No no, this is not about a broken iPad, it's about the end of the first generation iPad. Shown to the world on January 27th, 2010, it's now barely two and a half years, but in this fast changing world of tech, that's a life time. Being the first of a new generation in technology comes with a price; one day you wake up to find that you can't keep up with the shining new kids on the block anymore.
The end doesn't come with IOS6, it's already here. If you use a first generation iPad with IOS5, you will have noticed that typing has become a serious challenge. Cursors run behind, input fields are sluggish and although it's not really tampering the functionality, it becomes a nuisance after a while. Actually I discovered that using a bluetooth keyboard improves things since the machine doesn't need to waste resources at pretending being a keyboard. Obviously carrying around an iPad with a BT keyboard doesn't make a lot of sense, but it shows a significant difference between iPad generations. Fiddling around with certain Keyboard Settings like Auto-Correction and Check Spelling will certainly improve your user experience but at the expense of functionality. People who use the second and third generation iPad will have noticed that everything feels smoother when interacting with the machine. It's dual core architecture is the obvious reason for this. But even with a single core CPU, the first generation iPad is fast enough, even for 3D games like Infinity Blade. So with some tweaking, one can still use the first Generation iPad for many years to come.
What really started to bother me are more and more applications that crash suddenly and jump back to the Springboard. Lately I downloaded a free little game called Catapult King for iPad which sometimes is practically unplayable because of this phenomenon. LinkedIn for iPad suffers of this same problem. Digging deep into Settings, General, About, Diagnostics & Usage, Diagnostics & Usage Data finally showed me the reason:
Low Memory. Two words that say it all. And as applications start to require more memory for a nicer user experience, the 256 MB RAM of the first generation iPad is its real Achilles' Heel. Unfortunately in this time and age, memory bounderies are seldomly considered, which is really sad. Programmers ought to take memory usage into consideration and optimize their applications so that the first generation iPad can serve some more years even if it can't run IOS6.
Apple creates products with excellent build quality meant to be used for years. So why should its lifespan be shortened by sloppy programming?
Last weekend I had this conversation with a friend on how he wanted to use an external keyboard with his iPad. I pointed him to several solutions by Logitech like the Keyboard Case for iPad and the Tablet Keyboard for iPad. There's also the new Ultrathin Keyboard Cover which also doubles as a very thin iPad cover. All very nifty bluetooth based solutions. Wait a minute, bluetooth?
I wondered aloud why a standard Apple wireless keyboard wouldn't work. It does and it's fairly simple.
Apple Wireless Keyboards are a bit of a pain to put in pairing mode. The official Apple way is to unpair it from a previous host which will force the bluetooth device in pairing mode. Which is all nice and well, IF YOU STILL HAVE THAT DEVICE.
I found some support articles on the Apple discussion fora and it looks like this tip from Colin Holgate does the trick:
When looking for information on IPv6 support in Apple's iDevices, one finds very little information regarding the subject. Does the iPhone or iPad support IPv6 and if so how well is implemented?
The short answer on this question is: YES, Apple's iDevices support IPv6; but it will default over IPv4 unlike most desktop and server Operating Systems.
The iPad used in the following screenshots is an iPad 2 running IOS 5.01 as shown below.
If you have an IPv6 enabled network, with an IPv6 router that does router advertisements, an IOS devices will perfectly auto configure itself as expected. Yet oddly enough it will prefer IPv4 over IPv6. To find your IPv6 settings, look under Settings and Wi-Fi. You will not see its IPv6 address nor the IPv6 gateway, but the fact that it has an IPv6 name server address, that appeared automagically, says enough.
I was rather surprised to find 2001:470:1f13:75c::1 as the IP address for a NS since this is actually the router address of my IPv6 router. It's an Apple Time Capsule I use for its IPv6 tunneling capabilities. It must contain an implementation of RFC 6106 which describes DNS Configuration Options for IPv6 Router Advertisements.
The name server behaves like a caching name server.
From the IP configuration one can only guess the IPv6 address of the iPad. Why Apple shows the IPv6 address of the name server, but omits the iPad's address is a mystery.
To prove the iPad can actually function over IPv6, I downloaded and installed zatelnet, a telnet and ssh client for iPad. It might not be the fanciest telnet/ssh client on the market, but for this purpose it did what it was supposed to do.
I could connect without any problem to tripple6, a Linux machine on my IPv6 network, which shows the iPad is perfectly capable of functioning correctly over IPv6, if forced to do so. Once connected to a linux machine, it's child's play to figure out what the actual IP address is of the iPad.
So what does this prove?
Conclusion: you will only benefit of an iPad's IPv6 features if and when you are on a IPv6-only network. The device will auto-configure and work as expected. In a dual-stacked environment, it will stick to old school IPv4.
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IT Technology, networking, Apple, iDevices, Android, IPv6, DNS.