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?
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IT Technology, networking, Apple, iDevices, Android, IPv6, DNS.