Still got a first-gen iPad? Don't ditch it yet

Even a three-year-old iPad still has a lot to offer

By , Computerworld |  Mobile & Wireless, ipad, tablets

An extra iPad is a godsend if you have children and are often in the car; and there are some really great car accessories, from dash to headrest mounts, that make the iPad a great traveling companion. I won't lecture you on distracted driving, but I will warn that iPad will shut itself down if it becomes too hot, so don't leave it in direct sunlight. But if you're headed out on the road, and want to keep the kids in the backseat entertained, load up the iPad with movies or shows before you leave.

iTunes U allows any iPad, even the first-generation model, to become a learning tool.

As a 1.5-pound device, the original iPad is still lightweight enough to go almost anywhere. If you have a newer iPad, and you're traveling to rugged locations, take the old one with you. Between media, apps and ebooks, the older iPad is still an iPad and if you happen to drop it on a rocky slope, well, you still have the newer one back home.

On a recent trip, I used my old iPad as a photo dump for digital pictures. Since I use my camera often, transferring photos to it cleared space on the memory card for new shots and video. I did this using the Apple Camera Connection Kit, but if you want to get fancy, there's the EyeFi memory card. With the Direct Mode feature, the EyeFi card automatically transfers photos to the iPad wirelessly. The initial setup for the EyeFi system needs some configuring, but once it's working, it's pretty handy.

The move away from the 30-pin connector hasn't changed the iPad's popularity and it didn't remove the thousands of hardware accessories already on store shelves. In fact, by phasing out the 30-pin connector, Apple engineers encouraged discounts on the existing accessories. For example, this blood pressure monitoring kit is available for $60, nearly half off list price. That's obviously a niche purchase, but there are other similar discounts available on other accessories that help keep the iPad relevant.

If the latest version of your needed apps won't run on the old iPad's OS, you can still download earlier, compatible versions.

A loaner iPad

If none of these ideas compels you to keep your original iPad, let someone borrow it. In my experience, people fall into two categories: they see the benefits of touch computing in a tablet, or they don't. If you know someone who is curious about tablets in general or the iPad in particular, pass along your iPad for them to try out. It may not sway them one way or the other, but there's nothing better than hands-on time to get a feel for what the iPad is like.


Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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