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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > 3rd gen (Retina) iPad - worth jailbreaking?

3rd gen (Retina) iPad - worth jailbreaking?
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shifuimam
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Mar 14, 2024, 04:15 PM
 
I haven't done anything with iOS in ages. I just got my hands on a 16GB third gen iPad (Retina display and 30-pin dock connector) currently running iOS 9.3.

Is it worth jailbreaking this thing? Can I still snag old versions of apps so I can at least make it semi-useful? The productivity stuff works fine with my Exchange account, but the browser is already long in the tooth, so being able to install some apps would be nice (SSH client, that kind of thing).

If it's jailbreakable, what do you all recommend? I did some reading online, but a whole ton of what I found read like it was AI-generated, so I'd like some suggestions from real humans.

Thanks!
( Last edited by shifuimam; Mar 14, 2024 at 05:17 PM. )
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shifuimam  (op)
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Mar 15, 2024, 11:19 AM
 
Jailbreaking was easy enough (although I really wish I had an offline jailbreak available for future use), but I have no idea where to find old IPAs of apps. Any suggestions?
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subego
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Mar 15, 2024, 12:49 PM
 
I unfortunately don’t have any lines to track down old apps.

I also unfortunately regret to inform you this is the worst iPad ever.
     
shifuimam  (op)
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Mar 16, 2024, 11:31 AM
 
It was free, so that makes it the best iPad by default.

I found /r/legacyjailbreak and connected with someone on Discord who uses iOS 9 as their daily driver, so I'm figuring things out well enough. The screen is beautiful on this thing, and it will make a good tool for reading full-color ebooks (I have a lot of tarot books with full-color illustrations) without all the distractions of a full OS (i.e. my Windows tablets).

I can't get over how heavy it is. So vintage.
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subego
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Mar 16, 2024, 11:46 AM
 
Heh.

I’ve given away all my old iPads… except for that one. Couldn’t inflict it on someone.

It should be fine for ebooks. The big issue with it is the rest of the hardware hadn’t caught up to retina yet. The chip and the battery are overtaxed.

Even though the screen is nowhere near as nice, the previous generation iPad 2 was one of my favorites. The battery on them is epic.
     
shifuimam  (op)
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Mar 16, 2024, 12:21 PM
 
Oh yeah, the graphics definitely hiccup from time to time. The browser is nearing uselessness, unfortunately. Gab still works, but Reddit doesn't.

I wish it had a lightning port instead of the old-school 30-pin dealie. Lightning seems much more durable in the long run. I have an Apple keyboard dock for this thing, and the connection is not very secure.
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subego
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Mar 17, 2024, 10:32 AM
 
Lightning was a vast improvement.

The connector is robust, but the 1st gen cables fell apart at the strain relief. Also, while it hasn’t caused a problem for me, I don’t like the char that builds up on the power trace.
     
subego
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Mar 18, 2024, 12:09 PM
 
One of my originals.

     
OreoCookie
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Mar 24, 2024, 04:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I unfortunately don’t have any lines to track down old apps.
This. Our parents handed down their second-gen iPad after we got them a brand new one for Christmas. We wanted to use it for our daughter. Unfortunately, I didn't think things through and once I reset it, all apps were gone. I couldn't download any of them any longer, which severely limited the appeal.

The other big limitation is the battery: my wife's first-gen 12.9" iPad Pro is really showing its age and I'll get her a new iPad hopefully for Christmas. Old batteries get really unreliable and can suddenly drop out on you.
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subego
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Mar 24, 2024, 05:59 PM
 
That’s been my DD iPad for the last 7 years. The battery has seen better days, but if I remember to plug it in before I go to bed it’s still good enough.

No iOS 17+ is the bigger drag.
     
andi*pandi
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Mar 25, 2024, 09:56 AM
 
They did us dirty by removing the ability to add apps via itunes. I have backups of the older apps but without itunes how to install them if the store won't?
     
reader50
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Mar 25, 2024, 01:01 PM
 
Use an older OS version to manage the device - where iTunes still has the app ability. Install the OS to an external if you don't have enough space for another partition internally.
     
ghporter
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Mar 26, 2024, 02:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Use an older OS version to manage the device - ….
That’s a great idea, but how? There are a bunch of websites that tell you tons of stuff about using old iPads, but they usually talk about putting some flavor of Linux (or worse, an Android-ish distro) on the iPad. None of the “idea” sites I’ve come across tells you how to “iPad like it’s 2014”…

How does one downgrade iPadOS, when Apple specifically says that’s a no-no? (And I think Apple is very aware of how essentially pushing OS updates for old iPads means they become useless…)

I have several old iPads I plan to turn into multifunction photo frames. There’s a Kickstarter/Indiegogo project called iFramix that makes this idea less DIY and more like a finished product. But I also like options, so being able to put a working OS on an older iPad would be wonderful.

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subego
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Mar 26, 2024, 02:57 PM
 
I think reader meant downgrade macOS to a version which still has iTunes.
     
reader50
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Mar 26, 2024, 03:01 PM
 
I meant an older MacOS version on one of your Macs, with an iTunes that handles app installs. I didn't consider that the iOS version would matter too.

Assuming you have an older backup of the iPad (made by an old iTunes), can you do the macOS reversion, copy across the backup files, and restore your iPad using the old iTunes? Assuming the later iOS will allow the iPad to be imaged from the old backup, that would get you most of the way.

When I do macOS upgrades, I always do it to a new partition. So my old macOS install remains intact. I can boot back into any version from Snow Leopard onwards, and my old account will still be there. I do have to upgrade my storage now and then to allow all those old installs to remain intact.
     
ghporter
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Mar 26, 2024, 03:12 PM
 
That makes more sense. Restoring an older iPad with whatever older MacOS version one might have available handles most of the problems with getting the old iPads running.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
shifuimam  (op)
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Mar 26, 2024, 10:24 PM
 
This has been an adventure. I still haven't gotten around to re-jailbreaking it, but I found an offline jailbreak (I think) so I can sideload unsigned apps. That makes it possible to force the App Store to download old versions of applications that are still available on the iTunes CDN. So I have some more work to do, but I recommend this route if you have old iOS devices. They're otherwise almost entirely useless - without jailbreaking, I can use iBooks on one of my 10.14 Macs to sync PDFs and EPUBs to it, and that's been pretty nice...but that's it.

I hate Android with a passion, but at least it's easy to get old apps and keep devices marginally practical and useful.
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Thorzdad
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Mar 27, 2024, 06:04 AM
 
Keeping compatible apps available for older devices has definitely been a problem with Apple’s management of the AppStore. The store itself can be pretty misleading when it comes to compatibility. Many times, I will see an app that says “Works on this iPad” but, when I tap on that button, it says it requires a version of iOS that my iPad cannot run.
     
   
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