I finally gave up. After months of trying to continue to use my older iPad 2 with first iOS 8 and then iOS 9, as chronicled in several blog posts, I finally gave in and bought a new iPad Air 2. These two blog posts, and the many comments left both on the posts and on social media, show I am clearly NOT alone in wanting to continue using my iPad 2:
- Will iOS 9 Make My iPad2 Usable Again? (June 2015)
- UPDATE: Will iOS 9 Make My iPad2 Usable Again? (Reports after the upgrade.) (September 2015)
What finally did it for me is that after the iOS 9 upgrade, I was no longer able to use a specific application that I use all the time.
To explain a bit more, I coach a competitive girls Junior Curling team that my daughter is a member of. As part of that, I've been using an app call "iCurlStats" to track the actions and statistics in curling games so that we can be able to go back over them afterward. When I tried to use it in a recent curling tournament (a "bonspiel") it kept crashing all the time... and at terrible moments when I'd entered half of an "end" of a curling game.
It was so frustrating.
And unfortunately I discovered that the makers of that "iCurlStats" app seem to have gone out of business. The app is gone from the AppStore and the developer's website is completely gone. (In the little bit of digging it looks like the company may have been acquired by another company who then shut down different parts of the acquired company.)
So the chances of me getting an updated version of the app from the developer that would still work with an iPad 2 running iOS 9 were basically non-existent.
So I gave up. I gave in to the "planned obsolesence" and forked over more money to Apple for a iPad Air 2. This is the latest iPad in this size and so one would hope that Apple will keep it around for a while. Because I have come to heavily use a number of apps that are only on iOS, I'm right now locked into Apple's shiny, pretty walled garden. And I'm reluctantly okay with that because the apps are useful and help me get things done.
But I will also now be VERY CAUTIOUS applying future iOS updates to this iPad.
Had I not "updated" the iPad 2 to iOS 8 and left it running iOS 7 it probably would still be quite workable. (At least until I was forced to upgrade to newer apps that only ran on iOS 9 or later.) Now the iPad 2 will become something I use for an extra web browser screen or for some of the music apps... at least while all of those continue to work.
So that's the end of the saga.
No more glacial slowness for me - the iPad Air 2 is a remarkable and fast tablet. I can chart my curling games extremely easily and it works great for all the other apps I use, too.
Hopefully I can get a good run of years out of this one.
An audio commentary on this topic is also available:
P.S. There's another part to the story, too. After getting all set up on the iPad Air 2 and having iCurlStats work great - and getting all set up for the curling bonspiel all this past weekend... I decided that I wasn't comfortable with using an app that was no longer supported at all. In my research I had stumbled upon Curl Coach, a newer iPad app for curling coaches, and wound up using it for this past weekend's bonspiel. It is an amazing application! It's not cheap ($40 USD), but it's well worth it for how well it helped me work with our team! I don't know if this would have run on the iPad 2 (removing the need to buy the iPad Air 2), but I'm sure it wouldn't have run as fast as it did... and that is key when you're in the midst of recording a game.