Ever since I upgraded to the iPad Mini, I quickly realized I will never use my original 16GB iPad 1 in the same way I’ve used it for the last two years. But instead of selling it, I’ve decided to make it a dedicated family media album that can for the first time be loaded up with all my favorite family photos, videos, and even a few favorite song playlists for background music purposes.
While the iPad 1 could fetch me $150-$200 (maybe!), I figured I’d get more mileage out of it by archiving and displaying precious family photos. Such a device could also be used as a dedicated business portfolio which may be presented to clients on a regular basis.
In this article I will explain how to strip your iPad of unnecessary content, and rebuild it as a dedicated media device. Even the iPad 1, which unfortunately is not supported by iOS 6, works with Apple TV. This means the device could sit near the television and be used for presentation purposes at any time.
Backup to Computer
The first thing you may want to do is backup the current content of your old iPad. If you have been using wireless syncing for a while, you should make a wired connection between the iPad and iTunes, right-click on the old iPad in the source pane, and then select “Backup“.
This backup will enable you to restore the content of your old iPad if you ever need it. You can also restore content from your upgraded iPad.
After a successful backup, delete all the apps that you will not use on a regular basis. You can do this via iTunes or directly on your iPad. Opening Settings > General > Storage and individually selecting apps is the probably the easiest way to delete apps if you have amassed a lot of them.
For my media family album, I mainly chose to keep photography and video related apps, a few magazine and gaming apps, and the Dropbox app for accessing my cloud-based documents. I also retained the Netflix and Amazon Instant Video apps for movie watching. My goal of course was to free up as much space for photos and videos as possible.
Adding More Media
Now click on the Photo section in iTunes and select the iPhoto albums, Events, and Faces that you will want to fill up your device with. I suggest also selecting a few smart folders that will be wirelessly updated on your device as you add (or delete) photos to your iPhoto library on your Mac.
Make similar selections for family movies and TV shows you want to archive. The selections you make will be based on your needs and purposes.
Since you may not be using your old iPad for daily purposes, you might also consider turning off apps and services that you will not be using. For example, in Settings > iCloud, I disabled Mail, Calendars, Notes, and Reminders.
Because I will be using my old iPad as a media album, I moved all the apps off the homepage so that a single family photo is visible for presentation purposes.
I put a few apps in the dock including Photos, Videos, and Instant Video that may be used from time to time. The goal here is to make the iPad clutter-free as possible, and to use it like a traditional paper photo album whereby the content can be easily opened and viewed.
Setting Up Picture Frame
With your old iPad cleaned up, it can now also be used as a bonafide picture frame to show off to family and friends. You can run the Picture Frame (an animated slideshow) when the iPad is in Lock mode. You tab the Picture Frame icon in the bottom right of the iPad, and the photos you selected for that feature will display continuously until you unlock the iPad.
To set up Picture Frame, go into Settings > Picture Frame and select photos that you want to appear in the slideshow. This is where you also create settings for the type of photo transition and the number of seconds each photo or set of photos (Origami style) will display.
You can make similar slideshow settings for individual albums in the Photos app of the iPad.
Apple no longer supports the original iPad, except for individual app updates, but the device seems solid enough for media consumption purposes. In other words, there’s no reason to recycle the iPad anytime soon, but rather use it as a another place to archive and display your precious memories.
For other iPad photo related articles, check out these: