7 Uses For Your Outdated iPad

While most tablets have a shelf life longer than six months (*cough* iPad 3 *cough*), they all grow obsolete eventually. When the march of technology sends your slate to the junk drawer don't just sell it off. Recycle it into a high-powered specialist device.

A Dedicated E-reader

Why shell out $US80 for a Kindle when you have a perfectly decent legacy iPad — or first-gen Kindle Fire — just gathering dust? It might not be as light as Amazon's e-ink offering, but the iPad's bigger, brighter screen and beefier processor make it a viable alternative to keeping a clutter of books on your coffee table. Simply install your preferred reading app — iBooks, Newsstand, Nook, Flipboard and the Kindle, for example — lock your screen orientation in portrait and curl up with your ebook.

A Comic Book Library

If you prefer graphic novels over classic literature — or if reading walls of text on the iPad's LCD screen strains your eyes — the iPad still makes a great dedicated reader. The Comic X app from comicXology carries more than 30,000 titles from Marvel, DC, IDW, and indie publishers. Dark Horse fans, however, will have to use that publisher's proprietary marketplace. They're both free, though you will have to pay for what you read.

A Kitchen Companion

Your old iPad can also save you some kitchen counter space by replacing all of your might cooking tomes. First load your preferred cookbook app. Big Oven is great if you've already assembled a sizable recipe collection, as it leverages the phone's camera to import them from old paper cards. The app also organises your recipes, automatically generates shopping lists and offers an 200,000 additional cooking projects online. It does require iOS 5.1. How to Cook Everything, by New York Times columnist Mark Bittman, is another essential, especially for neophyte cooks. This $US5 app explains the basics of kitchen etiquette and walks the user through more than 2000 recipes, literally step by step. It too generates grocery lists and works with devices as old as iOS 4.3.

Once you have the app downloaded, you'll need to devise a means of suspending the iPad as you work to keep it both out of your way and out of splashing range of whatever you're cooking. Depending on how permanent you want the fixture to be and how much you want to pay, there are several options.

You could drop $US50 on a magnetic iPad holder what hangs on your refrigerator or $US20 for a bracket that hangs it from brick walls or bore out a panel on your kitchen cabinet and mount the iPad in there. You can also just use a dedicated iPad stand like Twelve South's Compass. Whichever method you choose, just be sure to wipe your hands before swiping the screen.

A Second Monitor

Even if that old iPad can't keep up with your shiny new laptop in terms of processing power, it can still find value as both a wireless extension of your computer's screen and a tactile input device with Air Display. This $US10 app will extend or mirror your desktop to one or more wirelessly linked iPads. What's more, the app allows you to use the tablet's touchscreen interface in conjunction with your keyboard and mouse; you can even use the iPad's digital keyboard in lieu of the physical one if you prefer (but... don't do that). Simply install the free Air Display server software on your computer (it works on both Mac and PC), load the $US20 app onto your tablet and follow the setup instructions.

A Portable Media Centre

That clunker of a tablet is still equipped with an arsenal of entertainment options; you just need to borrow a screen. If your iPad is running iOS 4.3 or later, you can simply use Airplay mirroring to bounce your content to a nearby compatible television. If not, 30-pin to HDMI adapters are available from Apple for $45. Even if your original iPad's display isn't retina, it can hook up to something that's close.

In-Car Entertainment

If you've taken the time to load and setup your iPad as a portable entertainment centre, chances are you'll end up using it to placate your kids on long road trips. This is a great idea, but fraught with peril. I mean, have you seen a kid's hands? Those sticky, grubby appendages carry more bacteria than the inside of a Komodo dragon and are capable of smearing jelly into, well, everything. To keep the little terrors from feeding your iPad's 30-pin port Twisties, keep it strapped to the back of the driver's seat headrest — and well clear of the reach from the booster seat.

A Picture Frame

Perhaps the easiest way to squeeze a few more years out of your legacy tablet is as a repository of your legacy memories. iOS has a native Picture Frame app that will automatically organise, cycle, and display your digital photos. Simply tap the small flower in the lower right corner of the iPad's lock screen to activate this slideshow. You can also set the slide duration, transition and designate which albums to pull images from (be very sure "that one folder" isn't selected) through the Picture Frame tab on the settings screen. It might seem crazy, but remember that digital picture frames can retail for over $US200. Good luck getting that much for your three-year-old iPad.


Image: bloomua / Shutterstock.com



    Using it for pictures of Archer really does seem like the best use for, well, anything, really.

      Flirting with Danger if you ask me
      its a zone you dont want to get into

    Some things age better then others.

    I'm still using my iPad 2 and i dont plan to upgrade anytime soon as i dont see the need at the moment.

    I sold my 16gb 3g iPad 1, which was heavily used for 2 years (but otherwise in good condition) for $360 on ebay at xmas. For some devices these kind of reuses work well but iPads hold their value well enough that it is not worth it.

    Or you could just, you know, use it for the exact same things you bought it for in the first place. My iPad 1 can still do everything just fine, it didn't magically become useless overnight -_-

      I think this is more for the fanboys who run out and buy the new iPad 6 months after the previous one was released and have the old one sitting around.

      When I purchased my Galaxy Note 10.1 I gave my iPad away, it held no value. The person I gave it to was shocked I didn't want any money.

      Yep. My iPad 1 still works. Great look, great battery life and still plays most apps. Granted that it doesn't have a camera or isn't as thin, it still works and it's in remarkable shape after all the beatings it took.

    So is airdisplay $10 or $20?...

      $10, I checked the site after seeing the inconsistency. Either that or the price fluctuates as fast as it takes to finish a paragraph.

    Hey - what's wrong with the iPad 2? I'm still buying them and I believe that they'll be in supply for quite some time to come.

    best use is to sell it to offset the cost of the new ipad/new device

    if you have $600+ ipads sitting around your house as picture frames then you need to rethink your spending decisions

    How is a older iPad different to a new one, the tech and new software features are minimal at best.

    Sell it, donate it or recycle it...simple actions to take for your outdated tablet.

    Last edited 10/02/13 10:39 pm

    There are significant differences between the iPad1 and the latest version.
    For instance, it is much faster, more memory, more pixels and there are applications which will only work on the later versions (most likely due to the increased memory size).

    DERPING SO HARD; rather than "In-Car Entertainment strapped to the back of the driver’s seat headrest" using it as a replacement for your headset! SOMUCHFUCKINGWIN: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSnIXfoSU6I

    what to do with 6 mth old technology that is already rendered useless but you are rich enough to not think of selling it 2nd hand ... #firstworldproblems

    Still rocking my iPad 2 and it's fine still for my use.

    But I actually planned on using it as a movie player in the car for my little one when I'm done with it. It's actually used for that now on occasion, but it will go full time later on.

    Use it as a poignant reminder not to waste your money on overpriced trinkets that quickly become White Elephants. Yes, use it for that.

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