Sponsored Links: While I was digging over some tech specs of iPhone’s and iPod’s battery, I’ve found some rather interesting new facts about the batteries they use – Lithium-ion Polymers (or Li-ion Polymer, for short). Lithium-ion batteries are one of the most common rechargeable batteries out there. It is found on most portable consumer electronics like the iPod, iPhone, laptops, cellphone, digital cameras… you name it. With that comes loads of myths and question regarding rechargeable batteries and how to best use them. These are some of the most common ones I’ve heard: Myth 1: Rechargeable batteries needs priming (you need to charge X hours / overnight before you can use it for the first time) Fact 1: While some older rechargeable battery types like Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) and Nickel Metal Hydrate (NiMH) needs priming, Lithium-ions in general (including Li-ion Polymers) do not need priming . You can use them out of the box. In fact nowadays, some, if not most, NiCd and NiMH batteries comes factory primed, so you can also use and charge them as normal out of the box. Just to be safe, please do read the manual. Myth 2: Unplug it from the charger once it is fully charged. Leaving the charger connected will blow up the battery / reduce the battery’s life (times you can charge it) Fact 2: One of the most common one I’ve heard so far. Neh… you can neither over-charge it, nor can you reduce the battery’s life by keeping it plugged in . They have built in circuits to cut power to it once it’s fully charged. However, it is still a good idea to remove the battery (if removable, like laptops) or unplug it once it’s charged. Reason? Although the batteries will not over-charge, the heat from charging or due to poor heat ventilation will still cause it to blow up , not something you want happening. Second, batteries tend to discharge faster when heated, so yes… keeping it plugged in and awfully warm will reduce its lifespan; but so does normal operation under extra warm conditions! Myth 3: Thou shall drain every last watt of it before recharging it (because they suffer from ‘memory effect’) Fact 3: Okay, you might now first ask what’s ‘memory effect’. Here’s the quick answer: Some types of rechargeable batteries will gradually lose their maximum capacity if you do not discharge it completely before recharging. If you often use it till the 40% mark and recharge from there, the battery will “think” that the 40% mark is the new 0%, thus you get less capacity. Again, they apply to older battery technologies, but Lithium-ions do NOT suffer from memory effect , at all. On the contrary, if you completely use up a Lithium-ion battery too often, it might just fall into deep discharge state and fail to recharge far faster than you recharge from partial usage. Click here for more info on memory effect . Myth 4: Don’t re-charge it too often, one time charged is one time less you can charge it. Ex: 100 “charge cycles” = can only charge for 100 times Fact 4: Well, the actual math is a little different than what is written up there, and most of us have little idea of what charge cycle actually means. So, in plain, short English, one charge cycle means one full 100% charge, regardless of how many times you charge in between. Still confused? I am. Okay… here’s another example: let’s say you use only 20% per day and charge it, it will take you 5 days / 5 charges to consume one charge cycle, 5 x 20% = 100%. In the same light, if you use to 50% every time and charge it to full, you will consume one charge cycle for every 2 times you charge it (Simple maths: 50% x 2 = 100%). However, regardless of the charge cycle, the capacity will still decline with the battery’s age. In that sense, older batteries will have less capacity even if it has never been charged before (Thanks to Hae Gunso for the information). Conclusion Well, these tips will not make your batteries last forever, but it does help to know what helps prolong it, and what doesn’t. Disclaimer! The facts presented are subjected to the best understanding of the author, and might not be entirely accurate. For most accurate information, please consult your device’s manual.