6 ways to give your old iPad a new purpose in life

You've missed your window of opportunity to sell your old iPad for top dollar, so maybe you should find some other way to use it instead.

I warned you. I told you more than a week ago that the iPad 3 media event was imminent, and that the tablet itself likely to follow almost immediately after that, and that if you want to get any money for your original iPad or iPad 2 you'd better act quick.

Well, now Apple has officially announced the media event where it is expected to unveil the iPad 3 next week, and the proverbial "other shoe" has dropped. As a result, the used tablet market is flooded, and you'll have a hard time getting top dollar for your old iPad now.

Here's a novel idea, though: don't sell your old iPad. Rather than ditching your old iPad for pennies on the dollar, you can just re-purpose it. There is nothing wrong with it, and it can still live a long, productive life in a wide variety of roles.

1. Library

The iPad has iBooks, and the Amazon Kindle app, and the Barnes and Noble Nook app. You can keep your old iPad around as a dedicated eReader with access to an entire library of material.

If you have a business with a lobby or waiting area for customers, you can subscribe to magazines on the iPad and leave the iPad for general use rather than cluttering up the table with months of out of date periodicals.

2. Presentations

Another great business use for an iPad is as a dedicated presentation device. If you have Apple TV connected to a display in a conference room, you can use AirPlay Streaming to display anything from the iPad screen wirelessly onto the larger display. A presenter can use the iPad to view the presentation up close, and control when to transition to the next slide.

3. Conferencing

If your old iPad is an iPad 2 -- the one that has a front-facing camera -- you can turn it into a dedicated video conferencing device. You can use Webex, Skype, FaceTime to other camera-equipped iOS devices, or other video conferencing services to conduct virtual meetings and speak face-to-face from anywhere in the world.

4. Point of Sale

Get yourself a Square credit card reader and leave your old iPad at your register or wherever it is that you process transactions. Your old iPad can be used as a point of sale platform, and it can also be tied into a database like FileMaker to manage and maintain inventory at the same time.

5. Digital Frame

You could turn your iPad into a digital frame. Load it up with pictures of your business, products, customers, and employees, and set it up to rotate through the images as a slideshow. You can set the iPad up at in the reception area of your business so customers can enjoy the pictures.

6. Hand It Down

Somebody can still use it. If you are rushing out to get a shiny new iPad 3, why not re-provision the old iPad by giving it to one of your employees? It will probably be much more valuable to you in the long run as a mobile productivity tool still in use by someone at your company than the couple hundred dollars you might scrounge from selling it.

On another note, if you're looking for things to do with a personal iPad at home, you could use it as a dedicated entertainment device for streaming movies or music -- either to the iPad itself, or using AirPlay to beam it to a TV or stereo system. You could also delegate your old iPad to your kids so they'll quit getting crumbs and fingerprints on your tablet.

In my house, we have an original iPad, which has been relegated to the kitchen. We use it to list items we run out of so we remember them on the grocery list, and we use it as our digital cookbook. We just set the iPad on the counter, and pull up the site for whatever culinary masterpiece we're interested in creating.

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Tony Bradley

PC World (US online)
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