It’s no secret that I’m a fan of the new iPad. The new display is a significant upgrade and, for people who use their tablets to view text frequently, well worth the price of admission.
This may leave you with an old iPad (or other tablet) that’s no longer needed. Re-selling it is an obvious answer because tablets keep their value. But if you don’t need the money, there are some other ways you can re-purpose your now seemingly obsolete tablet.
Use It As A Remote Control
Any tablet can be used as a remote, including your new iPad. However, using your new iPad as a remote may interrupt you from other activities, and dedicated use as a remote is risky business. How many times do you drop your remote, sit on it, or shove it between furniture accidently? Only the insane – or meticulously careful – would use the new iPad for this purpose.
There are a lot of different ways you can use your iPad as a remote. If you use iTunes or have an Apple TV you can use the built-in Remote app. If that’s not an option you can try a custom universal remote solution such as the Universal Remote Control app. Or if you want to use the iPad with a computer and/or home theater PC, a remote desktop app could be what you’re looking for.
Give It To The Kids
The iPad can be a great tool and toy for children. They love the fact that they can interact directly with the device by touching it and there’s no shortage of entertaining games. Fragility is the only reason why kids don’t end up with iPads more often.
Offering your child an old iPad will not only keep them entertained, it also can be a good way to teach responsibility. If it breaks, it’s gone, so attention must be paid to it. Just make sure you child is old enough to comprehend this responsibility – otherwise, you’re going to end up with some tears to deal with, and the iPad is not as absorbent as some other products with similar names.
Make It A Digital Photo Or Video Frame
Here’s an easy one. The iPad can display video clips or show photos in a slideshow. It’s also thin and light. Using it as a digital photo frame is a cinch.
All you need to do is prop it up or hang it up. To achieve this you can either use an easel or an adhesive mount, such as Velcro. You need less Velcro than you’d think to attach an iPad to a wall. If this solution seems a bit low-rent for your tastes, there are products made specifically to hang the iPad on a wall, such as the Wallee.
After that you need to figure out how to power it. If the tablet is left near a computer it’s not hard to run the standard adapter from a rear USB port to the tablet. Longer distances can be covered with the use of a USB extension cord. If no PC is available you’ll have to instead use an AC-to-USB power adapter, which can be purchased for $20 or less.
Use It As A Recipe Book Or Mechanic’s Assistant
Versatility and portability are strengths of the iPad, but its fragility limits its use in certain situations. If you have an older tablet that is falling out of use, however, it’s easier to accept it in the kitchen or the garage.
You can improve your old iPad’s chances of survival by purchasing a rugged case, such as a Griffin Survivor or Gumdrop Tech Military Edition. These cases provide padding and, in the case of the Griffin Survivor, a built-in stand. Most users will find them too bulky for everyday use, but they shine in particularly tough environments.
Purchasing an anti-glare screen protector is also a good idea. A good product will reduce the chance of minor damage and improve the visibility of the display.
Mount It In Your Car
Putting an iPad in your car may seem a bit absurd, but it’s actually not a bad idea, particularly if you own a 3G model. But even if you don’t, you can still load the iPad’s memory with plenty of video and some useful apps, or you can connect to the Internet via a mobile WiFi hotspot – such as those found in many phones and the new iPad.
Mounting the iPad in the front can be accomplished with ease thanks to products like the RAM mount, which can hold an iPad firmly in place via various attachment mechanisms. Mounting the iPad in front of the rear seats to create a simple in-car entertainment system is even easier thanks to a variety of products that can attach to a front seat headrest.
Whatever method you choose, be wary of local regulations. Distracted driving laws are increasingly common and harsh.
How Do You Use Your Old Tablet?
How do you use your old tablet? Has it earned a second life, or is it simply gathering dust in the closet? Let us know in the comments.