[2021-04-30] Ten Years Of iPad 2

I bought an Apple iPad 2 ten years ago to the day and it is wonderful to see it still going strong with regular usage throughout this period. In an era where electronic devices have such short shelf-lives due to either being designed with planned obsolescence or being manufactured using bad-quality components, it is a shining testament to Apple's focus on good quality and a respect for its customers. (It is not just the iPad 2 – my iPhone 4S from later on in 2011 worked well for six years, after which I reluctantly replaced it in 2017 by an iPhone SE, primarily due to its inability to run 64-bit applications or to keep up with ever-bloating web-pages – the iPhone SE is still going strong though.) Unlike the pricing of its devices recently in India, Apple sold the iPad 2 at quite a reasonable price at the time, which has made this iPad 2 deliver an exceptional value for the money I had paid for it.

I primarily use the iPad 2 for reading things. Every week I read the digital edition of The Economist on it. I also frequently catch up with articles I have saved using Pocket on it. Occasionally, I read the PDFs of research-papers on it using GoodReader or (more rarely) an eBook on iBooks. Sometimes I catch up with an issue of 1843 on it. In the beginning, I used to also catch up with Twitter as well my RSS feeds (via Reeder) on it, but these days I do that elsewhere. Zite used to be my workhorse news-aggregator on it, but after the Flipboard acquisition and assimilation it has gone downhill, so I do not use it any more.

My iPad 2 running the Pocket app.

I also use the iPad 2 for some entertainment. I used to watch videos hosted on YouTube, Vimeo, etc. on it, but that happens elsewhere (and on bigger screens) these days. I still have fun playing casual games on it though (Traffic Rush, Flight Control, Plants vs Zombies, etc.). In other words, I use the iPad 2 for a lot of things for which people usually use tablets.

However, I must admit that the iPad 2 is not as snappy as it used to be when I had bought it, mostly due to bloated applications and a sluggish OS. My iPad 2 had shipped with iOS 4.3 and has been updated to iOS 9.3.5, the last version of iOS available for it from Apple. While Apple added some useful features to iOS over these releases, they also added on a lot of bloat and bad UX to it (especially starting with iOS 7). At the same time, the Web has become more bloated with most web-sites abusing JavaScript to shove advertisements and to do pervasive tracking of users. Due to these reasons, I have stopped using this iPad 2 for casual browsing of the Web.

I will have to eventually move on to something beefier to keep with the pervasive bloat in applications and the Web, but until then, this iPad 2 will suffice for most of my modest needs. Thanks Apple.

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