It’s three years old…

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.

3 thoughts on “It’s three years old…”

  1. James, I too have a 1st gen iPad (I’m replying to this post using it) and I’ve been entirely satisfied with the function it provides. Of corse, as a 1st gen device it’s now showing its age and there are apps I would love to use on it but can’t.

  2. Great post.
    I waited until the “new” iPad came through to buy such device. At the beginning I didn’t do much with it, but now it’s my main device at work and for work traveling. It allows me to do most things I need to do. I love the battery life too although I have noticed it that hit has started to go faster than before and that is probably because I use it more!

    I just wish it would be easier to multi task on the iPad. Most time you can’t be working on two diff apps at the same time. If you open youtube you can’t go back to pages without it stopping for instance. That’s a bit frustrating but apart from that I love it. I have also started using it to read through the kindle app and I must say I think I like it more than read books as I can highlight words, search for its meaning etc …but most importantly because the size of the font . I hate small font books !!

    Gráinne Conole has been raving about the mini iPad … I think that’s another device I might have to look into and maybe even give this one to my mum as I think the iPad is very intuitive thus suitable to people who are less competent with the mouse and keyboard …

  3. Nb I believe if you’re prepared to DIY, its not that expensive to replace the battery on an iPad. That said, like you, I too still have a 1st gen iPad (64GB 3G) which I haven’t parted with yet despite also having a new iPad and most recently an iPad mini too. On reflecting on my own use – I only really use the 1st gen iPad now when watching F1 using the F1 timing app (along with the new iPad and iPad mini and the iPhone all displaying different feeds/video), but it has served me well.

    I was really glad to have opted for the 3G version as at that time, I couldn’t us tethering on the phone with O2, and even when I could, having the iPad on a different provider has meant being able to stay connected when O2 wasn’t available etc. it’s a bit of a grumble that Apple have stopped updating iOS for the iPad 1 as its missing some of the niceties of iOS 6 and the screen is noticeably poorer than the retina (I was very sceptical that it needed improving but going back, feels like I need glasses to read things in comparison).

    But most recently, I treated myself to the iPad mini and now, I rarely use either “full fat” iPad. I had thought the 10″ iPad was an ideal form factor, but it now feels bloated and heavy with very little benefit unless watching videos or photo editing (I do a lot of content creation/editing on iPads and have always disputed them only being consumption devices). The other thing though is that getting the iPad mini, I wasn’t worried about “only” getting the 16GB wifi only version as my work flows are now almost entirely cloud based, so needing very little local storage, and I have the iPhone tethering if needed for 3G.

    The next gen developments are difficult to predict for me now as I’m not finding may fundamental shortfalls…what about you?

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