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

Michael deAgonia | Nov. 18, 2013
Even a three-year-old iPad still has a lot to offer

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.

The iPad may lack the latest bells and whistles, but just because something is old, doesn't mean it gets buried. The first-generation iPad is still in many aspects as useful today as the first day it was released. Over three-plus years of ownership, my iPad has been the least problematic computing device I have ever used. Between the App Store, countless hardware accessories still on the market, the overall lack of maintenance, and its ease-of-use, that original tablet still has what it takes to be handy.

Just because it's old doesn't mean it's useless.


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