drains battery when using the Collector app

06-17-2015 11:42 AM
New Contributor III

My organization just started doing field work where they are using the Collector for ArcGIS app on an ipad (for a sign inventory).  We noticed immediately that the app really does a number on the ipad's battery life. After about four hours the ipad is completely drained. We thought about buying an external battery that can be plugged in to help with this.  However, just today after a few hours of collection, the ipad overheated and shut itself down.  It was only in the low 70's today, so I can't imagine what it will be like when it's in the 80's. We have a protective case around the ipad, but I'd hate to take it off.  I would imagine these same issues would happen on other devices??  Luckily, we have two ipads, so when one overheats it can go in the air conditioned car to cool off and recharge until the second one starts to overheat.  Has anyone else encountered either of these issues, and would you have any advice?

5 Replies
Esri Regular Contributor

GPS and display screen are major power hunger sources. If you turn on My Location tool all the time, it can drain your battery quickly. If you don't need to look at the screen, you can turn the screen off as well. As a side note, GPS streaming feature collection should still be able to run while the screen is locked.

Do you see the same overheat issue in both iPads? I haven't run into overheat using Collector yet. I only saw the overheat when I left my iOS device in my car during the summer.

Occasional Contributor III

We've run into heat issues with iPads using Collector and Runtime apps as well.

Our experience is primarily anecdotal, but the white iPads/cases seems to be a bit more resilient to heat.  We keep our field units in Lifeproof cases and I'm sure those aren't helping with heat dissipation.

In some cases where we are working areas with high temps and high humidity we've had better luck deploying iPad Mini's, primarily because we can instruct field crews to keep them in a field vest pocket when not in use.  It is really important to keep the devices out of direct sun for an extended period, so any sort of pocket or shade will help.

Battery live will tank whenever you are using the GPS.  We include a battery booster in the field kit we deploy with our iPads and try to optimize GPS use wherever possible.  This can be difficult using Collector, but if you are using the runtime you can design your app to be conservative with the GPS.

New Contributor II

We are having a similar problem with our inspectors using iPad Minis in the field paired with a Trimble R2 via bluetooth and using Collector. Has anyone figured out how to keep these devices from overheating while working on job sites?

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Occasional Contributor III

Seriously though - we've run into similar issues... especially when using external GNSS units like the iSXBlue and the EOS Arrow.

We have found that keeping the units in the shade helps.  We've also found that the newer 10.5" iPad Pro does much better WRT battery life when using either the internal or external GPS.  That said we always include a battery booster when we send units out into the field.

New Contributor II

I thought an umbrella hat may work but my field guys are a little reluctant to wear this over their hard hats.....

Windy City Novelties 13" Rainbow Umbrella Hat for Adults and Kids

I don't blame them. We did put anti-glare screen protectors on the iPads and that has seemed to help, too.