Am I the only one still using an iPad 1?

Discussion in 'Coffee Bar' started by Poki, Sep 7, 2014.

  1. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Just a little story of me, feeling weird using and loving my ancient iPad 1. (Caution - long! If you don't want to read the whole thing, please just comment what you think about still using an iPad 1)

    The not so little gadget came to me about four years and three months ago. It was one of the first devices sold in central Europe. I played out a few press contacts to being able to get the device about two weeks earlier than the average early adopter who pre-ordered months before the actual launch. Back then, it was stupidly futuristic. In Austria, most people aren't too interested in technology. And while they still buy fancy gadgets once they see them in local stores, most Austrians don't read any technology-focused magazines, blogs or websites. At that time, nobody knew what that weird big black thing in my hand was (no pun intended).

    It was new. It was shiny. It was not only state of the art, it was the future.

    Coming with an Apple A4 chip, using a single core clocked at 1 GHz, the iPad 1 used to be a beast. It felt fast, and offered a completely new internet experience. The 256 MB RAM didn't feel limiting at that time - websites loaded adequately fast and all the apps were optimized pretty well. It didn't offer too many features. No multi tasking. No notifications. No app folders. Not even the option to mark all emails read.

    But I didn't care. I intended it to browse the web and read my RSS feeds on the couch. And for that, it was much more comfortable than my huge, heavy, loud and hot 15" MacBook Pro (mid 2009).

    Being a new, shiny gadget, naturally I also used it to play some games, watch some movies and try some things out. Loving dedicated video game consoles and handhelds, I still got a fair amount of fun out of the iPad. Games like Galaxy on Fire 2 and Sentinel 3 were stunning and deep experiences. Games like Super Mega Worm, Cliffed or Badland offered quick bursts of fun. And it also was the perfect platform to play Sudoku, Mindmaster, Chess & co.

    I never really filled the 64 gig of storage. I just was glad I didn't need to care about how big an app was. I didn't need to choose a single movie to bring with me. I always had a huge chunk of music on there. Everything was there.

    With the updates to iOS 4 and 5, the iPad got an amazing new range of features. iCloud and AirPlay integration, home screen folders, multi-tasking and multi-touch gestures are just a few of them. But then, the misery began. Due to the tiny amount of RAM, the iPad 1 wasn't able to run iOS 6. Or any other iOS version since then. While all my other devices happily communicate to each other using iCloud, my iPad needs clunky workarounds with Dropbox or something similar to get some data. Hardly any app on the App Store can be downloaded to the device since they require iOS 7. And notably, it's stuck with the worst music app Apple ever made.

    iOS 5, with all the nice features it brought, had a horrible look. Some parts were horribly skeumorphic, some parts were clean and flat. You literally can see the internal fight at Apple between Johny Ive's hate for skeumorphic user interfaces and the iPad UI team which thought the opposite.

    Also, it starts to get a little slow. Just as a comparison point - using Geekbench, the iPad 1 scores roughly 200 points, while the one year old iPad Air scores 2500 points. Using Apples own benchmark, which includes memory and graphic speeds, the iPad Air is 36 times faster than the iPad 1. Thirty six times.

    Here in Austria, the iPad only started becoming popular by the time the iPad 3 launched. When a friend comes over and sees my iPad, I sometimes get the question "Which iPad is this? The iPad 3?" When I tell them it's the iPad 1, they look at me like I just showed them a living dinosaur. They grab the iPad and look at it as it is a relict of long forgotten times. And in some way, they're right. It's an important piece of history of modern consumer electronics.

    But isn't it still a capable and modern device? The display, while "only" offering a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels, still looks awesome. The IPS panel with LED backlight offers rich colors, good contrast and great viewing angles. The resolution only becomes a problem when reading small text on websites, and in that case, you simply can zoom in a little bit. The battery still holds multiple days, or more than 8 hours actual usage.

    The device is much thicker than the new models, but I still think it has been the most beautiful iPad design of all time. The flat border simply looks awesome, and more importantly, it feels good in your hand. It looks and feels like it's a new device.

    And because of how well it still works, I still use it for the same things I intended to use it four years back. I don't do the novelty things I did because it's a shiny new gadget anymore, like playing games on it. But it has the best YouTube app there ever was. It shows more than three videos on a page (looking at you, new official YouTube app). It is AirPlay compatible, so that I can see all the YouTube videos on my TV in HD. And most notably, it literally is not able to display any ad - video or other. Watching hours of YouTube on my TV without ever having to see any kind of ad is an incredible experience, especially since the ads got more and more annoying during the past 12 months.

    My favorite RSS reade - Pulse - works beautifully on the iPad 1. And while the built-in Pulse browser sometimes crashes due to memory overflow, it is fast and beautiful when it works. The browser displays all websites correctly. And while it takes a while to load a website, it's just fast enough to browse some sites while watching a movie, where browsing speed is not a huge priority.

    I don't use it for music, since the music app is actually that bad. But streaming podcasts and audiobooks to my speakers via AirPlay works great. And due to the huge amount of storage, I have enough content for months on the device before needing to sync it again.

    It feels too slow to use it for work. But I literally always have a Mac in reach when I need to get work done. A MacBook beneath my couch, a Mac Mini on my desktop, an iMac at my workplace. So there's no real need for getting work done on the device. And when I need to get much work done on the move anytime, I'd prefer a MacBook Air by a mile. The traditional notebook form factor simply works better for actual work, in my opinion.

    So it's now more than four years later, and I still use the iPad for what I intended to use it. And it still does the job perfectly fine. So why shouldn't I continue to use it and go for a newer, shinier one - which displays my YouTube videos with ads? As I can't find a viable answer to this question right now, I'll continue using my iPad until I can.

    What do you think about this? Did you own an iPad 1, or do you still use one? Am I simply an ancient relict that doesn't know what's a usable device anymore?
  2. José De Bardi

    José De Bardi Assistant in Virtue Subscribing Member

    Aug 31, 2013
    Dorset, UK
    I also was an early iPad 1 adopter, I was in the US the week of the launch and there is a fun story around me finding and outlet that had one in stock, but I'll save it for another time!

    I used it A LOT when I first got it, for similar as you, as sofa surfer. However, a few months later when I got my MacBook Air it stopped being used (by me at least - my Wife took it on, until my next trip to the US when I got her an iPad 2). Since then I has sat in one of my cable/gadget boxes under the bed.
    I just found it too restrictive compared to the MacBook, even for surfing, typing became tiresome compared to a proper keyboard, and the multitasking was never very good (it still isn't on the latest iOS).
    The MacBook is basically the same size/weight and 1000 times more useful.
  3. Hawon

    Hawon TalkEmount Regular

    Feb 5, 2013
    Chicago, IL
    I purchased shiny new 64GB iPad 1 on the day of release in the US. I purchased all iWork apps and used quite well as school note taking with bluetooth keyboards. Then I skipped iPad 2 and purchased iPad 3 (should have waited for four), and now owns iPad Mini with Retina. I also owned original Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and currently owns Nexus 7 FHD (2013) as well.

    Device I use the most is my laptop, rMBP -> Nexus 7 FHD - > iPad Mini with Retina.
    Why do i use the iPad mini the least? laptop does the most of works, Nexus 7 is smaller and lighter to surf around, but still love reading on iPad Mini with Retina over the other two.

    Anyway, back to OP's original question, if it works well for you and does what you need it to do, keep it and don't be bothered by it.
    However, I assume you are asking this question because you want to upgrade and want to hear yes-
    Wait a bit though, it is about time for Apple to come out with a new version soon.
  4. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    I have a love / hate relationship with Apple. I would prefer an Android but all Android tablets I ever used would within a year crap out, slow down to a halt, develop charging problems etc. My friend still uses the original Apple just like Poki. My wife has a 3 and I have a Mini Retina that I use for work (love the size). The main reason I buy Apple tablets now is because I expect them to last and perform.
  5. jai

    jai TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Feb 4, 2013
    I think the secret to buying an iPad is always buy the most basic model.

    You are better off keeping photos and other media in the cloud anyway, and the price of extra storage on an iPad is ridiculous. And when it comes time to write them off, it isn't as painful.

    Poki, I think you are right to keep and use the original iPad 1. Rather than upgrading it, if you feel like you need something faster go for a mini. The way you use a mini is quite different to a full size iPad, so they kind of complement each other.
  6. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    I still have my original (16GB WiFi) iPad 1, but it now sits permanently enshrined in the kitchen in a little fold-up, under-the-cupboard stand where its sole use is to display recipes. With the advent of iOS 7 especially, and very soon iOS 8, there's simply no comparison between the capabilities of the original iPad and the newer ones. I'm not one to get sentimental about electronic devices. They're hunks of metal, glass, and plastic. When the original iPad outlives what little purpose it now serves, it'll be sent to the recyclers, to be (hopefully) turned into a device that has some utility.
  7. dragion

    dragion TalkEmount Top Veteran

    May 8, 2014
    Boston, MA
    I'm not sure if I should comment on this due to my professional stance regarding Apple, but I think the positive about upgrading to a more current version is for the Retina it an iPad or mini.
    I too had the 1st gen iPad and held onto it until the 4th generation iPad was released...I also ended up owning the iPad mini which I use on a daily basis.
    I found the first gen's build quality excellent and felt like it was made as a workhorse!

    My wife has the Nexus 7 and I use both my Sony Vaio Duo 13 & 27" iMac for personal & professional work.
  8. dannat

    dannat TalkEmount Regular

    Jun 22, 2014
    i still have mine [which i conned my work to pay most of the cost] , my child use it now -surprsiingly he still gets a few hrs out of it when plaing games -i only just pulled a lot of pdf's out of it on the weeekend from ibook & the kindle app [i had a lot of good books incl. photography books on it]
  9. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Seems like most have moved on, just like I expected. Well, it's still a great device for what I always intended to use it. In some important ways much better than the newer versions (YouTube).

    I'll buy an iPad Mini at some point anyway - either tomorrow's generation or the one next year. Not as a replacement to my full sized iPad, but rather as a complementary device.

    By the way, I work professionally with Apple devices too, but only with Macs, not iPads. Of course these work devices get replaces much more often. Just don't see the point in this particular case. Just as I intend to use my iPhone 5 another year.

    @jai: Yep, I'd agree now. GAS had brought me to buy the more expensive model back than. You know, it was a never before seen device, so the GAS was strong in me. ;) 
  10. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    I had some worries that the iPad mini would prove inadequate in some ways, especially with my aging eyes. But I still have my iPad II (in addition to the iPad I), and I hardly ever pick it up anymore, unless it's right at hand. The mini has proven itself to be more than adequate for all the tasks I use a tablet for, and it fits in every one of my camera bags as well, which the full-size iPads don't.
  11. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    I recently bought my first ipad, an 64gb Ipad 4 with the Retina display. Quite the difference from my sisters Ipad 2
  12. NkedFatWhiteGuy

    NkedFatWhiteGuy TalkEmount Veteran

    Oct 28, 2013
    Portland, Oregon
    I still have 2 of the first iPads and an iPad 3. I used the iPad 1 much more than the 3 because it always sat at my bedside.

    I don't use any of my iPads much anymore since I got a Galaxy Note 3 as a phone. It now seems like it is just as convenient and I don't have to worry about an additional device. Honestly though, if I had purchased a smaller phone, I would still be using that first iPad every single day...
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.