Three years ago my iPad arrived, it was (as you might have expected) a first generation model; I went with the model that came with 64GB of storage and no 3G. My thinking at the time was that I was going to use this in the main as a portable video device, so needed lots of storage.
I find it interesting how both my use of the iPad and how I view it has changed in the last three years. When I bought my iPad I considered it in the main as a device to watch videos, play casual games and browsing the web. Today I use the iPad very differently, it is a key part of my workflow at college, I use it for communication and social media, reading books and magazines. I have a third generation iPad for work and that has a camera and that added a whole new dimension in content creation. I have reviewed many of the apps available on the blog.
It’s interesting, despite all the attention given to the short life of these consumer devices and how they would need to be replaced more often than a “normal” PC, that I still have it, and I still use it on a daily basis for lots of different things.
This three year old device is still pretty powerful for doing lots of things. Yes there are apps that don’t work as it’s a first generation device, so no iMovie or iPhoto. However that isn’t really much of a problem, as for me the first generation iPad is much more of a content consumption device and I rarely use it for creating stuff.
For me it still works great for accessing e-mail, playing films and using Netflix. Where it is less useful is web browsing, well web browsing when you have more than one tab open. For some reason, memory reasons I believe, mobile Safari on the iPad can only hold a small number of pages (or very few pages) so if you work like I do with lots of tabs, when you return to a tab, after looking at other pages, Safari is “forced” to load the page again. If you are on a poor connection, eg a tethered phone or train wifi then this can be frustrating. There is (or was) a similar limitation on the iPhone.
Having said that I should note that this iPad rarely travels these days, it spends more time in the home than anywhere else. Though it does come on holiday with us, partly for in-car entertainment, “are we there yet” and for watching films in the evening.
The iPad is also used regularly by my children for playing games, and though this won’t play some of the newer graphic intensive games, it will suffice for games such as Monopoly, Battleships, Scrabble, Trival Pursuit, Cover the Orange, Angry Birds and so on…
I am still impressed with the battery life, one concern of any device that has a built-in non-removable battery is that once the battery has reached end of life, there is little you can do with the device, except spend a small fortune having the battery replaced. I would hazard a guess that replacing the battery would probably cost a lot in comparison to buying a new iPad.
So three years later, I don’t think I will retire the device, I would certainly consider selling it and I think it would sell for about £100 which would contribute to a newer model.