Almost everyone of us has an old smartphone or tablet that is currently placed in the drawer or around the home. However, there are plenty of fun things you can do with your old smartphone.
1. Alarm clock
Putting your smartphone or tablet on the bedside table is not a good solution for everyone. You are distracted too much and may be tempted to check your social media or watch a movie before going to sleep. An old tablet or smartphone can be used as a digital alarm clock.
Night Clock is a simple alarm app for Android. The app ensures that the screen stays on when the app is running, of course, it is necessary that you have power on your device. With a tap on the screen, you can then set the alarm. A somewhat more comprehensive alarm clock is created with the Nightstand Central app.
This app is available for iOS and offers options to sleep as well as noise or other sounds and you can add your favourite music in addition to the time display. Also, it is useful that you can set the flashlight function of your iPhone to be activated when shaking the device.
2. Remote control
Your smartphone or tablet can be a handy remote for your multimedia devices. The devices you want to control must have a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection.
A Chromecast or Apple TV can be easily managed with your iPhone or Android device through your Wi-Fi network with the relevant apps from Google or Apple.
A great app for Android is SURE Universal Remote, which efficiently controls all kinds of devices in your home. You will need a smartphone or tablet that has IR and can communicate via infrared, as most devices in your household have an infrared receiver.
3. Children’s phone
Your smartphone or tablet is a great first companion with technology for your children. Of course, it’s not a good idea to hand your children with your only smartphone.
Hence an old smartphone is a better option to donate to the children. The advantage is also that you can block specific features so that your children can not accidentally send messages or view specific internet content.
In iOS device, go to Settings / General / Restrictions to block certain content and actions. For example, to make sure your kids can not make in-app purchases.
Do you want your children to have specific websites they can view, but cannot see adult content, then turn this on. In Android, you can lock a particular app so your child cannot switch to another app.
By going to Settings / Security / A screen lock and move the slider to On. Touch the overview button to see all your open apps and navigate to the app you want to lock. Tap the pin and in the next screen, check the Ask for a PIN before unblocking items.
4. Car Stereo and GPS Device
Every time you get in the car, you probably put your smartphone into a dashboard mount, plug in a power cord and click around connecting to your stereo via Bluetooth. And then you have to disconnect everything again when you get out.
Depending on how you use your phone in the car, you could save some hassle by turning your old phone into a dedicated car stereo and GPS device.
This won’t be as useful if you make a lot of hands-free calls in the car and your old phone doesn’t have its own active calling plan. But if you primarily use the phone for playing music and podcasts, and for real-time driving directions, this could help.
All it takes is a little preparation. Since your old phone will be offline in the car (no access to wifi or a cellular data), you need to preload it with music and podcasts in your house, office or anywhere else with a wifi connection. Also, to use GPS you’ll need to upload maps to the phone.
5. Using it as a surveillance camera
Lots of old smartphones have better cameras than many surveillance cameras, so why not reuse your old smartphone to keep watch over your home?
Apps such as SalientEye to turn your old Android into an ever-watchful motion detector (which can text message or email you if it senses an intruder), or use the TrackView app to remotely monitor and record video. Home security never cost so little.
Many of the uses mentioned are not mutually exclusive. Do you have any other suggestions of ways to use your old smartphone?