Using an outdated iPad with Roon?

I’ve got an old 3rd gen. iPad that I’m trying to retire gracefully by sticking it on my bathroom wall and using it as a music control center / cover art display.

Priority one: use it to access my music library (preferably Roon) and control what music comes out of my bathroom speaker, currently an Audio Pro Addon T10 with a Chromecast Audio that my Roon core can stream to.

Priority two: have the iPad set ut as a passive Roon display, so I can see the cover art of the currently playing track.

However, because the iPad is limited to iOS 9.3.5, I haven’t been able to get any of these scenarios up and running. The Roon app requires iOS 11, and both my fallbacks of Plex and Tidal, though installed, fail to let me log in and play anything at all.

I have Safari, Chrome and other webkit-based browsers installed on the iPad, and though it sees my Roon Display landing page just fine, the iPad doesn’t show up in Roon’s settings as an available display, leading me to believe that both browsers need updated versions to support Roon Display.

The only music app that lets me do anything is Apple Music, and while it’s a decent enough service, all of my personal collection lives in Roon. Both the selection of available music and the streaming quality are less than optimal.

As far as I can see, that leaves me with one last option with my available hardware: jailbreaking the iPad and installing… something else that will let me do what I want.

Do any of you have any experience with this? Any apps, tips or tricks that could help me out? Any way to make Roon Display work on this old workhorse?

I can’t speak to your other goals, but you should at least be able to connect via web browser and use as a display:

You can also try out the Roon extension Roon Web Controller as a simplified web-based way to control Roon playback.

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Thank you for replying. I’ve tried that, Roon does not recognize any of the browsers on the iPad.

Thank you. Good idea, that might do the trick. I’ll see if I can find a full-screen browser that will install on iOS 9.3.5.

Update: I installed Roon Web Controller, and it works great on the iPad using a browser called Frameless, which makes the controller full-screen without any visible borders or interface.

It’s a bit sluggish for navigating around my library and selecting songs, but great for skipping back and forth between songs.


Why is ios limited, I have an iPad mini gen 2 running latest ios and Roon with no issues !

Am I missing something

@Mike_O_Neill If you have the latest iOS then there is no limitation. Roon only works with iOS 11 and higher thus the limitation to older iPads that run an iOS lower than 11. Older iPads are not able to continue to update to latest iOS. I have 2 iPads one older than the other that has stopped updating at iOS 9.3.5. At some point your iPad will do the same. This is apples way of forcing you to buy another iPad. They do the same with their computers but we still buy them. The joys of technology.

I must be lucky I thought mine was old !

Obviously not , it keeps updating to latest iOS

Hi larserikdahle,

I have an iPad Air 2 I use mainly for Roon control. I do not know how old it is but it must be older than 7 years. It runs IOS 13.3.1 perfectly and Roon works fine. Have you tried to update your iPad? I can not understand why 9.3.5 would be the latest possible.


My oldest iPad was dead when I wrote my reply and now it’s charged. The last iOS it stopped updating to was ios 5.1.1. May I present to you the first version iPad which is 10 years old.

My iPad is 3rd generation, and 9.3.5 is the latest supported OS.

Check out this list:

iPad and iPad Air are two different products. All of this information about there capabilities and last iOS are online if you care to find out. This is how Apple forces us to buy a new iPad.

I am using VNC viewer on Ios 9, after installing VNC server on the core.
It’s working slow but almost fine.
I could not get the web display to work on that old Safari though…
I tried almost any browser that I could think of, but it’s not showing in Roon Displays setting.


They don’t force anyone to do anything. iPads last much longer than Android regarding OS updates, years and years longer.

I have a 1st and 2nd Gen iPad at the office for diagnostic purposes. Works as well as my new iPad in the same setting. When Apple adds features that need more ram and/or faster processor, then some apps may not be compatible. SONOS relented and makes S1 App to continue with our older SONOS units. At home I use a newer iPad and an old iPad to control Roon.

The bottom line is Apple agreed to end built in obsolescence from IOS12 upwards, a response to legitimate criticism of how they dealt with older products. They are doing the right thing now, but they haven’t always.

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I’d love to use my own 1st gen iPad as a Roon Remote, but yours is unfortunately an incorrect assessment, inasmuch as there are good business reasons not to build today’s software on hardware from 10 years ago (not that they’re morally valid, but many are technologically valid). If I’m not mistaken, in the case of Roon, there’s display stuff that simply can’t be done on older iPads for hardware reasons. Maybe @danny can explain better.

Not to play Apple fanboi or anything, but they happen to not be as bad as the multiple Android vendors, many of which simply don’t release updates (it’s gotten better, but still). And let’s not get started with embedded stuff (software is expensive, so as long as updates aren’t a selling point, why bother… This of course isn’t everywhere, you have companies (Lumin and @wklie come to mind) that work extra hard to fight obsolescence, but I’ve yet to hear a valid technological explanation as to why RAAT can’t run on a 1st gen Naim MU-SO QB, for example).

That is, unfortunately, incorrect as well, in the sense that to the best I can tell, Apple has made no such promise beyond iOS 12. Looks to me like they got themselves into a nasty lawsuit over battery life, and threw customers a bone.

The one thing that’ll make these guys (be it Apple or Google or anyone else) change is legislation, the EU has pushed them a little bit, but it’s still farcically inadequate. So want to change things ? Vote. Or maybe sue, which is more expensive but it does appear to get the message across.

Aaand I found it. There you go.

I found my 30-pin cable and charged my original iPad (iOS 9.3.5).

The Roon Extension Web Controller works fine, but slow, in Safari. So, if you run extensions that may be a way to get some use out of your older iPads.