7 Signs It’s Time to Upgrade Your iPad | MakeUseOf

Does your iPad suddenly feel a lot heavier? The once-streamlined design no longer impresses you, and as for the lack of app choice... your iPad has been left behind.

Make sure you don't get stuck on an unsupported device: here are a few telltale signs that it's time to replace your iPad.

This is not a question with a simple answer. In many ways, it depends on how regularly you use the device.

In terms of hardware and battery life, an iPad that used only occasionally is more likely to last. But there are also operating system, app, storage, and hardware issues to consider.

We look at these issues below to help you determine if it's time to replace your iPad:

  1. iOS compatibility issues
  2. Apps crashing
  3. Low storage
  4. Incompatible accessories
  5. Poor battery life
  6. Display issues
  7. Unresponsive buttons

As a rule of thumb, if your iPad is more than five years old, you've probably noticed slower performance. On the other hand, you could be happily using an iPad from six or seven years ago with no major problems.

To get an idea of how long your iPad should last, start by identifying your iPad model. You should then be able to gauge when you'll need a new iPad.

Need help? Let's look at the key signs that tell you it's time to replace your iPad.

All operating systems need to be upgraded from time to time. These issue security patches, add new features, and sometimes remove old features. The iPad's operating system (known as iPadOS since September 2019 and iOS prior to then) is no different.

If your iPad is too old for the latest version of iPadOS, you could be missing vital security patches and handy features. For example, at the time of writing, 2019's iPadOS 13 runs on devices going back to the iPad Air 2, which was released in 2014.

If you have an older model, and can't upgrade to the latest iPadOS version, it's probably time to get a new iPad.

As new iPad models become more sophisticated, so too do apps and games. Upgrading your device is the only way to stay on the curve.

Sadly, it's a fact of technology that as operating systems are updated, older software stops working. For instance, an app originally designed for iOS 7 might have been updated by the developers for iPadOS 13. But if your iPad can't run the latest OS, you won't get such updates on your device.

As with having the latest version of iOS, keeping your apps up-to-date brings new features, bugfixes, and security. If your iPad apps are crashing regularly, maybe consider a new iPad.

Another sign you're ready for a new iPad is running out of storage regularly. Running up against your storage limit once or twice is par for the course in some ways, but if it happens more often, you may have an issue.

While you can't expand iPad storage as with an Android tablet, you have plenty of cloud storage solutions as well as external storage options for iPad.

But if your iPad is regularly bursting at the seams, the size of your installed apps could be to blame. If these are tools you use regularly, uninstalling isn't an option. Often, app updates are larger than the previously released version. Consequently, you could end up needing to use apps on your iPad that doesn't have the capacity to install and run them.

If space is a concern and the tips to clear your iPad storage haven't helped, it's definitely time to get a new iPad.

Regular accessories for the iPad include cases and chargers. But when changes to the iPad's design are made, you'll find incompatibility is a problem.

For example, if your old 30-pin charger has worn out, it might be difficult to find a genuine Apple replacement. Most retailers only stock the modern Lightning charger. There's also the issue of docking stations and speakers.

Alternatively, you might spot a great new case for your iPad Air, only to find later that it is too small. You might have also found that screen protectors are incompatible with your old iPad.

If this happens often, your iPad is getting old. You could scour eBay and Amazon carefully for suitable accessories---or just upgrade.

iPads ship with a rechargeable Li-Po battery that offers a considerable amount of usage time, but you'll find that the battery doesn't last so long after years of usage.

Li-Po batteries degrade over time; each battery has a finite number of charge cycles. So the older the device, the more cycles it has gone through. Extreme heat and cold temperatures can also negatively affect batteries, as can fully discharging the cell.

Is your iPad dropping a lot of charge charge within a few hours, even when you're not running any apps? If so, it looks like an upgrade is the answer.

A fully working touch-sensitive display is required for you to use your iPad. If the display stops detecting touch and gestures, or if it stops displaying screen elements correctly, then you've got a problem.

Like TVs, laptops, and other LCD screens, older iPads can end up with dead or stuck pixels. While massaging the display can alleviate this, repeated discovery of stuck pixels indicates that it's time for a new iPad.

A display with scratches, cracks, or even chips in it will struggle to respond to contact. Even if you aren't using an antiquated iPad, a device with a damaged screen is certainly on borrowed time.

While you can get around issues with volume and rotation controls, an inability to access the home screen is another matter.

One solution is to replace the Home button with an on-screen alternative using Settings > Accessibility > Touch > AssistiveTouch. Note, however, that when buttons aren't working correctly, this can indicate issues with other hardware.

Related: Fix the iPhone Home Button

Rather than finding yourself unable to switch on or operate your iPad, it's a better idea to look for an upgrade. Unresponsive buttons are a key sign that your iPad is wearing out.

If you're considering a new iPad, it's important to know what models are currently available. The roster of devices changes every few years, with five currently available:

  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch
  • iPad Pro 11-inch
  • iPad Air
  • iPad
  • iPad Mini

These devices are tailored for different budgets and uses. For example, the iPad Pro devices are intended as laptop replacements---high-productivity devices that are portable enough to go anywhere. Meanwhile, the standard iPad is affordable enough to give as a gift to a loved one, while the iPad Air offers a mix of battery life and portability.

Each model has a key limitation, however. Low storage is a common culprit, especially among the lower-tier models. Be sure to carefully research each model when it's time to buy a new iPad.

Read more: Which iPad Should You Buy?

With such good reasons to upgrade your iPad, you might be happy to forget your old one. But you shouldn't overlook it just yet: you'll find that it still has some use. Consider it for in-car entertainment or repurpose it as a digital photo frame.

If you don't give it away, selling is also an option, especially if you've kept your iPad in good condition.


The 5 Best Mobile Apps for Sharing Large Files Instantly

We've all been there. You've spent hours curating a document, editing a video, or modifying an image, only to see that the file is too large to send as an attachment via email.

So how are you supposed to share large files with other people? Don't worry; there are plenty of apps to send big files on both Android and iOS. Let's take a look at some of the best.

Though you can send large files over email with some workarounds, email is generally not the best way to share large files. So what is? You should begin by trying SHAREit.

SHAREit is a Wi-Fi file transfer app. As long as two people on the same network have the app installed on their device, they can transfer files at up to 200 times the speed that Bluetooth allows. Indeed, the highest transfer speed is 20MB/s and no quality is lost. This means you can share a 1GB file in less than a minute.

The app supports many different file formats, allowing you to send long videos, share large files, and push music files to friends' devices. SHAREit also has a built-in video player, music player, and a music discovery tool. You can even use it to find GIFs, wallpapers, and stickers.

Perhaps most importantly, however, the app isn't just limited to Android and iOS. It also has releases available for Windows and Mac. As long as all the devices are on the same Wi-Fi network, you can bounce files between them in seconds.

SHAREit does not have a maximum file size.

Download: SHAREit for Android | iOS (Free)

Send Anywhere is a long-distance file transfer app that also supports Wi-Fi sharing.

Unlike many other apps that can send large videos, Send Anywhere does not require you to make an account before you can use the service. Instead, it uses SSL security and a six-digit key to pair two devices together.

The app supports sharing files with multiple people at the same time. It also lets you transfer files to a specific device in cases where lots of Send Anywhere-enabled devices are available on your network. All files are sent using 256-bit encryption.

In addition to the Android and iOS apps, Send Anywhere is available as a free web app. There's also a premium version of the service. Called Sendy PRO (the old Send Anywhere PLUS premium service is in the process of being discontinued), it adds 1TB of cloud storage as well as features such as file links via email, a link management tool, folder management, and link comments. Remember, you don't need cloud storage to share large files.

Shared files are only available for 10 minutes by default, but you can change this in the app's settings.

Download: Send Anywhere for Android | iOS (Free)

Another of the best apps to share large files is Xender. It's available on Android and iOS devices, but also supports Windows, macOS, and Tizen. For those who don't know, Tizen is an open source Linux-based OS found in many of Samsung's wearables and smart TVs.

Xender supports sending apps, music files, PDFs, ZIP files, and even entire folders. Like SHAREit, the app offers transfer speeds that are up far faster than Bluetooth.

We especially like Xender thanks to some of its extra features. There's an MP3 converter than can extract a song from a video file and save it as an audio file, plus a social media downloader that allows you to save/share videos from WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram.

Xender does not have a file size limit.

Download: Xender for Android | iOS (Free)

Under the hood, Filemail is a file-sharing app. However, it tries to replicate the email experience as closely as possible.

When you hit the send button, the receiver will get a simple email link in their inbox. Click the link and the file will start downloading; you don't need to perform the download via a standalone site. If the receiver has the Filemail app installed, they can also download directly via the app's interface.

The sender will get an alert once the file was successfully received. You can use the Open With interface to share any file through the app. There is no limit on the number of files you can send or the file sizes. All you need to send the file is the recipient's email address.

Download: Filemail for Android | iOS (Free)

Whilst not an app in the traditional sense, Nearby Share is set to become one of the best ways to send large files between Android devices.

Launched in August 2020 as a successor to the now-depreciated Android Beam, Nearby Share can use either Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy, WebRTC, or peer-to-peer Wi-Fi protocols for sending files. This means you can send files to other users when you're offline and without worrying about data caps when you're online. File sending and receiving works publicly or anonymously, and you have complete control over who can see your device when you're in their vicinity.

Although it's not available at the time of writing, Google has promised that Nearby Share will become available on Chromebooks in the coming months. Historically, it was difficult to share large files from ChromeOS if you didn't want to use a web app, so Nearby Share's imminent arrival is a welcome addition to the platform.

At launch, Nearby Share is only available for Google Pixel and Samsung devices. It will be rolled out to all users during the remainder of 2020. If you have a Google or Samsung phone and want to enable the feature, head to Settings > Google > Device connections > Nearby Share > Turn on.

All the apps we've covered will let you share and/or send large files on both Android and iOS devices. But what can you do if the file you want to see isn't saved on your mobile device?

In those cases, you need to turn to a tool for sharing large files over the web. Luckily, we've rounded up some of the best tools for that exact purpose. Check out our list of the best free file-sharing apps for transferring large files online.