It seems that quite a few of you are own the first-generation iPad and are worried that iOS 6 means that the device is now "end of life" (EOL), since there will be no more updates.
I'm noticing from the iOS 6 page on the Apple website that the iPad 1 isn't supported. I'm assuming that this means, amongst other things, no more security updates.
I know that the iPad was first released two and a half years ago, so it's not new, but it's going strong and it's a shame to trash it.
Can you suggest anything to extend the life of my iPad?
I sure can.
As an owner of a first-generation iPad myself -- a device that I use for both content creation and consumption on a daily basis -- I'm interested in making my iPad last a little longer, maybe until the iPad 4 makes an appearance.
What I plan on doing with my iPad now is jailbreaking it. That is, removing the third-party, non-Apple approved software limitation on the device. This will give me access to Cydia third-party download platform. Not only will this give me access to software and customizations that Apple otherwise forbids, but Cydia will also give me access to security patches for the iPad for the more serious vulnerabilities.
It's not a perfect solution, but it's better than nothing.
Note: While jailbreaking is a relatively safe process, and usually when things go wrong you just have to reboot the iDevice by holding down both the Home and Power button until it reboots to fix things, if the worst does happen and you kill your iDevice, neither I nor Apple can help you. You are truly on your own.
The latest iOS release is iOS 5.1.1 and I suggest you update to this before carrying out the jailbreak. After doing this, download a jailbreak tool called Redsn0w. I suggest you grab version 0.9.14b2 for either Windows or Mac.
Once you have RedSn0w downloaded, the rest is easy:
Extract the files from the archive and run the RedSn0w executable (right-click on the executable and "Run as administrator" if you are a Windows user);
Connect your iPad to the computer;
Wait for RedSn0w to do its stuff;
When your iPad reboots, the jailbreak is complete and you'll see an app pointing to Cydia.
Congratulations, you've jailbroken your iPad!