My iPad's adventure on the side of the road

My reply admittedly veers off topic, but it does offer advice regarding keeping mobile devices attached and what can happen if you don’t.

Just before Thanksgiving, I was preparing to chauffeur my spouse to a medical appointment, and I engaged in some pretty serious discussions with her lovable English Lab service dog about jumping up into the back seat of our sedan (Mia is VERY open about needing bribes to perform, and will use Academy Award acting skills to advance her case (“you want me to do WHAT? I’m sorry; I just don’t understand”—until, of course, some hand movement indicates the promise of said bribe). On this occasion, said surreptitious gesture “required” me to place my nearly new gen 3 iPadPro 11" tablet on the R front fender of our sedan. Being 76 and possessed of good intentions but diminishing attention span, my next thought about the iPad surfaced when we reached our destination, about 16 miles away from home and I realized I was not about to consume one of Joe Kissell’s “Take Control of” ePubs while sitting in my wife’s doctor’s waiting room.

I assumed the tablet’s only chance for survival would be if it had slipped off the fender while I was exiting the garage, or backing down our short but inclined driveway, or (at worst) or propelled by the centrifugal force produced by making our first > 2 mph 90° turn at the end of our street. However, when I fired up FindMy on my phone, it announced that my tablet was lying 14 MILES away from home on or under the edge of a freeway overpass on Interstate 90, where I’d been within “we won’t chase you” judgements by Highway Patrol troopers of the 80 mph speed limit.

So, as soon as I could, I drove BACK over that overpass, and sure enough, there it lay, “magic” keyboard open, wedged against the overpass concrete wall.

It took me 24 hours to convince the Highway Patrol that it might be worth retrieving, which I CERTAINLY was not going to attempt myself from that location, fearing that 80,000 pound (or heavier) trucks demonstrating that said speed limits did NOT apply to them might inconvenience me as I attempted a rescue.

Part of that delay came because for about 30 minutes during the iPad’s “nap” on the pavement, it “announced” that it had changed positions to a Pizza restaurant just a few hundred yards away, tucked fairly close beneath the overpass. When that happened, I assumed my opportunity to reacquaint myself with it had lapsed, but then it jumped back to its previously-announced position, at which point I realized that FindMy reports basically announce the coordinates of a DISCOVERING device, NOT the precise location of the misplaced device itself; i.e., it had NOT been retrieved by a freeway-overpass thief who then drove a mile or two to the next exit, then back to the pizza restaurant to celebrate his crime.

I should also note that the “here I am; come get me” broadcasts FROM the tablet persisted for the remainder of its stay on the overpass. When a highway patrolman called me 24 hours after it had jumped off my fender, his announcement included “it looks awful, but it looks as though it still WORKS.”

So here we are, almost 2 weeks later. It still charges, still responds to screen taps, and even responds to Magic Keyboard input (although that was NOT true until after I vacuumed the keyboard several times. I’ve even obtained a “repair” quote from a 3rd party repair shop. (The closest Apple-certified repair emporium is > 500 miles away from Bozeman, MT, and the cost for warranted repairs by a certified shop are pretty close to the price for a brand new—not even a refurb!—tablet). And, the cost for an OEM screen FROM Apple is not determinable, because (despite Apple’s claim it now adheres to “right to repair” edicts), it will not sell many parts to mere mortal end users.

So now I’m struggling with whether I should try to obtain a “black market” screen. I’ve watched a few YouTube videos, and they suggest that there would be many, MANY opportunities for me to screw up a self-repair. and I’m no longer certain that the functionally significant injuries are confined JUST to the screen. For example, once I log in to the tablet, the display begins to wander around its user interface as if some invisible hand were tapping and gliding along the cracked (and NOT just cracked; more like “dissolved” at the corners) screen. (By the way, I can see “inside” because the screen now adheres to the case and electronics solely via glue tape along one edge, tethered to the circuitry by one or two folded ribbon cables).

One third party repair shop has agreed to look at a brief video of what my iPad does all by itself and adjust its pricing or willingness to perform the repair based on what they infer from that little bit of entertainment. I’ve already voted my own intent by purchasing a new 4th Generation 11" iPad Pro, and now I’m looking to see if some local educational institution accepts donations of “critically ill” hardware for its students to practice their increasing aptitudes on (so far without any takers).

So, for the few who’ve read this far, How many of YOU would keep looking for a new screen and a bunch of various-thickness guitar picks?


We want to see pictures! :slight_smile: Just drag them out of Photos to the desktop and into a post here to upload.

My take is that you should treat it as a crash repair dummy to the extent you can without spending too much. Could be fun to operate. It doesn’t sound like it will ever be fully trustable again.

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An option is that someone at Apple’s repair services will talk you through their repair options, including what you might be able to do yourself:

“If your iPad has screen damage, we can service it for a fee. Accidental damage isn’t covered by the Apple warranty.

Screen damage is eligible for applicable coverage for accidental damage from handling with your AppleCare+ plan.”

If this doesn’t for you work you can send your iPad to Apple directly, and they will send you a temporary replacement device: