First generation iPad owners were left out in the cold last summer when Apple denied them an update to the new iOS 6. But a bunch of new apps have helped breathe new life into the tablet that started the next big trend in computing. Read on, and we’ll show you how to give your ageing iPad next-gen iOS 6 skills.
Add some Siri-style search
Apple’s Siri voice assistant arrived on the iPad third-gen with iOS 6, but older models were left hanging. Luckily, Google’s fantastic Search app runs just fine on them: while it won’t let you compose messages, it will let you search the web just by saying a phrase or asking a question in natural language, and frankly, it’s faster than Siri at doing just that. This is a must have app on any iOS device – and it’s free.
Siri has its limitations, but the little voice dictation icon on the keyboard in iOS 6 makes browsing the web and composing emails on newer iPads easy – it’s extremely accurate. The first generation iPad lacks this, but you can use Dragon Dictation instead to write messages with the power of your voice alone. Once upon a time, Dragon Dictation cost a small fortune, but incredibly, it’s now free on iOS.
Safari gets another neat trick in iOS 6: an offline reading list, so you can easily save long web articles – without adverts – for reading when you’re on the train or bus. You can’t use it on the first-gen iPad, but you can use something better: install Pocket and you can add articles that are saved onto your device, and in the cloud for you to read on your phone or computer too. Naturally, it’s free.
Safari on iOS 6 also lets you open tabs on other Apple gadgets synced to the same iCloud account. Your old iPad can get in on the desktop-syncing action if you use Google Chrome though: sign in with your Google account and you can see what tabs you’ve got open on your Android phone or another computer, even if that’s in another country!
New look YouTube
Apple ditched YouTube in iOS 6, leaving Google to come up with a replacement app, and while there are no such problems on a 2010 iPad running iOS 5, that new app is still worth seeking out. Its revamped UI and heavier focus on recommendations and channels make it easier to find something right up your street – and naturally, it’s free.
Don’t fix what ain’t broke
Apple famously botched its own Maps app when it rolled out iOS 6, replacing Google’s reliable data with its own first-party nonsense. Overnight, buildings vanished, shuttered train stations re-appeared and public transport times went kaput, leaving users scrambling for replacements. Thankfully, there’s now a replacement Google Maps app on iPhone, but it’s yet to appear on iPad: in the meantime, be grateful for the superb iOS 5 Maps app. [GadgetShow]
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