Check your Settings-General-About screen to see how much available space is remaining. If it is getting close to zero, you may want to delete some large files (like videos?) to free up some space.
You might also try rebooting the iPad. Hold both the Home and Sleep buttons for several seconds until the Apple logo appears. Ignore the "Slide to power off" arrow. The iPad will restart after a couple of minutes. Rebooting won't hurt anything, and may clear your problem.
We have a problem with our expectations, possibly. We may be expecting the iPad to be doing too much. After all, a proof-of-concept device always presents limitations quickly. We'll learn, there are places, sites, where we can't conveniently go with our iPads - for sound, technical reasons.
There aren't many answers that seem useful to us as we experience crash after crash with our iPads but there's a way to get more specific answers about crashes if you are aware of it. Below, I'll offer an insight and some added comments, for whatever value they may have for you.
IF your iPhone, iPod or iPad, or even just an app, is freezing or crashing regularly, you may review your crash logs to diagnose any reportable issues. Crash logs contain information about what an iDevice and its apps were doing just prior to crashing.
To find a crash log file, sync your iPhone, iPod or iPad first, then locate the appropriate log files using the path for your OS shown below. An app's log file’s name should start with the app’s name, for example.
Mac OS X
~/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/MobileDevice/<your iDevice’s name>/
C:\Documents and Settings\\Application Data\Apple computer\Logs\CrashReporter\<your iDevice’s name>\
C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\Apple computer\Logs\CrashReporter\MobileDevice\<your iDevice’s name>\
Usually, an iDevice user chooses to allow the reporting of crashes to Apple, Inc. automatically, this being a choice when initially setting up your device. Each time a sync is made, the crash logs get reported. So, Apple has a pretty good idea who's crashing when and where, even why, already. If they acknowledged every crash of an iDevice individually, each and every email to you would have to be redundant to what you've just experienced for yourself. Rest assured, Apple learns a lot from the gross collection of crash reports.
I've just taken a look at my orginal iPad's crash log which shows some 1,500 files, with at least 1,000 of the crashes related to the iPad's low memory. I sense that your review of your own iPad crash reports would pretty much mirror mine.
This is a dilemma, for sure. First, the iPad is really just an early product of its kind. Secondly, it has been designed with many factors in mind, one being product segmentation. Apple doesn't want the iPad to cannibalize the MacBooks too quickly so there must be some limitations built into the iPad to prevent unwanted occurrences. After all, the MacBooks make up 75% of Apple's business these days. Finally, balancing the MacBooks and the iPads amounts to a dangerous business and the consequences of wrong decisions can become catastrophic.
The amount of memory in the iPad is obviously limited, purposely. The Daily Newspaper demonstrated this fact early on. Today, Apple is pushing greater resolutions requiring bigger files for HD stuff and app developers are assuming, probably, that they can eventually force Apple to increase memory sizes in the iPads. We users expect the Pulse app, for example, to function without flaws but, of course, this app interacts directly with the internet where sites have files in sizes the iPad cannot easily handle. It's a programmer's nightmare, balancing memory requirements.
Many sites have pages designed for use with the iPad, so learn about them - and learn to avoid the others while using the iPad. Netflix, for example, has an iPad app and a regular web page. If you go to the Netflix web page with an iPad and trigger the showing of a movie, then Netflix will open your Netflix app on your iPad immediately. Netflix doesn't care for you to use your regular browser to watch their movies. Netflix is being technically, and practically, responsible here. People who have iPads might benefit from learning about content providers like Netflix.
Apple's competitors know all about these common crashes, too. Watch the tablets appear with greater amounts of memory offered, if only to make a manufacturer's products look technically superior to Apple's. However, Apple is famous for saying "NO!" to a lot of technology for sound reasons. But, if future iPads are likely to include increased memory then our original iPads will quickly become out-of-date - since many content providers either don't care to use appropriate technology or maybe they just seem to be assuming that the iPad will someday replace the notebook computer.
Apple may not have anticipated the early enterprise adoption of the iPad but that adoption is becoming rampant and the demand to stop all this crashing will grow more loud quickly. Apple knows all about this issue and we might only wait for both software and hardware improvements. Content providers may hold the most immediate solution, though, by showing more discipline with their creations.
I appreciate that thougtful post, it does remind me that as cool as my ipad can be, it is not a laptop. I was going a little crazy over the last couple weeks as my 32gb iPad started to crash several times a day. A few apps have become completely unusable, safari being one of them(I cleared the cache, cookies, etc) but i still had to switch to atomic browser. I started to troubleshoot, none of the apps in question seemed to have any other users reporting problems nor were they recently updated. My browsing and usage behavior hasn't really changed, but my iPad is really becoming unreliable. I did a full restore, after trying a few reboots over a couple days. I thought maybe it was certain tasks and/or websites, so I did some side by side comparison with my wife's ipad2. Her iPad did everything no problem with the exception of one image intense website, the Verge. It crashed safari once. Thankfully nothing has full crashed my entire iPad, but a few apps that I rely on have lost the content I was working on when the apps crashed, it's frustrating. I stopped by an apple store today and a genius talked to me for a few minutes and basically told me I might just be brushing up against the limitations of the iPad. While maybe a valid point, it's frustrating that apps that a supposedly approved are pushing the iPad to its limits. At this point Im not letting it ruin my life, it's just disappointing, and it might just be my expectations are too high.
You're not alone, that's for sure! But, iOS 5.1 is believed to be in its third beta at this moment so a remedy of some sort appears imminent!
Funny thing is that my iPhone 4S is receiving random notification sounds for no recognizable reason, sounds that are not installed on my iPhone! Strange! Even my wife hears these sounds so I'm not fantasizing about what I think I'm hearing.
So, iOS 5.0x has some problems. Considering the technology, that's a reasonable happening. I get disturbed when my original iPad produces a long blink - the screen simply turns black for a moment - sometimes when I tap the home screen button, usually when I first pick up my device for use.
So, our best remedy is in its latter stages of development by Apple and its horde of developers! We all know it's about time, too!
Now that much is nice to know, that a remedy is afoot!