Whether we want to admit it or not, we all have old phones covered in dust shoved to the back of our desk drawers. Some end up there due to a lack of knowledge on how to properly dispose of the electronic devices, while others lie forgotten out of fear that the device still houses sensitive and personal data. And therefore these still-useable devices just end up taking up space with no purpose. But, when you think about it, a smartphone is really just a pocket-sized computer and even without their cell signal capabilities, smartphones may still function just as well on a Wi-Fi connection, essentially making them miniature This allows you to put your old devices to good use. Provided are 8 different ways you can repurpose an old smartphone:
High-tech alarm clock and sleep tracker
Most cell phones come with a built-in system. Even if you’re not paying for cell service, you can still use it for certain apps that you’ve already downloaded. You can also download a white noise app that as been said helps people sleep.
Better yet, use that old phone to track your sleeping patterns. As a sleeping pattern is tracked, the app Sleep Cycle will let you know not only your duration of sleep but the quality as well.
Kindle and Nook e-readers have evolved over the years from convenient e-readers to tablet-like-devices that now have the ability to surf the web, downloads apps, and more. And what’s even better is that for Apple’s iBooks and Amazon’s Kindle, the hardware for an e-reader isn’t needed at all. Now, users can easily download an app and get to reading from their smartphones.
But we have to admit, that smartphones have considerably smaller screens than your typical e-reader, and they’re backlit, while the average Kindle screen mimics printed paper — therefore, you might not get the same experience. But really, that’s just a small price to pay in order to carry around an entire library right in your pocket.
Smartphone storage has grown exponentially in recent years; the latest iPhone models have up to 256GB. That amounts to thousands of songs, movies, podcasts, and games. This is an excellent alternative to your regular phone, since you won’t receive calls and your mp3s don’t have to compete with more critical data.
And if you’re looking to book a flight, you don’t have to worry about finding something to keep you occupied. Just load your old phone with all the entertainment you like and binge watch anything and everything you want all on one flight!
The best smartphones have cameras with roughly the same resolution and optics as a regular point-and-shoot, and some photographers prefer an iPhone or Galaxy, because photos can be edited and shared. You may have retired your phone, but the camera is as useful as ever, which makes it the perfect learning tool for children.
Before you hand over an expensive point-and-shoot or new smartphone, let your kids practice taking photographs with that old device.
You’ve probably seen commercials where people strap a phone in front of their eyes and have a blast playing games and experiencing new worlds through virtual reality. It can be a lot of fun, but it also requires moving your phone in and out of a VR headset mount. Your old iPhone can become your full-time VR gadget.
You will need to pick up VR goggles that are compatible with your model of iPhone. Check out the Google Cardboard goggles as an inexpensive way to get started. From there, you can try out a variety of VR apps available through Apple’s App Store. The Google Cardboard app works with the Google goggles and is a good place to start your VR journey.
Control your Apple TV
The Apple TV remote is a model of minimalist design, but this means it can be a little difficult to use. Make your life easier and download the Apple TV Remote app to your old iPhone. Now you can navigate the Apple TV interface, conduct searches, and control your streaming entertainment with ease.
If your remote-control ambitions extend beyond just your Apple TV, check out the Pronto Smart Universal Remote Control for iOS. This device works in combination with the Peel Smart Remote app to turn your phone into a universal remote control that can handle almost any television, stereo system, or another home-entertainment device.
Your phone doesn’t contain an IR blaster (the infrared technology that is used by most remote-control systems), but the Pronto and Peel combination makes up for this shortcoming.
Set-up home security
With increasing popularity, many users are turning old phones and tablets into a home security system.
With their Wi-Fi and high-res, built-in cameras, an old smartphone (or tablet) can keep an eye on your home at all times. You can download the Skype app and set it up to automatically accept incoming video calls so you can check on things while you’re out. Click here to download the app.
For more sophisticated surveillance, you can find specific home security apps. Presence is a popular option, but you can also check out Manything and Alfred. Install the app, set it up, and place your phone in a strategic spot. These apps offer live video streaming and motion-detection alerts. You can keep an eye on your front door, be on the look out for any packages, or check in on your pets when you’re traveling.
On a related note, your old iPhone can also act as a video baby monitor through the use of the $4 Cloud Baby Monitor app, which can send noise and motion alerts to your current phone and let you look in on your young one.
Use it for emergencies
Even if you don’t have an active mobile plan on an old phone you can still use it to call emergency services. By law, all cell phones are required to allow you to call 911, even without a service plan.
Just make sure the device is always charged and you’ll have it on hand whenever an emergency arises. Place the phone in a convenient location, like your purse or glove compartment.