Is your iPad suddenly feeling old in the modern era? The streamlined design may no longer impress you. Or, the iPad is having a hard time keeping up with apps and games in the performance department. Unfortunately, digital devices don’t last forever.
Although iPads don’t come with a specific expiration date, there are some red flags to let you know that it’s time to retire your old model and upgrade. Recognizing the signs that it’s time to replace your iPad can help you get the most out of your tablet experience.
How long does an iPad last?
This is not a question with a simple answer. In many ways, it depends on how regularly you use the device.
In terms of hardware and battery life, an iPad that one uses only occasionally is likely to last longer. However, you should also consider other factors like operating system, application performance, storage, and hardware issues.
We’ll look at these issues below to help you decide if it’s time to replace your iPad:
- iPadOS compatibility
- App crashes
- low storage
- Incompatible accessories
- Bad battery life
- View issues
- unresponsive buttons
As a general rule, if your iPad is more than five years old, you will likely notice slower performance. On the other hand, you might be happy to have used an iPad from six or seven years ago without any major issues. To get an idea of how long your iPad should last, start by selecting your iPad model. You should then be able to gauge when it’s time to upgrade your hardware.
need help? Let’s look at the main signs that your iPad may be out of date.
1. iPadOS compatibility issues
All operating systems must be upgraded from time to time to provide security patches, add new features, and sometimes remove old ones. iPadOS is no different from Apple in this regard.
If your iPad is too old for the latest version of iPadOS, you may lose vital security patches and useful features. For example, at the time of writing, iPadOS 15 for 2021 was running on devices dating back to the iPad Air 2, which was released in 2014.
Apple is very generous in supporting older models for new software updates. However, if the model you own is not on the compatibility list for the latest version of iPadOS, it’s probably time to replace your iPad.
2. iPad apps are crashing all the time
As new iPad models become more sophisticated, new apps and games are also on the rise. Upgrading your device is the only way to stay on the curve.
Unfortunately, it is a technical fact that as operating systems are updated, older programs stop working. For example, an app originally designed for iOS 7 may have been updated by the developers of iPadOS 15. But if your iPad can’t run the latest operating system, you won’t get such updates on your device.
As with the latest version of iOS, updating your apps brings new features, bug fixes, and security improvements. So, consider a new iPad if your apps are crashing regularly and you can’t update them.
3. Your iPad is constantly running out of space
Another sign that you’re ready for your new iPad is regularly running out of storage space. Exceeding your storage limit once or twice is equivalent to a course in some ways, but if it happens too often, you may run into trouble. While you can’t expand your iPad’s storage, as you can with an Android tablet, you have plenty of cloud storage solutions. You can now get up to 2TB of storage with iCloud from Apple.
But if your iPad regularly snaps at the seams, it could be because of the size of your installed apps. If these are tools you use regularly, then uninstalling is not an option. App updates are often larger than the previously released version. Thus, you may end up using apps on your iPad that you don’t have the ability to install and run.
If space is a concern and the usual tips for clearing iPad storage haven’t helped, it’s definitely time to get a new iPad. Apple tends to introduce internal storage options with the newer generations. For example, the M1 iPad Pro is available with storage space of up to 2TB.
4. Incompatible new iPad accessories
Regular accessories for the iPad include cases and chargers. But when Apple changes the design of the iPad, it will run into compatibility issues if you stick to the aging model.
For example, if your old 30-pin charger has worn out, it can be difficult to find an original Apple replacement because most retailers only stock a modern USB-C charger. There is also the problem of finding compatible docking stations and speakers.
Alternatively, you might discover a cool new case for your iPad Air, only to find out later that it’s only compatible with newer models. You may also have found that the screen protectors are not compatible with your old iPad.
If this happens a lot, your iPad is probably getting too old. You can search eBay and Amazon for suitable accessories – or just upgrade and upgrade.
5. Poor battery performance
All iPads are shipped with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that offers a long life, but if you have any experience with smartphones, you will know that the battery does not last long after years of use.
Lithium-ion batteries degrade over time; Each battery has a limited number of charge cycles. So the older the device, the more cycles it goes through. Extreme and cold temperatures can also negatively affect batteries, as can fully discharging the cell. So, how long do new iPad batteries last under normal use, you ask?
Apple advertises up to 10 hours of battery life for most newer iPads while browsing the web over Wi-Fi. However, if you’re not even close to that number, maybe it’s time to upgrade your iPad. Or, if your budget doesn’t allow it, for now, you could consider replacing the iPad battery, which will set you back under $100.
6. Dead pixels and shuffle width
A fully functional touch screen is required to be able to use the iPad. If the screen stops detecting clicks and gestures, or if it stops displaying screen elements correctly, you have a problem.
Like TVs, laptops, and other digital screens, old iPads can end up with dead or stuck pixels; This is inevitable. While massaging the screen can alleviate this, if the number of dead pixels on the screen has reached the point of hampering your viewing experience, it’s time to replace your iPad with a new one.
A screen that has scratches, cracks, or even chips inside will have a hard time responding to your touch. Even if you’re not using an old iPad, a device with a damaged screen is sure to live on the downtime.
7. Unresponsive hardware buttons
One concern with any mobile device is that the hardware buttons may wear out. In recent years, manufacturers have moved to reduce the number of physical controls, spurred in part by the goal of reducing such errors—for example, Apple removed the physical Home button from nearly all iPads.
While you can work around issues with volume and rotation controls, not being able to get to the home screen is another matter.
One solution if the Home button stops working is to replace it with an on-screen replacement Settings > Accessibility > Touch > AssistiveTouch. However, note that faulty hardware buttons can sometimes indicate other hardware issues.
Instead of finding yourself unable to turn on or off your iPad, it’s best to look for an upgrade. Unresponsive buttons are a major sign that your iPad is running out.
Which New iPad Should You Buy?
If you’re considering a new iPad, it’s important to know which models are currently available. The list of devices changes every few years, with five currently available from Apple:
- iPad Pro 12.9 inch
- iPad Pro 11 inch
- iPad Air
- iPad mini
These devices are designed for different budgets and use cases. For example, iPad Pros are designed to be a laptop replacement, albeit with the right accessories. They are high-throughput devices that are portable enough to go anywhere. Meanwhile, the standard iPad is affordable enough to gift to someone you love, while the iPad Air offers a combination of battery life and portability.
It boils down to what you want from your iPad and how much you are willing to pay for it. But if you’re not sure where to start, feel free to check out our in-depth iPad buying guide to let us help you make an informed decision.
Unfortunately, low storage is a common problem with all base variants, whether you’re considering the iPad mini or the iPad Pro. So, remember to research carefully and go through all the specs when it comes time to buy a new iPad.
How about an old iPad?
With these good reasons to upgrade your iPad, you may be happy to forget about your old device. But you must not lose sight of it now: you will find that it still has some use. Consider it for an in-car entertainment unit or reuse it as a digital photo frame.
If you don’t plan to part with it, remember that selling your old iPad is also an excellent option, especially if you’ve kept it in good condition. This is a great way to get back some of your hard-earned money back on your new iPad.