17 New Uses for an Old iPad

17 New Uses for an Old iPad

It’s time to rescue that old iPad from the monsters under your bed and give it a new purpose. Grab that iPad and plug it in; just because Apple kicked your old iPad to the curb doesn’t mean you have to. Keep reading to see all of the ways you can use an old iPad.

Security Station

Use your old iPad as a security station. Place it on a stand where you can easily keep an eye on your cameras and security status. This convenient solution saves you from logging into your security system interface every time you want to check on your cameras or security status.

Smart Hub Controller

Your old iPad can be mounted and used as the interface for your automated home IoT system. This allows you a convenient secondary way to manage security, temperature, lighting, and other automated home systems from your bedroom or other location within your home.

Home Theater Interface

That old iPad would work great as your home theater interface. You may need to purchase something like the Logitech Harmony Companion, Gear4 Unity, or Pronto and Peel for an optimal experience. All three will allow you to control most or all of your home theater components with your iPad.

Radio Interface

Paired with a good set of Bluetooth speakers, your iPad can become your next audio system! You can set it up to stream Spotify, Pandora, or stored playlists. Use it to play songs you have purchased from the Apple store, or allow guests to play their music through your system.

Digital Recipe Book

For home and professional chefs, the iPad is a great recipe ‘book’. You can individually store and retrieve single recipes, or read recipes from your favorite cookbooks. Easy to read and clean, you can set your iPad where it’s easy to see and read while you prepare your next epicurean delight.

Guitar Effects

Compact enough to fit on a music stand, your old iPad makes a great effects pedal interface. Using an audio interface, you plug your guitar into the iPad. For live performance, you may need to pair your iPad with a Bluetooth-enabled MIDI device such as the iRig BlueBoard, or Apogee's audio interface.

In-car Entertainment

Combined with the purchase of a car seat headrest mount, your old iPad can become an entertainment center for kids or passengers in the back seat. Store movies directly on the iPad, or stream them through a mobile wifi hotspot. Create YouTube playlists of your child’s favorite videos to watch while on a trip.


Mount your iPad in a easy-to-see location and use it as a clock. The Apple store has countless clock apps, offering clocks in different styles and with different capabilities, such as background music or chimes on the hour.

Second Monitor

If you do a lot of work on your PC or Mac, and need a little extra space, your iPad is a ready-made solution. Just download and install the Duet Display app on your iPad and your Mac or PC (it’s available for both). Use a lightning cable to connect your iPad to your laptop or desktop, and voila -- second monitor! Just tweak monitor settings for your iPad, and you’re good to go.

Read Your Favorite Magazines at the Gym

Working out can be boring, a monotonous placing of one foot in front of the other...until you bring your iPad. While you’re tearing up the treadmill, you can read the latest issue of Bon Appetit. Just set your iPad on the treadmill and start chasing down that molten chocolate cake recipe.

Family Message Board

How can you really live in the 21st century without a digital message board on the fridge? Seriously -- knock the dust off from that iPad and mount it on the refrigerator, or a wall where everyone will see it. Download and install one of the ‘Sticky Note’ apps and install the iPad. Each member of the family can choose a different color so it’s easy to see who’s doing what when.

Digital Photo Album

Mount your iPad in a picture frame and use it to display pictures of family, friends, and vacations. Stream photos stored on Google or download and install a photo album app from the Apple store. Relive old memories like they were yesterday.


A plethora of apps are available for reading news, magazines, and books. There is the Kindle app, along with dozens of other e-book reading apps. Why purchase cases full of books when you can store and read them on your old iPad?

Create Your Own Art

You may not be able to purchase a Wacom Cintiq tablet for your artistic needs, but you can use your old iPad. Astropad costs a little bit of money, as will a Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus, but it will be at a small fraction of the cost. Astropad allows pressure-sensitive drawing on your iPad, making it the actual workspace inside of Photoshop or other graphic design software. Color is calibrated, ensuring that the colors you see on the iPad are precisely the same as the colors you’re seeing on your host computer.

In-car Navigation

Mount your old iPad on the dash and use it as a navigation device - you may need to hotspot your phone for this to work. Siri delivers a hands-free experience with spoken directions while you drive toward your destination.

Adult Coloring Book

Who says coloring is just for kids? Adults find coloring a soothing, relaxing experience perfectly suited to the iPad. Download and install one of the countless adult coloring book apps, and get coloring! You can use your fingers or a stylus to color in beautiful patterns and illustrations then save the completed page.

Kid’s Toy

Protect your old iPad in a heavy-duty case and set it up for your kids to use for games and videos. This will keep them entertained for hours and allow you a chance to slip in some ZZZs on a Saturday afternoon.

We have listed a lot of uses in this article, but not all of them. Before you rush to buy another gadget, take a few minutes to see if you can use your iPad instead. You’ll save money and create a new purpose for your old iPad.

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