Monday, 10 February 2014

Finding a use for an iPad 1

I'd noticed that most of the recent applications in the App Store won't install on my iPad 1 anymore. They either need a gyroscope or IOS 6 or 7. My iPad is stuck on IOS 5.

The first problem with this is that I haven't found a way to browse the App Store for applications that ARE compatible. This is incredibly frustrating, since its just left to trial and error finding some that will work.

I'd heard about the 'download the latest version that is compatible' feature, so decided that since my iPad is in awesome condition I'd gift it to my parents - who wouldn't be needing the latest and greatest features.

This hasn't been so simple, and I suspect others might have the same problem so I've tried to document what I've found:

  1. Doing a 'reset' to erase the iPad (before gifting it to someone) will leave you in the unfortunate situation of not being able to install many applications very easily.
  2. At this point, it doesn't seem possible to install applications requiring > IOS 5 via the device - its not compatible so not allowed.
  3. So to work around this, you can use iTunes to 'purchase' applications. Since using iTunes doesn't seem to be aware of your devices, it'll let you purchase anything.
  4. Now you have some purchases, you can return to your device and open the App Store. Go to the 'Purchased' tab and then individually install each application. Hopefully at this point you'll get the 'download the latest version that is compatible' message.
A couple of notes here:

  • I did all of this while connected over the cable to the computer running iTunes.
  • When I first did it, the applications seem to hang while installing, and never completed installing properly. The solution to this was to delete the applications from the device, then return to the 'Purchased' tab and reinstall. (I think the first installation of the apps may have been due to an iTunes sync which failed and never recovered - presumably because they are not compatible. By deleting them and reinstalling them from the iPad itself via the purchased tab, I got the 'install latest compatible' message which resulted in success).
  • Update 1: I am experiencing a lot of crashes on the device - mainly with the App Store and iTunes. I don't know if this happened before I reset/erased the iPad or if it has just started happening now.
Some obvious things could be improved here:

  1. The App Store could let you filter by 'compatible with device x' e.g. only show me those applications that will work on my 'iPad 1'
  2. When you install apps from the device, it could just install the latest compatible version right there (bypassing the need to do anything special).
If I've got any of this wrong, I'd love to hear. It would be extremely useful to be able to EASILY continue using the iPad 1.