Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

I came, I saw, iPad

New old iPad

I have a new toy to play with – an iPad. It’s a hand-me down from my soon to be in-laws which I was only too happy to find a new home for.

It’s the first generation model, and is therefore a bit limited in what it can do. It’s a little slow at times, doesn’t have a camera or a retina display, and it can’t run iOS 6 – iOS 5.1.1 is the most recent release that works on it. This means that some apps, like 1Password, won’t run, but for the most part everything else works okay. But, it’s an iPad, and it didn’t cost me anything.

Since I already own an iPhone many of the apps also worked on the iPad so I was able to get up and running with it quite quickly. So far, the only extra apps I’ve added are Tweetbot, which has a separate iPad edition rather than a universal app, and Reeder, which again has a separate iPad app but is currently free.

The bigger screen is great for apps like Reeder, Feedly and Pocket, where being able to view a whole page makes reading much easier. It would be nicer if it had the retina display though – having owned an iPhone 4 and then iPhone 5 I’ve become accustomed to higher pixel depth.

Although this does mean that I no longer need to save up for an iPad in the short term (and with a wedding, honeymoon and probably a new house to pay for this is welcome), I may still consider buying an iPad Mini in future. I imagine the smaller screen is a bit easier to handle, and a good compromise between the full-size iPad and the iPhone. And if I do decide to upgrade, this iPad is still worth around £90 to recyclers.


  1. Neil I started with an iPad 2 and it became part of my right arm. It went everywhere. But now I have an iPhone 5 the iPad sits quietly on its own most of the week. However it is ideal for catch up tv and books and long documents. Also for slide shows of my photo albums. I tend to think the mini iPad wouldn’t be an advantage if you have these two.

  2. I’ve had my iPad (1st gen) for just over 3 years now. It works pretty well. Sure there are many apps I can’t run due to the minuscule 128MB’s of executable RAM, but I still use it every day.

    One of the problems with iOS and the App Store are things like what you said about 1Password. I run 1Password on my iPad just fine. It’s 1Password Pro 3.7.2. However, this is the problem. If I hadn’t downloaded that version into iTunes when it came out, I wouldn’t be able to run 1Password.

    With OS X, developers can post older versions of their apps for folks running Snow Leopard and Lion for those that can’t run Mountain Lion. (I’m one of those poor folks)

    If AgileBits had created a new 1Password Pro app for 4.x and kept 3.x separate, they would be able to offer 1st gen iPad users 1Password.

    Here in lies the biggest problem with the iOS App Store. The perception that users that paid for the 3.x version of 1Password Pro expect to get every upgrade to 1Password Pro for free until AgileBits goes out of business!

    A bit of advice with your new iPad… Keep the number of apps installed on the device down to as few as possible. I currently have 158 apps and that’s a bit too many. Not because of how much memory on my device (I currently have just under 10GB’s free.)

    Nope, it’s because Springboard (internal app that shows, manages and launches all the apps on your device) takes up a chunk of memory for each app installed (has to display them and keep track of them) and can’t be removed from executable memory.

    At one point in time, I had over 400 apps installed and I could barely run anything. A developer pointed this fact out to me and I verified it by an app that shows how much memory each process uses on iOS. I really want to get the number of apps under 100, but I keep finding apps that I either want to play a couple of times a week or want to have around when needed.

    Otherwise, enjoy you new old toy, and congrat’s on the wedding!