Utilizing an older (1st gen?) iPad?

Dec 3, 2016 2:53PM PST

I was just gifted an old iPad that I'd like to use it for some "everyday" tasks. However, none of the apps I attempted to download/install will run. Instead, I get a prompt which informs me that said app(s) require a minimum of ios 8 or 9 or 10 (I am currently running 5.1.1) Now, I'm NOT talking about anything advanced, just Google Chrome,  Mozilla Firefox & Dropbox all three of which refused me. ***???

OK, I'm well versed in the Windows upgrade process, so how different could ios be to update? So, I went to the apple/ios webpage and cannot find any links to download any ios updates. Again, ***??? Sad

I have intentionally avoided the Apple "ecosystem" for many years because I have always had a fundamental problem with this sort of closed system in which users will only be able to get what they (Apple) want you to have and nothing more.

Am I missing something or, am I wrong in assuming that this is INTENTIONAL on the part of Apple to force people to constantly spend money on new hardware by prematurely making otherwise fully functioning hardware into trash?

Perhaps, one (or more) members of this c/net community who are familiar with ios can advise or point me in the direction I need to be going in to make this iPad into something I can use. Or is it destined for the junk heap?

Steve J.

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I hear you
Dec 3, 2016 3:44PM PST
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Yes, I was considering "jailbreaking"
Dec 3, 2016 5:29PM PST

Thank you for the suggestion... And yes, I am perfectly willing to (temporarily) forego my (ever increasing) tirade against the Apple oligarchy in order to make something out of nothing

This is an "uncharted" tech area for me. As stated in my original post, I'm not particularly familiar with ios but, since I don't have any money invested in this device, the thought of jailbreaking it had crossed my mind without too much fear of "bricking" an expensive item.

Regarding the age of the device: I fail to see what relevance that has to this discussion. As, the original owner who gave it to me, rarely utilized it, it is physically and from what I can tell, electronically pristine. And while I am aware of the seemingly daily advancements that happen in the tech sector regarding processor speeds, and storage capacities, etc, I see no good reason why a device which is in good condition both electronically and physically cannot be legitimately flashed with updated firmware/software and utilized for a longer period of time as can be done with Windows hardware... A PC from 2010 for example can quite easily be updated to run Microsoft's latest Win 10 build. And while it may be a little "pokey" and sluggish, it'll still allow you to install Chrome & Firefox so that you can browse the web.

The other big issue I have with Apple's planned obsolescence has to do wth the environment. What happens to those TENS OF MILLIONS of discarded iPads, iMacs & iPhones? Question: Being that Apple products typically have significantly shorter usable lifespans, does Apple have any sort of comprehensive recycling program where ALL of the devices it puts out to pasture can be disassembled, materials sorted and re-purposed? And while I could ask the same question of HP or Dell, etc, at least Windows PCs are not replaced quite as often as Apple products.

Perhaps, I'll write back with my jailbreaking experiences.

Thanks again for the suggestion!


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Apple does indeed have a comprehensive recycling program
Dec 4, 2016 7:12AM PST

details of which you can find here:

Unfortunately, your iPad V1 does not qualify for any monetary rebate but is still covered by the program.

As an aside, I work for an organization that replaces their Dell laptops and workstations every 3 years as they are called upon to perform more and more but still give the end user a workable experience.
I don't mention that to become embroiled in a drawn out conversation about the rights or wrongs of the practice, just to mention that it happens in the PC world too.


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Very impressive recycling/green initiative PR
Dec 4, 2016 11:45PM PST

I'm not surprised that Apple has this sort of program, I just wonder how many people actually know it exists & fully utilize it.

And yes, I realize that the iPad I recently acquired has zero
used/trade-in dollar value. Which is why it was gifted to me in
the first place! And speaking of trade-in value: why is it that the average trade-in value of an iPhone is about $50 yet, a refurb is typically only discounted by about $100 below the price of a new one? Answer: GREED

Regarding your workplace replacing its Dell PCs every 3 years... I see that quite often & simply categorize that as typical, corporate waste. The difference there is A) Even if every corporate entity followed this same wasteful practice it still wouldn't equal the amount of devices, purchased (and replaced) by consumers.
B) A 3-year old Windows computer can be easily wiped clean, upgraded & re-sold  which is what I'm sure the system integration company who replaces them or you company's IT department does with those computers every 3 years.

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Not really all greed.
Dec 5, 2016 4:32AM PST

"And speaking of trade-in value: why is it that the average trade-in value of an iPhone is about $50 yet, a refurb is typically only discounted by about $100 below the price of a new one? Answer: GREED"

The iPhones that are refurbished by Apple, and only Apple, are completely refurbished and carry a full one year warranty AND are eligible for AppleCare warranty.
iPhones "refurbished" by other companies carry something like a 90 day warranty and no AppleCare coverage.


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If you read my posts carefully
Dec 5, 2016 6:09PM PST

you would see that I am NOT at All critical of the quality of Apple Products . In fact, I'd be the first to agree that Apple has some of the most visually appealing and well constructed computer products on the market today. And, the fact that for the most part they stand by their products for a full year as compared with most of the other players in this space, who typically only offer 90 days is a refreshing change. My problem with Apple is they charge a premium for their high quality products but the usable lifespan of those products is typically much shorter than most other consumer electronics/computer products and this is by design, NOT accident

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I wish you could leave
Dec 4, 2016 7:35AM PST

The old "it should last longer" or the other "is an evil company" discussions at the door.

To get this to a newer iOS will test your tech skills. And given the worth of the tablet it's a fine time to dive in.

These phones and tablets are not PCs. These are welded shut devices that we have little play room. But it looks possible so why not?

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Nothing better than a little "spirited debate"
Dec 4, 2016 11:06PM PST

First off, one of the things that makes this forum great is that as long as there are no personal attacks launched, every participant is free to voice their own views and opinions. Second, the purpose of my original post was to gain some knowledge and assistance in trying to resuscitate what appeared to be a salvageable device.

I'm a reasonably tech savvy person but unfortunately, coming up with nothing after spending quite a few more hours than I felt was necessary, just rekindled my ire and disdain for Apple both as a company & their products.

Regarding the concept: "it should last longer" Well simply put: A TABLET WHICH WAS AS EXPENSIVE & BUILT AS WELL AS THIS IPAD WAS IN 2010 SHOULD LAST LONGER!

I have looked at a few of the sub-$100 no-name, Android based tablets and they definitely feel the part. But, an Apple ipad even this 6 year old one I have feels luxurious. From the brushed aluminum and shiny glass exterior to the solid buttons, to the bright display. So, why can't it be flashed to run the latest version of iOS? Shocked

We all know the answer... planned obsolescence, they want you to plunk down another $400 or more for the "new & improved" version. And while I'm not such an old curmudgeon that I can't understand technical advancements in processing speeds, brighter displays or increased storage capacities. I just cannot see any justification in intentionally DISABLING an older (and working) device by deleting earlier app builds from the app store.

My initial Google search fo "jail-breaking" solutions turned up 2 similar yet, slightly different approaches. The first one I tried loaded smoothly but the offerings from the alternative app store seemed to be focused on games and things to make changes to the appearance, neither of which are of interest to me. I couldn't get the second one to load. So, I may try to re-download it. Although, it too was going to point to the same alternative app store so I my not bother and just look for a different solution.

Again, any/all suggestions are certainly welcome.


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I opted to not get into evil company
Dec 5, 2016 7:38AM PST

Or they are out to get you parts of the discussion. So we have google and a few methods to try to get to iOS 6. If I had such an iPad you bet I'd try that.

Fair disclosure. I'm a programmer, electronics designer and more. Wrote way too much code from routers, wireless remotes, handhelds, PCs from DOS to current day and well, the ONE THING is that we try. We must try. There are folk that demand support and if you were my neighbor that tried and asked nice I might take it in if you agreed it would be fine if I bricked it, I'd try.

But I get the feeling you understand this.

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