We recently bought a used 1stGen iPad Air (MD788LL/A). It looks like we can't install the Netflix app because it requires iOS 13, and our iPad cannot be updated to that version of the operating system. Is there any way to work around this? Is it possible, for example, to watch Netflix in the Safari browser?
It is a common thing among outdated apple devices.
If you have a friend, relative or access to any device with the latest iOS, just open up your account from them.
Install the app, delete it and log out.
Once you go back to your own device, the app will be listed in your "Purchased" section.
When you press download from there, the prompt will say something like (paraphrasing) "The latest version of Netflix is not compatible with your version of iOS, do you want to install latest compatible version?"
From then, you can install the app and use it up until Netflix cuts support for that version of app.
If you don't have access to a newer iOS device, or don't want to mess up the accounts on your friend's phone, you can "purchase" an app through an older version of iTunes. Apple provides links for the last app store enabled iTunes versions.
Of course, not all apps will work on older devices, even if there's a version of the app that's compatible. For instance, an online game might no longer be supported on the game's servers. Or Netflix could drop support for older iOS devices.
If you're looking for a more long-term solution, you can probably jailbreak your iPad considering its iOS version. There are multiple jailbreak tweaks such as AppAdmin that allow you to download and install earlier versions of applications; you can find one that is compatible with your device, and then use it.