It suddenly feels a lot heavier, doesn’t it? The streamlined design no longer impresses you, and as for the lack of app choice… your iPad has been left behind.
Make sure you’re not: here are a few tell-tale signs that it’s time to upgrade your iPad.
Compatibility Issues & App Crashes
Sadly it is a fact of tech that as operating systems are updated, older software stops working. For instance, an app designed for iOS 3.2 (the first version of iOS for iPad) might have been updated by the developers for iOS 5.5.1 (the last version of iOS for iPad) but subsequent updates don’t apply to your device.
The result is that you might be missing features, or demands on your hardware are made that result in app stability decreasing. My first-generation iPad had problems running the WordPress app, for instance, an issue that occurred as new features were added with each revision. Once I upgraded to an iPad Air, the problems with that app were gone. Unfortunately, as you probably realise, iOS 7 and 8 aren’t designed to run on the original iPad, which means that you miss out on many new features and the apps that take advantage of them.
As new iPad models become more sophisticated, so too do apps and games. Upgrading your device is the only way to stay on the curve.
New Accessories Are Incompatible
Your charger has worn out, so you head to your local store or electrical retailer to pick up a replacement, only to find that no genuine Apple chargers for your iPad are available. Instead, all of the chargers feature the compact Lightning connector.
Alternatively, you buy a new case for your iPad, only to find when you get it home that it is too small, designed instead for the iPad Air. You might have also found that free screen protectors shipped with that tablet, but these too are useless for your iPad 1.
And we haven’t even touched upon the topic of docking stations and speakers.
Your early iPad is getting old. You’ll need to scour eBay and Amazon carefully for suitable accessories, or just upgrade.
Battery Runs Down Quickly
The iPad 1 shipped with a rechargeable Li-Po battery that offered a considerable 10 hours of use. How long does your battery last for now?
Li-Po batteries are used in iPad and Android tablets, and tips for maintaining a strong charge apply to both devices. Batteries degrade over time as they complete charge “cycles” and the older the device, the more cycles it has completed. Extreme heat and cold temperatures can also negatively affect batteries, as can fully discharging the cell.
Is your iPad dropping charge within 5 hours? If so, it looks like an upgrade is the answer.
Dead Pixels and a Dodgy Display
A fully working touch sensitive display is required for you to use your iPad. If the display stops detecting touch and gestures, or if it stops displaying things correctly, then you’ve got a problem.
Like TVs, laptops and any other LCD-based display, older iPads can end up with dead or stuck pixels. While a little massaging (or even the help of an app) can alleviate this, repeated discovery of stuck pixels is a strong clue that your LCD display is past its prime.
A display with scratches, cracks or even chips in it will struggle to respond to contact. Even if you aren’t using an antiquated iPad, a device with a damaged screen is certainly on borrowed time.
Unresponsive Hardware Buttons
One of the worries with any portable device is that the hardware buttons might wear out. Issues with the volume controls and rotation lock switch can be circumvented, but an inability to access the home screen is another matter entirely.
While it is possible to recalibrate the home button or even replace it with the on-screen button through Settings > General > Accessibility > Assistive Touch, buttons that aren’t working correctly can indicate issues with the state of the hardware itself.
Rather than find yourself unable to switch on or operate your iPad, it’s a better idea to look for an upgrade.