12 Cool Things to Do With an Old iPad

Thinking of ditching your old iPad for the iPad 2? Before you sell or give away the old device, consider these cool hacks and mods.

Cool iPad Hacks and Mods

So you broke down and bought an iPad 2. Now, what do you do with your old iPad?

You could give your old iPad to charity or a gadget-deprived in-law, of course. But as a tech connoisseur, you might prefer to exploit your no-longer-current hardware to satisfy your inner geek. Here's a roundup of mods and hacks that can give your outdated iPad a second life.

Image credit: Hirac

Option 1: KegMate

Engineers at Yelp figured out how to combine two of their favorite things in life: beer and iPads. Swipe an RFID card, and the iPad-controlled beer fridge dispenses a brewsky. The iPad also provides information about what's on tap, how cold the precious fluids are, and how many pints your friends have already helped themselves to. It's the ultimate iPad modification for beer fanatics and/or hosts of yuppie keggers.

Check out the KegMate in action in this YouTube video.

Image credit: Hackaday.

Option 2: iPad Guitar

Sure, Apple's new GarageBand App works on the original iPad, but why not use the old hardware to go all out with your music experience? VJ Franz K made this Antaray iTar with the iPad front and center. Apparently the device could be yours if you send him a message.

I'd suggest asking if the haircut is included.

Tune into an iPad guitar jam by checking out this YouTube clip of VJ Franz K in action.

Image credit: Geeky Gadgets.

Option 3: Dashboard Entertainment

Last year's iPad might be outdated, but it probably still beats your in-car entertainment system. This car owner got an iPad installed in his Toyota Tacoma last year by removing part of the dash and using a special dock that provides optical sound to his built-in speakers. Unless you have advanced Dremel skills, you might want to leave this install to the professionals.

Here's the entertainment system in action.

Image credit: iPod Jailbreak.

Option 4: Bike Safety--There's an App (Jacket) for That

For the ultimate in bike safety, try this mod. Combined with the Sprocket App, this hack can be a bicycle enthusiast's dream come true. The DIY video shows you how to sew your custom case onto the back of a Goodwill jacket and hit the streets. Here is a link to Sprocket with DIY instructions.

Here is the scoop (video) on the DIY bike safety hack.

Image credit:

Option 5: iPad Cardboard Arcade Console

Collect a box from your recycling bin, an Arduino board, and a few spare parts from RadioShack, and you're on your way to having an iPad cardboard arcade console. If you have a little more time on your hands, you can spring for a nicer casing material and try to replicate your favorite arcade design. (Here's looking at you, Pac-Man.)

Lazy hackers can opt instead to buy an iCade arcade cabinet. (See "iPad 2: 15 Must-Have Accessories.")

Image credit: Vimeo.

Image credit: Geeky Gadgets.

Option 6: Play Super Nintendo Entertainment System on iPad With Wii-mote

There's no time like the present to jailbreak your old iPad and void its warranty. And after doing so, why not put a few emulators and SNES ROMs onto it and enjoy some real gaming? In four easy steps you can be enjoying a game of Mario Cart on your iPad while a spare Wiimote acts as the controller. Intrigued?

Image credit: Lifehacker.

Option 7: iBookPad

Want to use your old iPad to make a statement that proves your Apple loyalty? Pick up an old iBook, the Camera Connection Kit, an iPod Dock Extender Cable, and a USB keyboard, and you'll be in business. Don't plan on closing this clamshell, though, as the mod instructions say that doing so could damage your iPad screen.

Image credit: Technabob.

Option 8: Macintosh Classic iPad Mod

This hack looks simple enough. Find a Macintosh Classic, gut it, and slide your iPad into the empty shell. The only challenge is that you'll still need to figure out what to do with the hidden home button. The Hirac site may have a solution, but the Japanese translation is not so good.

Check out the Macintosh iPad rig out in action here.

Image credit: Hirac.

Option 9: USB Typewriter

Old meets old. If you're the type who appreciates precomputer technology and a good project, this one is for you. A DIY Kit will cost $69 (typewriter not included).

Here is the USB typewriter in action.

Image credit: USB Typewriter.

Option 10: Retro Windows 95 Tablet (or Linux)

If you've always been more of a Windows person, or you're waiting for Windows Tablet 7, or you're more comfortable in a Linux environment, ditch iOS and go for the gold. Geeky Gadgets can show you how to boot Windows 95 on your old iPad, and Linux Magazine has instructions for running a Linux Terminal on it.

Image credit: Geeky Gadgets.

Option 11: Portable Web Terminal

An iPad is great for cozying up with on the couch. But its svelte design makes it easy to stick or install nearly anywhere, turning your wall, stove, dashboard, or cupboard into a "smart device"--albeit not a highly evolved one.

Filmmaker Jesse Rosten offers a quick hack that will enable you to stick your old iPad wherever you want it to go. Interested in kicking up some sawdust? This Kitchen iPad hack will transform your kitchen cupboard into an interactive Web terminal.

Image credits: Jesse Rosten and the site

Option 12: Will It Shred?

Built to Shred host Jeff King and pro skater Chad Knight decided to turn an iPad into a skateboard. Sounded like a good idea to me...until they stepped on the iPad and broke it. I'm not sure that this kind of abuse is covered with Apple Care.

For this hack, you must watch the video - it's hilarious.

Image credit: Fuel TV.

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