After selling more than 15 million iPads in just over a year, Apple is ready to provide the world a sneak peek at its next-generation device. On Wednesday (March 2) it is widely expected that Apple will introduce the iPad 2 ─ a sleeker, more powerful tablet to replace the original version in a market seemingly set to explode upward in 2011.
Executives at Apple have likely been taking notes this year, adding certain bells and whistles (cameras , anyone?) neglected on its seminal device. There is little doubt the iPad 2 will improve on the original iPad, and many early tablet adopters will be trading up as soon as Best Buy starts stocking them.
However, that doesn't mean your original iPad is immediately destined to become a doorstop or paperweight overnight. In fact, there are many fun options for the soon-to-be obsolete device. Below are just a few ideas for the iPad before it is retired for good.
Jailbreak your iPad
It is easy, fun and with one click, the tablet will become capable of doing things you never thought possible.
Jailbreaking your device — eliminating the operating restrictions that Apple imposes by default — allows you to be rid of those pesky restrictions and install third-party applications not approved by Apple. When you jailbreak, you'll have access to a whole boatload of free and interesting apps that other iPads just won’t be running. Apple operates the App Store like Fort Knox, and the company keeps tight control on the comings and goings of apps approved to operate on its iOS. Freeing your device allows for much more personal use (and danger), such as tethering 3G iPads to iPhones without having to pay an extra $30 per month to AT&T.
However, if something goes wrong, you are your own. Apple won’t be there to help you bring that expensive tablet back online. But, hey, you're got the iPad 2 now, so take some fun chances with the old one. Or use it as a paperweight for your desk. It’s up to you.
Jailbreaking your device is as easy as downloading a program made by Spirit (http://www.spiritjb.com).
Transform the iPad into a personal TV
In January, Comcast announced its subscribers will be able to watch live news, TV shows and movies on iPads. This means customers with tablets and a wireless router can watch TV anywhere in the house. Now that you have the iPad 2 to do all your heavy tablet lifting, you can transform the original into a personal TV set to carry around your home.
Digital photo frame
Apple sells a camera kit that allows you to easily import photos from your digital camera to your iPad. The iPad’s 9.7-inch display is an ideal platform to view photos. Now, since you’ll be multitasking and performing all those important tasks on the iPad 2, use the old one for displaying photo albums. Set it up on the Aegis' iPad Wood Case and use the device as a digital picture frame. Set the iPad on slide show mode and allow it to move leisurely through hundreds of saved photos.
Just sell it
It is unclear how the used iPad market is going to respond to an influx of iPad 2s, but as of now, you can get a decent price for your iPad on places like Craigslist and eBay. Most likely you’re only going to get about $200 for that old device — maybe even less. But still, that’ll cover a good bit of the new one.
And then, of course, there is always the option to save your money for the inevitable release of the iPad 3. At that point, we could be talking a whole new tablet ballgame.