I am coding a time attendance app to be used on an iPad in a secure mount outdoors (in a weather proof box).

I am thinking of blocking the home button, and leaving the iPad’s screen turned on at all times.

I was wondering if this will reduce the lifespan of the iPad by a significant amount.

Also, are there any other ideas on how to solve this problem? Proximity sensor with camera would be pretty cool. Or really just light vs dark sensing.

  • I'd be concerned about battery wearing out: apple.com/batteries/maximizing-performance There are sentences on the internet that suggest keeping an iPad plugged into a charger will shorten lifetime, but I'm not finding actual data. It'd be an expensive experiment. Sep 27, 2017 at 21:28
  • @WayfaringStranger Can you elaborate?
    – BAR
    Sep 27, 2017 at 21:31
  • You're going to have to keep the iPad charged. The battery charge/discharge cycle is not perfectly reversible, so eventually you'll be running on a battery that can store very little power. I don't know if charger power feeds through to the iPad's circuitry, but doubt it. Might be best to open the unit up, take out the batteries, and solder in the leads to a wall-wart that puts out the right voltage and power. -No battery worries at all that way. You could probably get a local iPad/iPhone repair shop to do this for you. Sep 27, 2017 at 21:35
  • @WayfaringStranger Made an assumption. Sorry. The iPad will always be plugged into wall. It’s possible if battery is 100% it will be bypassed.
    – BAR
    Sep 27, 2017 at 21:48
  • A cheap screen and a raspberry pi (or something similar) might make more sense.
    – Joonas
    Sep 28, 2017 at 6:15

2 Answers 2


This is incredibly common for independant cafes and small restaurants using iPads as POS systems. I have personally had several iPads that are literally always on and they have lasted years.

I have also used cheap android tablets for the same purpose and as kitchen displays. They have their place and sometimes make sense but I’ve had to replace them often enough to say that I doubt that you would see a significant cost savings going that route.

If the outdoor weather proof box gets extremely hot you might see a difference but all the iPads I’ve used have been in fairly harsh conditions with very few problems.


I would be more concerned about the heat. Leaving the screen turned on surely will heat up your device and decrease the lifespan of your battery. But that doesn't mean your iPad will be broken in one month or so. If you need a more economical way, buy an OEM Android tablet.

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