Upcycle your tech: 8 clever uses for an old iPad

The iPad was pitched as a miracle device, more comfortable than your phone and more convenient than your computer. The tablet quickly garnered tons of fans who couldn’t even imagine living in a world without it.

Many years after its introduction, you might have an older person sitting next to you.

Don’t let yourself sit to collect dust. There are lots of great uses for those older models. Here are eight clever uses for the old iPad that will work just like the new model.

1. Stay connected by staying away from loved ones
The pandemic brought FaceTime, Zoom and other video platforms to more people than ever before as we all looked for safe ways to stay in touch. Older iPads are perfect for this. You can either use the FaceTime app that’s already on your gadget if the person you want to talk with also has an Apple device. Tap or click here to learn how to make group calls on your Apple device.

Or you can download a video conferencing app like Zoom or Skype. Either way, you’ll be able to talk to all the people who are important in your life with a personal touch more than just a phone call.

2. Digital Photo Frame
Within the Photos app, Apple allows you to generate and play slideshows of any photo album, locally or in the cloud. By changing a few settings on your iPad, you can turn your device into as much of a dedicated digital photo viewer as you want.

First, turn on Do Not Disturb Mode. From Settings, tap on Do Not Disturb and toggle it on. This will silence any calls or notifications that would otherwise be distracting from photo-viewing.

The next step is to turn off Auto-Lock. How to do it: From Settings, tap Display & brightness, then set Auto-lock to Never. This will make it so that your screen never sleeps. Finally, turn on Guided Access: From Settings, tap on Accessibility then Guided Access, which you can toggle. This allows you to lock your iPad to the current app.

3. A Nice Big Remote
iPads can easily be used to control other devices in the Apple ecosystem. Controlling your other Apple products, such as the Apple TV or your iTunes library, can be done by downloading the appropriate app from the App Store (in this case, the Apple TV app or Apple’s Remote app).

Many streaming services like Netflix and Hulu support casting content from your iPad to a streaming device, smart TV, or computer. This makes it easy to start watching something on your iPad and smoothly transition to another screen when needed.

4. Music Server
While it may sound a bit obvious, iPads of all ages and models make great music-streaming hubs. Whether you choose to store your music locally or use a streaming service, iPads can broadcast music to a variety of devices using Bluetooth and AirPlay. Chances are if you have a relatively modern speaker system, your iPad can stream music to it.

5. Kitchen Recipes and Videos
Leaving an iPad in the kitchen as a dedicated recipe-station is surprisingly useful. Fitness apps like MyFitnessPal or LoseIt allow users to store recipes as well as track the nutritional makeup of their creations. A countless number of apps have also been built around the idea of ​​discovering new recipes like Tasty. Or apps all about cooking simple, healthy meals like Fork Over Knives.

The easiest way of all is to store recipes on Apple’s Notes app. Notes can be opened side-by-side with YouTube or your web browser of choice as you discover the best recipes while taking whatever notes you like.

6. e-reader
Whatever digital ecosystem you use for eBooks, you can access them on your iPad. Apple’s answer to digital books is Apple Books, from where you can browse the store to find new books, listen to everything you’ve read and want to read from Apple, as well as audiobooks. But Amazon’s Kindle app and Google Books app are both available on the App Store and offer similar features.

7. Toy for Kids
There are millions of games available for iPad that kids can keep themselves entertained. Tap or click here for a list of 10 free classic games available on iOS.

Apart from sports, there are a large number of streaming services available on the iPad that provide kid-friendly content. Apple has a strong set of parental controls to help you keep track of how much time your kids are spending on the device, as well as restrict the content they can access.

8. Second Monitor
If you have a Mac running iPadOS 13 or later and a supported iPad, Apple’s Sidecar lets you use the iPad as a second screen. SideCar can be used wirelessly and can be accessed on your Mac by clicking the AirPlay icon in the menu bar and selecting your iPad.

This will extend the screen of your Mac to that of your iPad. By checking the blue rectangle on the AirPlay menu, you can mirror your Mac’s screen instead.

4 thoughts on “Upcycle your tech: 8 clever uses for an old iPad”

Leave a Comment