Your first-gen Apple iPad may be old, but it’s not obsolete yet

“In the life of every device, there’s a moment when you start to wonder whether it’s still useful. Everything becomes old, and obsolescence is all but assured in the world of technology,” Michael deAgonia writes for Computerworld. “But ‘old’ is not the same as ‘obsolete.'”

“It’s been more than three years since Apple debuted the original 9.7-in. iPad, the first tablet to go mainstream and the one that opened the floodgates to all the tablets that have followed,” deAgonia writes. “Then in March 2011, Apple discontinued the iPad, replacing it with the thinner, faster iPad 2 — the same model that Apple still sells for $399. With the arrival last month of the ultra-slim one-pound iPad Air, and the rollout this week of the new iPad mini with Retina display, it looks as if time has passed the original iPad by.”

“But has the original iPad really outlived its usefulness? Absolutely not. There are still a plethora of uses for the iPad, including the sacrifice play. At the very least, you can usually trade in an old iPad — even the first model — for savings on a new one,” deAgonia writes. “From my own perspective, the first-generation iPad is still great for watching movies and TV shows, listening to podcasts, or, if you don’t mind reading on back-lit screens, perusing an ebook…. The iPad can serve as a hand-me-down device that can grow with your child; there are cases that add bulk (and protection) to the iPad in kid-friendly designs that can be updated as needed. And the wealth of kid-oriented apps in the App Store means it will serve as a learning tool for as long as it’s still working.”

Many more ideas for your old iPad in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: There are plenty of uses for old iPads! What are you doing with yours?


    1. Here’s a couple of things I do on my iPad 1:

      TuneIn Radio
      Music my library
      Watch Video/Movies
      iTunes U audio and video very cool!
      PlayChess online
      Find iPhone
      Read Magazines
      News Apps diverse bunch
      Remote connect with citrix receiver

      And a lot more…. The best thing of all is iPad 1 is still skeuomorphic design for many apps. Aaaaah.

      Don’t understand why people insist on calling the iPad 1 obsolete.

      1. How many times a day does Safari quit unexpectedly?

        I curse my iPad everyday and it only gets worse each time web designers add more features to the web.

        I actually installed a different browser this morning, hoping for relief, but Dolphin proved to be worse; it couldn’t load a complete page of a news sight without crashing.

        Don’t even get me started on spurious touches of an already overburdened screen, resulting in my course-correcting touch that only confuses iOS 5, causing Safari to collapse.

        Safari is advancing but my original iPad can’t keep up with the changes. Games on the iPad that would seem burdensome for the iPad don’t have as many problems as Safari does.

    1. My iPad 1 was crashing on complex web sites and while running TV video (even after restart with all other apps closed). I took advantage of the Target promo — got the $200 card but still waiting for my local store to get the iPad Air in stock.

      1. I had this problem too. Ditched all bookmarks, history etc, switched off the iCloud nonsense and, so far, have no problems on my 1st gen iPad running OS5. So it loads a second or two slower than more recent models but still fast enough for browsing use.

  1. Even though it’s still our only iPad, my gf uses it as a 2nd screen using iDisplay app so she can do homework while I watch TV or play PS3. We use our TV as a monitor for our Mac Mini

  2. The original iPad is equivalent to the iPhone 4, in terms of processing power (although it has less system RAM). And the iPhone 4 was sold as new until just a few months ago. It is FAR from being “obsolete” in terms of usability.

    I still use my 1st gen iPhone, which I bought used a few years ago (when the iPhone 3gs was “new”). I use it with a “pre-paid” wireless service, which is very low cost to me on a monthly basis. I have replaced its battery, and it still works fine, even though it cannot be upgraded beyond iOS (“iPhone OS”) 3.1.3. And it has a very elegant appearance; it does not look like a phone from 2007.

    I was planning to get another “newer” used iPhone to replace it by now, but have found no urgent need. I just need it to make phone calls and do some basic online tasks when I’m alway from my Mac (and iPad). The old Mail app still works perfectly. It has the old version of Maps (with public transit info). All the third-party apps I use I downloaded years ago. I use the Kindle app to read books, and I use the Opera mini-browser instead of the old version of mobile Safari.

    While it is supposedly something like 50x slower than the latest iPhone, I’m surprised that it is still so useful.

  3. Read articles online,
    iTunes – music, videos, podcasts,
    Light Gaming – Pinball, Cards, Othello, Angry Birds,
    View Photos,
    Stream videos to the AppleTV,
    Manage my calendar.

    My original iPad works just fine for me. While I would love to get a new iPad Air – I can’t think of anything I would do on the Air that can’t be done on my original iPad. I rarely have video chats. When I do, I use my iPhone 4S. And besides I am not a real big fan of the look (color, flatness) of iOS 7 – although Apple did improve iOS’s functionality. My wife upgraded her iPhone 4S to iOS 7.

    *** If anyone could help with the issue below, it would be GREATLY appreciated. ***

    Some websites (IGN, CNBC, CNN, etc.) have videos which work fine on the iPad but will not work on my Mac Mini because the websites want Flash Player when surfing from my Mac Mini. (I refuse to install Flash Player or any MS products on my Mac Mini.) Anyone know how to “fool” the websites to think my Mac Mini is an iPad so that web sites will play videos?)

    A sincere “Thank You” for any suggestions to this issue!

    1. Try this:

      1. Open Safari Preferences.
      2. Select “Advanced”.
      3. Put a check next to “Show Develop menu in menu bar”.
      4. Close Preference window.
      5. Click “Develop” on the Safari menu bar.
      6. Select “User Agent”.
      7. Click “Safari iOS 6.1 – iPad”.


      1. Chefpastry – Thank you! Worked like a champ!

        The Roving Skeptic – Thanks but there are videos which play fine on my iPad but do NOT play on my Mac Mini. Instead of playing the video, the website responds that I need to install Adobe Flash Player. Try it out for yourself. Visit with an iPad and the videos will play. Visit the same site with a Mac computer (without Flash Player installed) and those same videos will NOT play on the computer. Chefpastry solution works.

        Adobe Flash Player is not and can not be installed on a non-jail broken iPad. Apparently the default player (which format of the video is displayed?) changes based upon the Safari agent. When the desktop version of Safari is detected, the web sites present the Flash version of the video – which will NOT play without Flash Player.

        Thanks again Chefpastry and The Roving Skeptic.

    2. Are you kidding? I recently got an air after suffering with my iPad one for so long. my Ipad1 one is slow and sluggish, crashes all the time (safari) it’s just a pain in the bloody ass to use.

      1. Go to Settings , General, Reset and “Reset all settings”. Doing this helped with Safari crashes many other issues I was having.

        It is a simple step to do, I wish more of the tech sites would refer to it more.

        Safari was almost unbearable to use and when the Apple site started to crash I knew something was up. After that reset, all good now.

        1. Hi, regarding your suggestion about General Settings where an IPad is crashing, well I have just tried your .suggestion with regards to the IPad crashing & I’m looking forward to crash freedom from here on in, it seems from another user who is crash free at the moment but I don’t know as yet if it works for me but I’ll let you know as soon as I get a day or two crash free, fingers crossed !

  4. I mounted my iPad 1 in my car. I use every day to play my music, Podcast, audio books. And using that large screen with a GPS is really nice. Makes taking a quick glance at the map on the screen much easier when the screen is so much larger than an iPhone’s or stand alone GPS.

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