iPhone and iPad

5 Cool Things You Can Do With Your Old iPad After Upgrading

Matt Smith 19-04-2012

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 Trade Your Old iPad For Money On These 5 Websites Every iPad enthusiast (and everyone in general) has heard of Apple’s new iPad. While some people feel the update is not significant enough, many are still planning to buy it. With its retina display and... Read More 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

things to do with old ipad

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 The Best Free Remote Desktop Apps for Your iPad If like me, you often find yourself in the position of official technical support for your family and friends, you'll know oh too well the pain of trying to explain something over the phone. The... Read More could be what you’re looking for.

Give It To The Kids

apple reuse ipad


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

apple reuse ipad

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

apple reuse ipad

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

things to do with old ipad

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.

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  1. Equitube
    February 14, 2017 at 12:27 am

    Well, as I am an aspiring Android developer, I always have a ton of old devices laying about.

    I use them as a media server remote control, cheap IP web or security cam. Check out the app ip camera from a dev named Pavel Khlebovich. It allows for streaming over local network or via its built-in web server from anywhere in the world. It gives you full control over the devices camera and flash. can record video or stills on demand or triggered by sound or motion. Can store local or upload automatically to your Dropbox. Oh, did I mention IT'S FREE? There is a paid version but I don't know why you'd want it. Perhaps to get rid of ads. Though use of the free and open source adaway will eliminate all ads on a rooted device.

    Oh, that lets out iOS users, or does it? I was recently given an old iPad 2 because the wifi won't work, a common defect in those. Of course I wasn't going to repair a device with a locked closed OS and hate the way Apple makes users pay for what Android users can get free.

    I'm not an Apple hater. my 1st computer was a iie, wayy back. I received my 2nd degree in graphic design on iMacs, great graphic machines. They can however be jailbroken, rooted, and modded. Another use of old devices is to learn to hack and mod and discover the true power within.

    I plan on installing a Linux distribution on this old iPad which isn't hard. Then it may have some real use. Of course I realize iOS is more geared to non geeks, but they're out there. And at least it's not Windows.

    Steven Peterson
    Aspiring Android Developer and recovering Windows expert.

  2. Reý Aetar
    May 27, 2012 at 10:53 am

    thats a costly toy... woow wish i had one..

  3. unlock ipad
    April 24, 2012 at 10:03 am

    You could definitely see your expertise within the paintings you write. The sector hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who are not afraid to mention how they believe. At all times follow your heart.

  4. Jouni "Rautamiekka" Järvinen
    April 22, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    Yeah, if you have AppleTV. How gay.

  5. infmom
    April 19, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Now ask how many people own even one iPad. The results may surprise you.

    • Matt Smith
      April 20, 2012 at 12:31 am

      I think total iPad sales are somewhere between 50 and 60 million.

  6. Vic Carter
    April 19, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    I have the absolute best way to use your old tablet... Keep using it as you tablet and stop replacing good technology every 18 months. Save your money and realize that the incremental upgrades aren't worth the cost, especially considering that they should have been part of the device at launch.

    Otherwise, yeah all of these are great suggestions.

    • derrick
      April 19, 2012 at 5:52 pm

      that's the most useless response for today... congrats!

      • Vic
        April 19, 2012 at 5:56 pm

        Yup, suggesting people be frugal and not waste money on technology they don't need is completely useless information. No reason to watch what we spend in the current economy, wasting cash on "new and shiny" every time the "new" version comes out makes perfect sense.

        • Tina
          April 19, 2012 at 6:34 pm

          I disagree. It may be good for the economy in the short term, however, this type of short-sighted consumer society is already creating a lot of damage.

          First, you are spending your hard-earned cash on something you consider perishable, rather than investing in lasting value, which will continue to benefit you in the future.

          Second, where are all those electronics that are being replaced every couple of years ending up? Sooner rather than later they end up in the trash. In the worst case, the raw materials contained in them won't even get recycled. Of course you will say that you couldn't care less. However, this way of living creates a huge damage to the economy for several reasons. See here: http://www.storyofstuff.org/movies-all/story-of-stuff/

          Seeing that all our resources are finite, it's a bad decision to consume and waste more.

        • Matt Smith
          April 19, 2012 at 7:06 pm

          I don't think there's a major problem with replacing iPads every 18 months. They're still useful and thus can be resold or re-used, as shown in this article.

          A person who throws an old iPad in the trash rather than re-selling it or re-using it is either crazy or wealthy.

        • Samrudh Shetty
          April 20, 2012 at 7:52 am

          Anyone reading this is crazy or wealthy and you want to throw your ipad off can instead give it to me. Any number of ipad's accepted lol.