What do you do with your old phone when it either dies or you’re simply done with it?
If you’ve got old cell phones collecting dust in a drawer, you are certainly not alone. With hardware upgrade cycles being what they are, we’ve probably all got a few kicking around. Rather than trashing them or leaving them to collect yet more dust, here are five things you can do with an old phone.
If it’s an older smartphone, there are all kinds of cool projects you can get into. You can turn it into a dedicated media player for in the car. You could make it a dedicated alarm clock. You could turn it into a dedicated VoIP device. If it’s one of many older Androids with a built-in IR blaster, you can turn it into a universal remote. Finding a new use for your phone saves you money and is great for the environment. These are all simple projects that don’t require any hacking. To really unlock the power of your old smartphone, just Google: “hack (your phone model)” and see what comes up.
2.An extra remote
I was late to discover that smartphones make dandy remote controls for TVs or streaming devices. Apple TV has a great remote control app for iOS, and the Google Home app will control Chromecast devices on iOS and Android. In one way, the phone apps are better than the real thing: they have keypads, making it much faster to enter titles than scrolling around the on-screen keyboards of the devices themselves.
3.Old school media device
Once upon a time, before the iPhone, you had to carry two devices: a cellphone and a separate music player, which may or may not have been an iPod. Your old phone can still work as a standalone media storage device, either to back up your library or for actual use. Because (if it is still in operating condition) the Wi-Fi still works, you can even use your older phone as a streaming platform — assuming your account is licensed for multiple devices. This could also be a perfect solution for amusing a small child on the go.
4.Setup a webcam
Webcams are really useful for both security and for Zoom meetings, but they are very much in demand and can still be hard to find these days. If Amazon is demanding you wait three weeks for an expensive webcam, try using an older phone instead.
5. Your child’s first phone
Speaking of small children, your old phone makes a great starter device (yes, we’ve really gotten to that point). You can put approved games and apps on the phone, activate parental controls, and you’re all set. If the device gets broken or lost, there may be tears from the kid, but from you? Not so much.