Smartphones – how they have made themselves into something that we can’t seem to live without. On average, people upgrade their smartphones every two years and this begs the question; what to do with the old one?
There are many things you can do – that are smart and innovative – than throwing your old phone away or giving it to a friend who would be facing the same scenario in a couple of months. Check out the following amazing 17 uses of old smartphone!
17. Give to it to charity
You can donate it to charities like Oxfam that either repurpose your smartphone, send it overseas or recycle its parts for cash to fund their various operations.
16. Contribute to scientific research
If your device is working fine you can donate it to Folding@Home that uses the unused processing power of the devices to try and find cures for diseases such as Ebola, cancer, Alzheimer’s and more. Another such app is BOINC that has been released by the Space Sciences Library at Berkeley and allows the users to select from a number of different projects that include global warming and space research modeling.
15. Emergency phone
For those occasions when everything has gone south; wipe the phone, place a pre-paid SIM card and store the phone along with a charging pack in your car or the bottom of your pack. This way you know you can rely on the smartphone when and if the need arises.
14. Kid’s toy
You can create a Restricted Profile that limits the access that children have on the smartphone and install them apps that they can use (kid-suitable apps). Now you can keep the toddlers entertained without worrying about losing your new smartphones.
13. Baby monitor
Using apps such as Dormi and Baby Monitor, you can transform your old smartphone into a baby monitor that is capable of streaming video and audio to your new device.
12. Robot brain
Smartphones can be used for powering up robots. There are examples of this particular approach in the form of the Cubestormer and Smartbot. You can build yourself one using this kit that is worth $30.
11. Digital photo frame
Simply install an app like Dayframe, load up a selection of your favorite pictures, sit it in an upright dock, and let it roll.
10. Security camera
You can use your old device for monitoring your home for security breaches. There are apps available that are motion-sensitive and shall email the owner along with photos. Check out the tutorial to help you set up a security sensor.
9. Protect the rainforest
You can donate your smartphone to this organization, Rainforest Connection, which will retrofit it so that it can be used for protecting rainforests by checking for illegal logging.
8. Wi-Fi extender
Are you one of those who suffer from weak Wi-Fi signals? You can install app such as fqrouter2 that is capable of picking up a signal and then repeating it. This requires that your device is rooted. Here’s a guide to help you accomplish the task.
7. Media center
You can make your old smartphone into a media center by using a Chromecast streaming device or a micro USB-to-HDMI cable and installing apps such as Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Pandora and Spotify on it. Now you have a dedicated TV top-box and you can enjoy media!
6. Alarm clock
Simply install any of the clock apps that you fancy and build yourself a cheap smartphone dock to go crazy. The end result is a highly customizable alarm clock dedicated for your side table.
5. Virtual reality headset
Google Cardboard costs only $20 and is one of the most amazing projects out there that can help you create a DIY VR headset. Most of the apps are still not very refined, however, you can still enjoy VR! The only catch? Your phone must have a gyroscope.
4. GPS for your car
You can install mapping apps such as CityMapper, Google Maps and Waze and have a dedicated GPS unit on your dashboard that won’t be interrupted by phone calls or other notifications. You can also use an aux cable to have it double up as an Mp3 player.
3. Desktop computer
The oldest smartphones are still more powerful when you compare them to the desktop computers of 20 years ago. Here’s how you can install a version of the open-source Linux OS on your phone; Debian. Once you’ve done that, just connect it to a monitor, connect a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse and voila!
2. Gym device
Reformat the device to take out any unnecessary apps and install some amazing fitness apps and get ready to work. You can also add music to it and use it as an mp3 player when you’re up on the treadmill. Make sure you don’t put a SIM card in it and don’t log in to the social media apps that might interrupt your workout.
1. Retro games console
Connecting an Android smartphone to a TV is much easier than you would have thought. You can either use a Chromecast streaming or a micro USB to HDMI converter cable. Once you’ve done that, download emulators for the favorite classic games. Connect a wireless Bluetooth controller – PS3 or PS4 controller will work – download games to your device and you’re good to go!