Two new iPads are coming. Here’s how to recycle your old one for your kids


You can turn your old iPad into a smart home hub that works like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.

Karisa Langlo / CNET

It’s official: two new iPads are arriving in stores this Friday, September 24.

Apple announced the ipad mini and the 10.2 inch iPad To his big event last week. Both iPads come with a new high-resolution camera that includes Center Stage (a new digital zoom feature) and a few big upgrades we’ve been waiting for. The iPad Mini comes in four new colors, has a True Tone display, and supports 5G connectivity. On the other hand, the ninth generation iPad works with the first generation Apple Pencil and other wireless keyboards. It favors the eighth generation a lot but comes with a faster A13 bionic chip.

If you’re shopping for a new iPad, there’s no better time. But what does this mean for your old one? Maybe sell it for a little extra cash to cover the cost of the shiny new iPad? Or you can keep it for your kids and download it iPadOS15 to give them some of the new benefits of the iPad for free. Even though the new iPad sounds a lot better, the old one can still come in handy. You can use it as a smart hub similar to a Echo show Where Google Nest Hub. Or you can turn it into a new baby monitor (more details below). Interested? We will show you how.

We also have ideas on what you can do with your old android phone (maybe turn it into a security camera). And here’s what else was revealed at Apple event. There’s a new Apple watch and the iPhone 13 is finally here with two new colors.

Turn it into a smart hub and use Apple’s HomeKit

You don’t need to buy Apple HomePod or HomePod Mini to install a smarter Apple speaker in your children’s room.

You can turn your old iPad into a smart home hub that lets your kids play music, turn lights on and off, and even control the temperature in their room with the tablet.

To turn your iPad into a smart home hub for your children’s room:

1. On your iPad, go to Settings.

2. Scroll down, tap Home, and then turn on Use this iPad as a Home Hub.

If you want to give your kids control only over smart devices in their bedroom and not anywhere in the house, you can set limits on what they can access in the Home app.

A smart baby monitor for much less

More baby monitors make it easy to monitor your little one from your phone or computer. But they are not cheap. Turning your old iPad into a baby monitor can be a more affordable way to keep track of your baby.

Baby monitor apps like Cloud Baby Monitor can allow you to monitor your child. You can also receive motion and noise alerts, just like popular baby monitors – the Owlet Plus smart socks is popular. Note that if you’re looking for a monitor that monitors your baby’s oxygen levels, temperature, and sleep quality, an iPad won’t do that for you.

A soothing night light and sound machine

If your kids are starting to sleep on their own and you want to create a peaceful haven for them, your old iPad is up to the task. With an app like Baby Night Lite, you can set up a night light for the children’s room with a variety of small animals and colors, as well as a sound machine accompanied by a variety of songs, white noises and sounds of ambient background. And you can set a timer and create a playlist of peaceful and soothing music or lullabies. For older kids who are beyond lullabies and dancing sheep, an app like Night Light Lite lets you choose from a variety of sounds, such as beach waves and running water, and colors of. the night light to help them fall asleep.

A new game console and new features with iPadOS 15

Sony’s PS5 or the Nintendo Switch could be on your kids’ shortlist for holiday gifts. But the iPadOS15 has a few new widgets to improve the game, including a Continue Playing feature to pick up where you left off and a widget that lets you see what games your friends are playing.

And for fun and variety, it’s hard to beat an iPad paired with Apple Arcade games, such as NBA 2K21 Arcade Edition or the Oregon Trail. And if you have more kids at home than gaming devices, converting that old iPad into a gaming device may be the perfect solution.

Plus, iPad gives your kids a bigger screen to play multiplayer games. And you can even add a PlayStation or Xbox wireless controller to iPad so your kids can play without hogging the TV or your phone.


You can download learning apps for your child to use your old tablet as an educational tool.

Sarah Tew / CNET

An educational tool with games and learning applications

If your kids are going to start needing the personal computer for schoolwork, turning an iPad into a dedicated educational tool may be the perfect use for your old Apple tablet. You can even pair it with a keyboard and a mouse to make the iPad more like a computer. Additionally, the new iPad update comes with split view so you can take notes and watch a video or use an app, which makes that old iPad even more useful.

If you are worried that your child will be distracted by messages, games, alerts and social media, you can use Apple parental controls to set limits and what they can and cannot do on the device. You can also use Focus mode to silence all notifications, distractions and create a screen that only shows the apps you choose.

To stay ahead of the curve this school year, here are some apps that can help your kids study, track their day, and take notes.

If you’re still thinking about buying a new iPad, here’s our guide to best iPads available right now and the big differences between them. And here are the big differences between the two new iPads if you are wondering which one to choose.


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