The regrettable iPad death spiral… 

My venerable old iPad Air was released and most likely purchased in November of 2013. For the last year or two I’ve been limping along with its pretty rotten battery and a few quirky, but mostly ignorable behavioral issues.

Apple stopped supporting this first generation Air back in 2019 and still it trundled along doing most of what I wanted from it. Without iOS updates and the associated app updates, I knew its days were numbered. That it kept going for three years with no upgrades or support is probably a testament to Apple having developed a pretty bulletproof bit of kit way back then.

Over the last couple of days, though, I’ve noticed a fair number of my go to apps have stopped working – or have started demanding that I upgrade to versions of iOS that my device doesn’t support. Every few days it looks like a new app becomes unusable. Even though the iPad itself keeps defying expectations by plugging along, it’s a vicious downwards spiral into the end of its service life.  

For the first time in nine years, I’m back in the market for a tablet. I should probably do some kind of market survey to figure out how the landscape there has changed in the last decade, but it feels more likely that I’ll just walk into the local Apple store and point at the shiny new version of what I already have. That original Air has been an absolute workhorse.  Hopefully the next one will last me as long.

Now the only real question is will I brave the mall during the week before Christmas or suffer through it sometime the week after the holiday. It’s a classic no-win situation, even if it is for a good cause.

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