You don’t have to get rid of your old iPad. Be creative in giving it a new purpose. A single purpose.
The moment you’ve seen the newest iPad model, you make a decision you want it.
Now, there is only one more thing to decide: what to do with the old one.
You can always trade it in for credit towards the purchase of the newest model. Or you can pass it to a family member.
Or you can still keep it for a bit longer and find it another purpose.
A purpose, not purposes.
iPad is a multi-tasking beast, but with every new app update it gets slower and less reliable. When you find it a single purpose, when you make it a single-tasking beast, it will serve you for much longer than you expect.
Once you decide on the new assignment, remove from your iPad everything that’s unrelated: apps, photos, games, movies.
Below, you will find a few easy ways to give your iPad a new life. Which one is your favorite?
10 simple ways to reuse your old iPad
1. Turn it into a digital photo frame
At first, you may think that turning an iPad into a digital photo frame doesn’t make sense. An iPad is using much more energy than single-purpose devices designed to show photos and running on CR2 batteries.
It’s all about the approach. I’m not talking about a photo frame you can put on a bedside table to show pictures 24/7.
What I’m suggesting is to use your iPad in situations when you might consider getting a digital photo frame.
Imagine you are organizing a wedding anniversary party. A digital photo frame welcoming your guests in a hallway and showing the pictures from your wedding.
Some digital frames – the ones with a large storage and motion detector – can cost between $100 and $200. In most cases, you will need them from time to time. Reuse your old iPad instead.
2. Use it as a cookbook
As I mentioned in the introduction, the best thing to do with an old iPad is to find for it a single purpose.
So far, the iPad was always with you. What about finding it a permanent place? If you cook a lot, think about how to make the most of the iPad in your kitchen.
Remove all apps that are not related to cooking and healthy living, place the iPad on a stand, connect it to the power source once and for good, and use it every time you want to cook something creative.
And don’t worry about oil stains on the display. The times you’d been cleaning it every day are long gone, anyway.
3. Turn it into a kitchen TV
iPad in the kitchen. How else can you use it?
If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, you have probably been thinking about getting a small TV set, especially when the kitchen is not connected to the living room and you can’t see your spacious plasma TV.
Your old iPad can be a surprisingly helpful kitchen TV replacement. In times of video-streaming services, you can launch Netflix or Amazon Prime Video app and binge-watch your new favorite TV series while preparing a meal for the family gathering.
And getting a special magnetic case will let you attach the iPad to the fridge instead of buying a smart fridge with the built-in display.
4. Use it as an offline movie player
Using an iPad for watching is an obvious idea. What’s so special about it? Storage.
If you decide to use your old iPad only for watching, you can clean it from anything else (apps and their content, your own pictures and videos), leaving only one app that gives you access to movies.
Apps such as Netflix let you download movies and TV shows to your iOS device. You will be able to play these shows even without access to the internet.
The more space you make on your iPad, the more movies you can download before going on a long holiday in a distant mountain cabin without Wi-Fi connection and weak cellular network signal.
5. Turn it into a security camera feed monitor
Do you consider setting up a home security camera system?
The decisions to be made are which cameras to buy and which system to use to control them.
No matter whether you choose Amazon Cloud Cam or Nest Cam IQ, you will surely find an iOS app that will let you easily manage the system and access live feeds.
You can always download and set up an app on your newer iPad, and, obviously, your iPhone, but it will mean you’ll add another bit to an already crowded device.
Instead, clean your old iPad from all other apps, and download the one compatible with the home camera system you have just chosen.
Place the iPad in a most convenient place and leave the app open. Every time you want to check out what’s happening in your kids’s room, you’ll see it in just one tap.
Even better, enable Siri, set up a voice command, and you’ll open the live feed from the distance, with just your voice.
6. Let it bring you the latest news
iPad is a device that can be used in so many ways! The problem with your older model is that it can’t properly handle more complex tasks any longer.
The older the device the less actively you can use it. Its chip, storage, and performance are less and less satisfying. And with every app update, it gets worse and worse.
Think about how to make the most of your iPad if the task was to use it passively – and only passively. No emails, no sketching, no photo editing.
Getting the latest news is surely one of the tasks your old iPad would successfully serve for a long time.
Leave Apple News, Feedly, Reeder, or any other app that’s helpful to keep you in the loop. Move the creative work to the newer iPad, and while it gets recharged, switch to the old model to learn what’s new.
7. Use it for focused reading
Reading news brings us closer to using the iPad as a book reader.
Compared to the Kindle, the iPad won’t let you focus on reading. It makes you too distracted.
Notifications jumping every minute, possibility of sharing book excerpts on social media, all those apps that sit on the home screen… You end up doing everything except reading the novel.
But you can change it. And change it in no time.
Go to the home screen and remove other apps except one – the one that you are reading your ebooks with.
Is it a Kindle, Apple Books, Nook, Marvin? No matter which is your favorite reading environment, make sure to disable all notifications. All notifications.
From now on, the iPad is a dedicated book reader. Allow yourself to change only one setting: turn on and off the night mode when it’s most convenient.
8. Use it as an interactive book reader
While your old iPad may not be powerful enough to handle the newest games, it will most probably be more than enough to help you – and your kids – enjoy another interactive content: books.
There are plenty of interactive iPad books for kids, so it’s just a matter of finding the ones that would give most fun when reading them together.
These multimedia iPad books are not the same as your Kindle, Kobo, or Nook books. They are separate apps. You don’t buy them via Apple Books but in the App Store.
Again, when you want to give your iPad a single task, clean it from everything else. Remove all other unused apps, and fill the home screen only with books you will be reading together with your children or grandchildren.
Interactive book apps for iPad give ways to engage than just colorful illustrations. You will be amazed to discover animated characters, look up interesting words, or test your knowledge in fun mini-games.
Some books offer interactive elements that reacts to your touch, other come with options to play audio content. You can also find the books where you can be one of the characters in choose-your-own adventure stories.
9. Don’t be afraid of using it in extreme conditions
Have you already spring-cleaned your iPad? It’s not perfect, right? A scratch here and there. You wouldn’t stand them on your new iPad, but on the old one they are fine.
And you know what? Instead of getting a heavy-duty case for the new model, think about taking the old one where there is a bigger risk of damage: a hiking trail or a kid’s room.
10. Turn it into an audiobook station
iPad models, even older ones, come with solid speakers. You can take advantage of this feature once you decide to use the device as a primary source of audiobooks.
There are several great iPad audiobook apps in the App Store. The most popular ones are Apple Books, Audible, Google Play Books, Scribd, Libby, and Kobo.
No matter which audiobook platform you choose as your primary source of digital audiobooks, you can download a free app from the App Store and play audiobooks on your iPad instantly.
It’s good to keep in mind that audiobooks take much more space than ebooks. Your iPad doesn’t have memory card slot, so you can only rely on iCloud or audiobook platform’s own ecosystem.
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