There may be times when you need to use your iPad or iPhone for an extended period. However, the open questions are why you would want to do this and whether it will harm your device.
I recently outfitted my home office with a MacBook Pro and an external display. I then connected an iPad to the MacBook to extend my workspace.
The iPad always displays Slack, allowing me to easily read and write messages while working. I turn off my MacBook and iPad at the end of the day and let the screensaver take over.
There are numerous reasons why you might want an iPad that is always on. They are ideal for continuous use, such as playing music, displaying dashboards, weather, or simply the time.
Furthermore, iPads are increasingly being used as kiosk displays, displaying static information or collecting data from users.
iPhones can also be used as always-on displays. NowPlaying uses Shazam’s service to constantly monitor for music playing around you and retrieve information about the song, artists, and more.
Several iPhone apps can turn your phone into a nightstand clock, displaying the time and other information all night. The list of reasons for leaving your iPad or iPhone display on for an extended period is endless.
Is it possible for iPads and iPhones to burn in?
Is it okay to leave your iPhone or iPad on for that long? That’s the question I asked when I set up my iPad as an always-on display, and it’s a question many people ask when they have a similar need.
We’ve all heard that if an image is left on an old CRT monitor for too long, it will be permanently burned into the screen. Although display technology has advanced significantly, you may be surprised to learn that “screen burn-in” can still be an issue.
Screen burn-in occurs when an image on display is left on for too long, causing its ghost to remain visible when the image is replaced. Depending on the type of display, screen burn-in can be permanent or temporary.
Permanent burn-in is rarely an issue with LCDs (Liquid Crystal Displays). LCDs are found in all Apple laptops, iPads, and older iPhones. These displays, however, employ IPS (in-plane switching) technology, which can result in temporary burn-in (also known as image retention or ghosting).
Except for the iPhone X, iPhones began shipping with OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) displays. Because the organic material in the display begins to degrade, OLED is more prone to permanent burn-in. However, not only did Apple implement preventative measures, but OLED technology continues to improve, making burn-in less of an issue.
Most iPad and iPhone users have no problems with even minor burn-in. This is large because LCD screens are less susceptible to it, but it is also due to Apple’s built-in software safeguards. The Super Retina OLED display, for example, continuously monitors and calibrates each pixel.
If you have an iPad or iPhone with an LCD, you should be able to leave the same app open for an extended period. If you have burn-in or image retention, it is most likely only temporary and will fade within a few minutes.
What about Apple’s retaliatory measures? It will shift a long-static image on an OLED screen by a pixel or two in one direction, changing the state of the majority of the pixels on the screen.
What about battery longevity and damage?
If you need to keep an iPad or iPhone on all day, you’ll probably want to keep it plugged in. This should not be an issue for most devices.
iPhones have benefited from Optimized Battery Charging since iOS 13. Because this feature helps to extend the life of your battery, leaving it plugged in should not be an issue.
That same system will monitor your usage habits and only charge the battery to 80% if it determines you’re using it at your desk the majority of the time.
iPads do not support optimized battery charging. However, according to Apple, it is impossible to overcharge an iPad. Still, it’s critical to use a properly certified charger with the appropriate amount of output for your device.
If you leave your iPad or iPhone on for an extended period and it becomes hot, constant charging may not be the problem. The app you’re using may be overworking the processor.
In any case, turn off your device to allow it to cool down.
How can I keep my screen from turning off?
If you do decide to use your iPad or iPhone for an ‘always-on’ experience, there is one setting you must change so that your device does not turn off automatically.
Go to Display & Brightness > Settings. Select Auto-Lock. Select Never. When you turn on your display, it will now remain on until you turn it off using the side or top buttons.