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iPad 1st-Gen: 5 Things It’s Still Good At



The iPad has come a long way since it was originally launched back in 2010, and while the 1st-generation iPad has since quietly passed away, many users are still using their original iPads for numerous tasks.

Back then, the 1st-generation iPad was a revolutionary device, and while tablets already existed, the iPad changed the way consumers used them. However, as Apple does, a new iPad came along every year, quickly pushing the 1st-gen iPad back into a corner.

It’s stuck running iOS 5 and most (if not all) modern games can’t play on the original iPad. Most apps require iOS 6 at least, leaving the older device left to rot without any support.

However, there are actually still a lot of uses for the 1st-generation iPad, and while there have been a whopping four new models of the iPad since the original, many users are still sporting the legacy device, since it essentially “still works fine.”

While you may not be able to install any app you want, you can still play some games on it and even load it up with movies and books.

Here are five things that the 1st-generation iPad is still good at.

Basic Games

While the original iPad can’t play games like Modern Combat or Infinity Blade, it can still play a lot of basic games that don’t require a lot of processing power. Games that come to mind are Solitaire, Prince of Persia Retro, Sonic the Hedgehog, and even the popular Candy Crush Saga.

I’m not a huge gamer myself, but I still like to dabble with casual games every now and then, and I know there are similar users that exist. For this, the original iPad is the perfect device.


Watching Movies

Depending on what storage size your original iPad is, you can load up a handful of movies and TV shows to have them on hand to watch while you’re traveling or working out at home. Despite the original iPad being four years old, it’s 1024 x 768 display still works well with videos.

Granted, you won’t get the HD experience from movies that you can get on newer iPads with the Retina display, but the good news is that you can squeeze more movies onto your iPad since they don’t need to be in HD, thus cutting down on the file size of each movie.


Reading Books

If you’re a reading nut and wish you could just put all of your books onto one device, the original iPad is a great device for that. Amazon’s Kindle app still works great on the original iPad, and you can also use Apple’s own iBooks app.

Plus, if you have reading content in PDF form, you can also transfer those to your iPad and read them in their digital form. You can also use a PDF reader app and use it to annotate documents and take notes.

Listening to Music

So while the iPad is a bit too big to be a traditional MP3 player, you can still store your music on it and listen to it whenever you want.


The built-in speakers on the original iPad aren’t terrific, but it has a headphone jack to plug in any headphones you want. When I used to have the original iPad, that’s pretty much what I used it for after the tablet lost support for many apps.

Plus, you can listen to your music while playing some casual games, making the original iPad a great multitasking device, even for its old age.

Casual Browsing

While Safari on iOS 5 isn’t as fast as it is today in newer versions of iOS, it still makes for a good browser whenever you want to do some casual web browsing.

What makes it perfect for this is that the iPad is a great instant-on device, giving you access to Safari almost instantly once you unlock the device. It’s perfect as a coffee table iPad so to speak, allowing quick access to information if you don’t happen to have your laptop or smartphone within arm’s reach.



  1. Lucy

    01/09/2015 at 7:05 am

    How can you get iBooks on the first generation iPad?

  2. Sam

    04/20/2015 at 6:26 am

    ” Amazon’s Kindle app still works great on the original iPad, …”

    Not anymore. Amazon (probably in cahoots with Apple) excluded iPad 1 owners by omitting iOS5 support in later versions with no intentions of adding it back. Ye, I know it would have been easy to keep compatibility — what? they think they’re the only ones who have been writing software for 30+ years?! — but you have to keep in mind the power that Apple wields and their desire to profit from your misery in forcing you to “upgrade” to iPad-de-jour (or, from Amazon’s POV, buy a Kindle too LOL).

  3. gsharp

    05/14/2015 at 10:49 pm

    back in 2010 you make it sound so long ago. guess what i paid dearly for my ipad 1g and right now the only thing it does is surf the net and it doesn’t do that well because of glitches. so i would say that $100/year is a pretty expensive piece of garbage. i guarantee no iPhone or other apple device will ever be in my future. good luck apple your days are limited.

  4. Jean

    06/02/2015 at 7:18 am

    I just recieved an iPad 1st generation. It runs iBook, Kindle, Netflix, Cozi, Evernote, The Weather Channel and Opera Mini fine. Perfect for me. Great to carry books, music, schedules and calenders with me wherever I go. I can receive and send emails and watch movies. Trick is to have already purchased the apps on your computer in itunes then go on to the iPad and download the apps from the app store from your purchase list, it will ask if you want to download the last compatible version for the OS the iPad is running I select yes and it downloads an older but working version of the app.

  5. John

    07/27/2015 at 2:19 pm

    I have a ipaD 1st gen….always logging out while ur browsing in safari….I want to fix it…but I dunno how?? Any help guys??

  6. Lisa

    08/07/2015 at 5:30 am

    I just bought a cheap 1st gen iPad, thinking I just use it for music, only to discover I can’t load itube and the like. Can’t believe I was so dumb. Are there any other similar apps I can get to enable me to get free music? Any ideas please?

    • janine bradbury

      05/01/2016 at 4:57 pm

      Spotify ☺

  7. Priscillar

    08/07/2015 at 1:17 pm

    Apple is actually quiet annoying, u spend a lot ov money buying a new gadget but wen it gets old it can’t work anymore bcoz they have changed all the operating systems. So do they expect a person to buy each new product they make since they phase out the old ones. It doesn’t make sense to me. There days are indeed numbered

  8. Jordan

    11/08/2015 at 9:43 pm

    I just got a 1st gen iPad and I can do anything with it.i set up an iTunes account, set up the tablet, and “tried” downloading the apps I needed…but it won’t let me!! Is there any way I can restore everything my daughter had on it before I got it?

  9. Colleen

    11/24/2015 at 1:06 pm

    The only good use is a paper weight. I am so disappointed that I paid this much when I did, for it to now be obsolete!

  10. evegpt

    12/12/2015 at 4:20 pm

    You can get to you tube by typing in m. Before Then just type into search what song you are wanting to play. I guess the m stands for mobile. It works.

  11. Gary

    03/13/2016 at 10:46 am

    Apple can kiss my backside ……. why the hell can’t I get a PDF reader for iOS 5.x ??????

    F Apple !!!!

  12. Darcy

    02/12/2017 at 2:54 pm


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