Once upon a time, when the iPad was a new thing, I bought one. I didn't believe in it as a gaming platform, or really an anything platform. But I did believe in the App Store as a digital distribution platform, and tried to get a project off the ground reviewing apps. Fast forward, and those Gen One iPads can't do a whole lot these days. What do you do with your similarly outdated tech?
My project didn't succeed, and I lost interest in the iPad for a while. Flipboard was cool, but as a gamer, the Master Race has little need for touch devices. The odd worthy game that was made for touch held interest, but all the games trying to port console controls onto the screen, forcing me to smudge my thumb all over a circle without force feedback? Or worse, try to aim in an FPS? No, thanks.
So the iPad has actually seen more use by guests of my house than myself over the years, until this last weekend, when I wanted to dust it off for another project. Hitting the app store to grab a few apps I wanted to review, I kept coming up against messages like "IMPORTANT: Requires iPad2+ or newer", or "IMPORTANT: Requires iOS 6 or later." iOS 6 doesn't run on the first iPads, and there were more errors to come.
"Could not install because app requires a gyroscope". "Could not install because app requires a forward-facing camera". And when I finally could get a new game installed, a simple match 3, I was warned that my specs were lower than recommended and the game might run slower than intended. It did.
The funny thing is, even though it's been surpassed in hardware, software, and features, it still is quite a slick little machine, in the grand scheme of things. I have to feel like it's capable of doing more than Flipboard. There's certainly no way I'm buying another iPad, but what could this be used for, aside from the obvious option of giving it away?
Tech is now a space where re-purposing old gear has become an art. Hardware surpasses itself so quickly these days. What do we do with those old PCs that don't run new games anymore? Or old phones? What have you done?
[Computer Engineer] Image by Shutterstock