Does your phone’s cracked screen make you a little bit nervous to hold it up to your ear? Does the battery drain away before you can finish saying the words ‘battery charger’?
If it ticks all these boxes, it might be long past time for an upgrade. But what to do with your old faithful phone? You could give it away or sell it, but more often than not, it’ll end up gathering dust in some drawer. Put your old smartphone to good use instead with these tips.
Use your old smartphone as a security camera to help keep your home safe even when you’re not around. Apps like Presence, Manything and IP Webcam (search your preferred App Store) can turn an old Android or Apple device into a basic webcam that you can use for security, or as a pet or baby monitor. This makes it easy to check in, whether you’re away on holiday or simply at the office.
While you might want to limit your kids’ screen time, there are plenty of games and learning apps that could be handy when you need a break. Use parental controls and lock down your Apple or Android device to keep things safe, then entertain and educate children with countless free apps. Invest in a sturdy rubber case so your device can survive inevitable falls.
Never lose your remote again
Use your smartphone as a universal remote and you’ll never have to waste precious TV time looking for the actual remote control. Use it for anything from Netflix to your XBOX, and flip channels to your heart’s content. Certain apps can also let you program which device you can control so you can switch back and forth easily.
Make the drive easier
Keep an old phone in your glove compartment as a handy dandy car companion. Use it as a dedicated MP3 player to ensure you’ll always have tunes available on your road trips. Use it as a GPS device and save maps from Google maps to use even when you’re offline. You can even download some apps to turn the smartphone into a dashcam and record information in case of accidents or insurance claims.
Use it for science
Donate your old smartphone to Rainforest Connection, which turns phones into “autonomous, solar-powered listening devices that can monitor and pinpoint chainsaw activity” from great distances, which pinpoints deforestation activity as it happens, and lets appropriate authorities arrive on the scene in time to prevent more damage.
You can also donate your Android device’s processing power to help scientific research. Folding@Home searches for cures to Alzheimer’s, Ebola, and cancer, among other diseases, through a partnership with Sony and Stanford University scientists. BOINC is released by the Space Sciences Library at Berkeley University, and lets you choose what project you want to contribute to, such as searching for extra-terrestrial life or global warming modelling.
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