Uses for a First-Generation (Original) iPad

Give an outdated tablet new purpose

Apple stopped supporting the original iPad in 2011, but if you still have one it's not completely useless. It's still quite capable of performing some of the everyday tasks you normally use a laptop or desktop PC to perform. Here are some uses for your 1st-generation iPad.

People showing all the ways to use an iPad

Couch Web Surfing

The modern-day couch potato doesn't just sit in front of the tube mindlessly watching anything on television. Multitasking is the common pastime: surfing the web, checking Facebook, or even live-tweeting a commentary on the pilot of a new TV show. And let's not forget looking up that familiar face on IMDB. Your old 1st-generation iPad can handle all of this quite easily, if not as quickly as current-gen devices.

Reading in Bed

The iPad has always been a great e-reader. You can use the Kindle app to read ebooks you bought from Amazon. Barnes & Noble, Google, and other companies have iOS apps as well. While not as lightweight as the iPad Mini, the original iPad still serves as a capable bedside tablet and reader.

Woman using digital tablet on bed
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Want to load your 1st-generation iPad up with apps? The App Store still offers plenty, but if you can't find what you are looking for and you know it exists, there's a neat trick for downloading apps onto the original iPad.

The Vacation Tablet

Most people aren't comfortable bringing expensive electronics along on vacation, but don't like relying on a phone's smaller display as their only digital outlet. The original iPad still does a great job of playing movies and it's more than adequate for searching the web and staying connected. And if you do happen to leave it somewhere or it gets stolen, it won't sting quite as much as your brand-new iPad going missing.

Beautiful beach background for summer travel with sun,coconut tree and beach wooden bed on sand with beautiful blue sea and blue sky. Summer mood sun beach background concept.
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Learn to Play Music

YouTube goes a long way toward filling the role of music teacher. Not only can you learn practice exercises and brush up on theory, you can pick up actual songs with videos showing you how to play. Plus, the iPad fits on a music stand, so you can play along with the video.

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An Excellent Boombox

Set your iPad up in your living room next to a Bluetooth speaker and you have the world's best boombox, or at the very least, the easiest boombox to control. The iPad makes a great iPod, and with its Bluetooth capability, you can get great sound out of it.

Woman wearing headphones and listening to music on a tablet
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A Handy Recipe Book

The iPad also can help out in the kitchen. Not only can you can use the iBooks app to download recipe books, you can write down your own recipes in the Notes app. There are also cooking apps from websites like AllRecipes and Epicurious.

Woman with digital tablet cooking in kitchen
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Dedicated Email Inbox

If you like to keep current on your email, you can set up the iPad next to your computer and use it as a dedicated inbox. This approach is great if you have only one monitor for your computer and you get a lot of emails that need quick responses. This setup effectively allows you to multitask, and it saves you the price of an extra monitor. 

Close-up of female hands using digital tablet
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Coffee Table Photo Album

Photo albums have entered the digital era. The iPad is a great way to store all of your photos, so when you have friends and family over, you can show them what you've been up to. You also can use the original iPad as a photo frame, putting a slideshow on to ​display all of your photos.

Digital tablet on coffee table
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The 'Kids' iPad'

If you're tired of sharing your iPad with your children and you're thinking of upgrading to a newer model, you can kill two birds with one stone. The original iPad may not be as snappy as new models, but it can still be great at casual gaming. You may need to use the download trick to put more games on it, but it can be a fine tablet for younger kids.

Kids using an iPad
Thijs Knaap / Flickr

Sell it on eBay or Craigslist

Believe it or not, the 16GB Wi-Fi first-generation iPad still has some value. Selling your old iPad and getting the best price can help subsidize an upgrade to a newer model.

Digital tablet and twenty dollar bills
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