It’s amazing to think that Apple’s iPad turns five years old this year. It’s so ubiquitous in 2015 that it seems like it has been around for a lot longer. Even old models are still in use, which brings me to my motivation for writing this article.
I own an iPad 2. It was released in March of 2011 and it’s still alive and kicking. Apple has even noted that the next update to its operating system, dubbed “iOS 9”, will run on the aging device. Still, it’s not as zippy as its younger siblings.
If you’ve got an older iPad around and have been wondering about its usefulness, let me point out these great ways to keep it useful and in service. The following are four ways to use an older iPad.
As a cable-free TV
I’ll admit it, I use my iPad 2 to watch TV shows and movies quite often. More often than my actual TV, in fact. There are a slew of apps out there that make this happen, including:
- Netflix: TV, movies and great original content
- Hulu: A stronger focus on TV than Netflix, but it has movies, too
- Crackle: Sony’s streaming service has plenty of movies
- HBO Go/HBO Now: The former is a free add-on for HBO subscribers, while the latter is a stand-alone subscription at $14.99 per month, and both allow you access to HBO programming
- Amazon Instant Video: A video streaming service that’s included with the company’s Prime membership at $99 per year
- Your cable provider: If you have cable television or internet, your service may have an app that lets you stream television to your iPad
As a remote control
Don’t want to cut the cable cord? Or maybe perhaps you prefer to enjoy TV and movies on your actual television? No problem. Most TV manufacturers offer universal remote apps. Additionally, if you use the Apple TV, there’s a free Remote app ready to go.
It might not fit into your “Remote Boat,” but the iPad does a good job of controlling your TV. And it reduces clutter by limiting you to one remote instead of a pile.
A friend of mine has this super-cool wireless weather station at his house that I really like. Realizing that an app is cheaper than a whole new piece of hardware, I went looking for a compatible app and found WunderStation. This great-looking app provides a wealth of weather information that you can browse in real time. You can also customize its presentation so that it’s displayed just how you want. Add a handy wall mount and you’ve got a very cool weather station.
I’ve been using my iPad in the kitchen pretty much from day one. Of course it’s great for storing recipes and keeping them handy for when you want to cook. But you can increase its usefulness with a kitchen-friendly stand. I use a ‘fridge mount from Belkin to keep my iPad 2 away from messy spills while I’m cooking.
It’s funny to think of something that’s only five years old as near the end of its usefulness, but such is the nature of tech. However, I think the iPad is an exception. The usefulness for this device has certainly exceeded its cost at this point, and I plan to use it for many more years to come.