The iPad 2 is Apple’s longest supported iDevice. Even though it was released in 2011, it still runs the latest — albeit stripped down — version of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 9.
A lot has changed since the iPad 2 was first released. Apple has developed faster processors, Retina screens, an entirely new cable, dedicated graphics chips, and a whole lot more. The iPad 2 uses an A5 chip while the latest iDevices use an A9. It doesn’t have a retina screen and requires an old 30-pin iPod-era cable.
The iPad 2 really can’t handle the latest and greatest apps or games. In fact, it can struggle just running iOS 9. What was once a zippy tablet is now pretty slow to use. This isn’t a problem if you stick to a single app, but jumping between them or launching new ones can take what feels like an age. This doesn’t mean an iPad 2 is useless, it just means that how you use it has to adapt.
Read, Read, Read
An iPad 2, despite the relatively low resolution screen, makes a great dedicated reading device. I’ve written before about why I think books are terrible and eReaders are the future. While an iPad isn’t as good for reading books on as an e-ink Kindle, it’s far better for anything that includes images or multimedia content.
One of the best things to read on an iPad are comics. The comic book industry has begun to embrace the platform so there are plenty of apps for reading comics on your iPad. There are few other devices that let you comfortably lounge back on a couch and have thousands of comics, perfectly rendered, at your fingertips.
It’s also really easy to get content onto an iPad 2. Apps like Instapaper, Pocket, and Goodreader can take web articles or PDFs and make them a joy to read.
If you’re stuck for something to do with an old iPad 2, turning it into a dedicated reading device is one of the simplest options.
Give it to Your Kids
An old iPad 2 makes a great hand-me-down tablet. You might not understand what your kids do with technology, but you know for sure that they love iPads. If they’re too young or slobbery to be trusted with a newer device, your old iPad 2 might be the perfect thing to give them.
There are some wonderful educational apps available for iOS that make learning fun. Or, if you just want some peace and quiet, you can put on one of Netflix’s many kids shows. Either way, your kids will be delighted to have an iPad of their own.
Control Your Media Centre
Controller apps for iOS devices are now becoming the norm.
The only way to control a Sonos out of the box, is with an app. The best way to control a Plex media centre is with the iOS app. Everything from Roku boxes to the Spotify app on your Mac can be controlled from an iOS app.
If, like me, you’ve a few of these different devices in your home, one of the best uses for an iPad 2 is as a dedicated remote control. It’s far simpler to have one go to device that controls everything rather than seven different remotes scattered across your living room.
Use it as a Beater Tablet
New iPads aren’t cheap. It’s normal to want to look after them and make sure they aren’t exposed to unnecessary harm. However, there’s a balance to be struck between keeping your iPad safe and being able to use it when you want. If you’ve an old iPad 2, you can turn it into a beater tablet to use when you want to keep your newer devices away from danger.
There are plenty of great ways to use your beater tablet. If you like hiking, you can load it up with Ordnance Survey maps and bring it with you. If you sail, there are plenty of apps (like Skipper) that provide navigation charts. If you’re into photography, the Triggertrap app when combined with a cheap dongle gives you amazing control over your camera.
You don’t have to be particularly adventurous to use a beater tablet. Even if the wettest place you go is your kitchen, it’s still nice to have a device you don’t need to worry about. Put your recipes on your old iPad 2 and you won’t need to worry if you get egg all over it.
If you’re really not using your old iPad 2 selling it might be the best option. Like most used Apple products, you’d be surprised at how much you can get for it. Apple hardware tends to hold its resale value a lot longer than products from other manufacturers. On eBay, I found that a 16GB iPad 2 with WiFi sold for around $150. A 64GB model with 3G could fetch more than $200.
Obviously, this is a steep drop from your iPad’s price when it was new, but it’s not an inconsiderable amount of money. If you won’t use it, someone else can and they will pay you for it.
How Do You Use Your Old iPad 2?
An iPad 2 is far from useless. There are plenty of ways to use one, even now in the age of iOS 9, retina displays and force touch. If you can’t think of anything, you might be surprised at how much money you can make if you sell it.
What do you do with your old iPad 2?