I’ve mentioned before that I’m extremely disappointed in Apple’s decision to completely abandon the iPad 1. It was released in April of 2010 and I received one for Christmas that same year. In September of 2012 Apple released iOS 6. But, it was not available for the iPad 1! So, for me, my iPad 1 lasted 21 months!!!!!! So while my six-year old laptop continues to be reliable and runs everything, my iPad has laid mostly dormant for quite awhile.
I’m not one to give up easily and so every once in awhile I’d update the apps and try once again to see if I could make my iPad 1 usable again. However, although many apps still worked okay, they were extremely slow!!!! In addition, whenever I hear of a great new iPad app the first thing I check is which operating systems it supports. Most likely I’m out of luck.
But yesterday I came across a nice article from PC World on How to turn an old phone or tablet into a PC productivity tool. The article had several suggestions but the one that made sense for me was “Turn your tablet into a full-blown command center.”
“With a little effort and a few bucks, your tablet can be more than just an extra trackpad. The touch screen can also quickly launch applications and execute commands faster than you can point and click with a mouse.”
Apparently, an app called Actions could make my iPad useful again. Although the article stated the cost at $5, it’s actually $3.99. I didn’t know if it would work as advertised but spending that amount to revitalize my tablet seemed okay. The app takes a little bit of tinkering to set it up properly. In addition, you may have to adjust your firewall settings as well. You’ll not only need the app but the Actions Server to connect to your computer. After setting it up, here’s what I ended up with.
So far I’ve been extremely happy with Actions. However, one word of warning. Keep your iPad plugged in as Actions stays on screen and drains the battery fairly quickly. This makes sense since if I had to wake up the iPad screen to get anything done I might as well have used my keyboard or mouse.
MakeUseOf has a good article on everything that Actions does here. And although the article that first alerted me to Actions is focused on PC’s, Actions can connect to your Mac as well. For you visual learners, here’s a nice video on Actions.
Actions has revitalized my iPad 1 and made it useful again. I realize it’s sad that my iPad 1 has been relegated to this but it’s better than not being used at all!