Mike asked: “We got an iPad 4, refurbished. had it about 4-5 months. This thing has a mind of its own. When we turn it on, it opens apps on its own. When you try to read something on it, it flips pages on its own. It zooms on its own, and it “backs down” on its own. Do you have any idea what’s wrong with it?”
Mike, it sounds like you need a new digitizer.
Your iPad’s screen has two components working together, the display that actually shows the images, and the digitizer that senses when your fingers are on the screen.
It sounds to us like your digitizer is misfiring and telling your iPad that your moving your fingers around the screen, and the iPad is responding as if you were, since it doesn’t know any better.
If it’s 4 or 5 months old, even if it’s refurbished you may have some kind of warranty to file a claim under. If you don’t, the part itself isn’t very expensive, we’ve seen screen assemblies with digitizers online for as little as $15, if you’re willing and able to put in the work involved in taking the iPad apart and fixing it.
If you’d rather have someone else do it for you, it probably won’t be anywhere near that cheap, you may be looking at $100 if not more.
If you happen to have an Apple Store nearby, you can always bring it in for a diagnosis before paying someone else to fix the issue they determine it has, but since it’s an iPad 4 be prepared for them to look at you like you brought in a typewriter. They tend to think that people update their tech the second it comes out, and that’s not the case for a lot of us these days.