I’ve now seen the miracles that can happen when a bored kid is given entertainment. Life has changed since I was a kid and if you were bored and had forgotten to bring a book you just let your brain rot.
Now, some of these old tablets may seem too slow, too outdated, etc. But if you’re torn between a $300 tablet purchase and ten minutes of work to make your old tablet work for a kid, I’d personally say go the ten minute option.
Most Android tablets you can root them and replace the ROM that came with the device with a new ROM that works better. Android was not very optimized when it came out, it was sort of all over the place, and each new version of the operating system has pretty much been a performance improvement.
On the iSide, Jailbreaking can allow you to attach video game console controllers, resize icons, do lots of neat stuff to breathe some extra life into your child’s future device.
Rooting or jailbreaking something you think is too slow, bloated, or complicated for them to use could make it fast, lean, and just right. So it’s something you should look into.
One of my greatest disappointments in a straight out purchase was the Barnes and Noble Nook Color aka the Encore. It was a slow, bloated, hog of a device designed to keep you in the B&N store and get you to purchase their books, apps, etc.
Things that were free in Google Play were $2 at B&N. Web browsing was painfully slow. I Installed a custom recovery on it a while back, and as of today the thing is running Cyanogenmod 11/Android KitKat 4.4.2. The initial boot time is a little slow, but afterwards it’s a very usable tablet.
Anyway, there’re hundreds of different exploits for different tablets and devices, so there is some research to be done, but it can save you a few bucks and bring an otherwise dust-gathering device to use as a child’s toy. Hell, you might not even want to give it to them after you’ve discovered some of the things you can do jailbreaking/rooting.
If you’re worried about breaking the thing, what’s the worst that could happen, you’ll use it less?