iPhone and iPad

8 Amazing iPad Mods and Hacks

Guy McDowell 01-03-2013

Are you content leaving all the cool design to Apple to do for your iPad? Or do you want to push it a bit further yourself? Maybe you saw what someone did with a PC case once and thought, “I wish I could do that to my iPad.” You can. It’s yours, do what you like with it. Just don’t expect to have any warranty coverage once you do.


But what do you want to do? Do you want to do something just to see if it can be done or are you looking to do something to make the iPad more useful to you? Whichever way you decide to go, it’s a good idea to turn to the web to see what – and how- things can be modded.

If you’re looking for cool software or operating system hacks we have lots of those for you too! Just take a look around MakeUseOf and you will find no shortage of tweaks here. Probably the first thing you’d want to do is ‘jailbreak’ your iPad.

For those of you new to the concept of jailbreaking, what you are effectively doing is taking restrictions off of the operating system. This allows you to get apps that aren’t controlled by Apple and to control aspects of the operating system that normally have default and untouchable settings. More on that in the guide though.


If you’re looking to mod your iPad, then you’re looking to modify some part of the physical aspect of the iPad. These are some of the best iPad hacks to start with.

iPad Home Economics

The first mod I want to share with you is one that you’ve probably already seen, It bears being shown again though, because it gets the mind really thinking! How else could I do something similar and make this iPad really work for me?


Maybe I could mount an iPad by the door and use it as a message center. Maybe I could embed it in the fridge door and keep track of groceries or eating habits, possibly have the camera point to the inside so I can see what’s in the fridge without opening it. What if I had some sort of sliding cover on it to protect the screen when it’s not in use? This is thinking outside the box, but inside the cabinet.

Meta Apple – iPad inside a Mac

It seems like a lot of people are into taking the iPad and making it look like something older, especially if it gives new life to an older Apple product. This particular project was interesting to me because it takes an old Mac Classic case and makes it a housing for the iPad.  Isn’t it a little too convenient that the iPad fits perfectly into the screen bezel? Maybe Woz and Jobs were planning ahead with this.

This could be useful at home with a wireless keyboard and mouse as a sort of desktop replacement Ditch Your Desktop! Turn Your Smartphone Into a Desktop Replacement Want to ditch the desktop and just use your smartphone? You can do that! Read More . Or as a little media center for the bedroom. There are probably any number of items that could be converted to house your iPad in a similar manner. Maybe something that looks like a fish tank, perhaps a retro TV set or radio. With a nice Dremel tool and some patience, the possibilities are endless.

Mix it up!

For the HiFi who loves the WiFi, you could make this minimalist looking but incredible sounding audio breakout dock. You do need a few parts and some decent soldering skills. If it’s intimidating, then take comfort that I have sausage fingers and have soldered finer things. You CAN do this!


Now you could feed a guitar through it or use it to mix music on the fly. Ghazala is no spring chicken, so if he can come up with such a forward thinking concept so can you! You can pick up a copy of the schematic at Flickr.

Ode to Jobs

And then there is this mod that is almost unbelievable. I think you’ll agree that this is a whole different mod than you’ve ever seen.  Best of all it doesn’t appear to void any warranty with Apple as the iPad simply slides in and out.

The TonSchrein  is literally a tune shrine with a 35 watt output. Made by Georg Finkel from Fimo Clay and other various fiddly bits like LED’s and speakers, this really puts the iPad on a pedestal.

Take a look at the slide show for TonSchrein 2.0 for how detailed a process this is. Yes, he did this kind of work again, for his iPhone! Georg obviously has the patience of Job.



Since we’ve gone to the past twice already with the case of the iPad, let’s do it with the brains of the thing. For most hacks of this nature, you’re going to need a tool like evasi0n. But there are simple features in iOS 10 Hidden iPhone Features That Will Make You More Productive You're probably not using some of Apple's most useful iOS features. Read More that you can use that feel like hacks, in the sense that they help you get things done smarter.

Party like it’s 1995

I really have no idea why you would do this, but then again, people are using computers that could run NASA’s entire operation in the 1960’s to play retro Commodore 64 games 7 Great Cross-Platform Emulators For 5 Classic Computer Platforms In the same vein as the recent flurry of console emulation articles, today we're focusing on classic computer platforms of decades gone by. Whilst there were quite a few, we've chosen 5 of the most... Read More . Yes you can install Windows 95 on your iPad. It seems blasphemous, or at least useless.

Or you can span the decades and set up your iPad to work with your Wii remote to play SNES games. Seems like an awful  lot of work, but if you go in for that sort of thing, now you know it can be done.

Time is Up

I recall back in the day making Pentium processors run faster than their prescribed speed. We called this overclocking, and it seemed necessary at that time. Think of it as taking the governor of your car’s engine so it runs faster than normal. Unfortunately, with an overclocked computer you could have the same problems as an oversped car -overheating and eventually melt-down or crash. Now with iFile you can overclock your iPad.


Hack n’ Mod

What could be a better hack AND mod than to just say, “Apple, screw you. I’m making my own iPad.”? I’m not sure how you would say that in Mandarin or Cantonese, but that’s exactly what this man did. This is beyond most people’s current capabilities, but it does show that it can be done without having a huge engineering department and manufacturing facility.

What would you do with your iPad if you didn’t fear the warranty? Do you feel that you’re getting all out if that you can? Have you done or seen any interesting hacks or mods on iPads? Clearly, I’d love to hear about them in the comments…below.

Image Credits: Docking the iPad in the TonSchrien via Georg Dinkel

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  1. Guy McDowell
    March 5, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    Wouldn't the TonSchrien make a great retirement present for the Pope? I'm not even joking.

  2. Macwitty
    March 1, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Love the Mac Classic hack!

  3. Nevzat Akkaya
    March 1, 2013 at 6:59 am

    I always consider the words "Hack" and "Android" together, bu as far as I can see, iPad can be hacked and used for other good purposes too :) Thanks for this great article. I liked specifically the Windows 95 hack :) I should apply it to my cheap-android tablet, I'm sure there is a way to do it :)