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When you buy a new phone, where do you put the old one? Maybe you are used to giving it to your kids as you would a hand-me-down t-shirt, but there are actually other ways you can reuse or recycle it.
Here are eight great ways of how you can use your old device.
Wireless Trackpad & Controller For Your Computer
Believe it or not but it only takes a few minutes and a bit of tinkering with your device to turn it into an on-demand controller for your computer (Windows, Mac, or Linux).
Follow these steps to do so:
Download an app called Unified Remote.
Turn on your Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. One of the two will be fine.
The app has two versions: a free one and a paid. The free version will give you basic mouse and keyboard control, access to media playback, and power-related commands. The paid version provides you with other additional features. You will have to choose which one you are satisfied with.
Download and install the server-side software for your computer.
You’re all set. Now, leave your old device where it’s more comfortable for you and use it when you need to go wireless.
Free-Standing Security Camera
If you’ve ever thought of improving your home’s or office’s security, then now is your chance to do so without investing much into it. Your old device can easily be turned into a free-standing security camera with video recording and motion detection.
To do so, you will have to download a third-party app that will connect to your camera. There is a free app called IP Webcam that can be a great option for this. After installation, follow the instructions and you will be all set.
Kitchen Command Center
A kitchen command center is perfect for those who want to busy themselves while cooking or need to have assistance in some form (for reading recipes, for example). To turn your old smartphone or tablet into a kitchen command center, follow these steps:
Install a third-party launcher such as Nova Launcher or Action Launcher to simplify commands on your device. You can, for example, set it up in a way so that when you double-tap anywhere on the screen, it will launch a particular app. Don’t forget to check if your device supports voice commands.
Add Netflix or another video-streaming service you prefer to the home screen in order to access it quickly.
Add recipe apps, note-taking apps, and recipe e-books to the home screen to have them all in one place.
Add any other apps you need. Now you’re all set.
Kid-Friendly Learning Tool
In the digital world we live in now, it’s no wonder that your kids will need a gadget of their own. But if you don’t want to buy a new one and want to be able to somewhat limit their actions, you can set up your old device in a way that will benefit both you and them. Create a separate restricted profile or install special apps that will limit access to certain actions.
Moreover, you can keep your device for yourself and start learning, for example, a language. Download a language-learning app, find some ebooks in the language you are studying, and start making the first steps towards your aim! If you are learning a language for business relationships and you need to translate a document, you can always use a professional online localization service such as The Word Point to have your document translated. After all, until you are fluent in a language yourself, it’s better to leave the translations to experts.
We don’t often have time for reading, but some long trips in a car or plane flights may appeal to us as the perfect time to read a book. But carrying a thick paperback with you is not as fun as having a small digital reader that is much easier to handle.
You can turn your old device into a dedicated reader by downloading all the necessary apps and turning off the notifications in order not to distract you from your book. You can go as far as keeping the device in airplane mode.
Desk Calendar & Photo Frame
Your smartphone or tablet has way more functions than you think. You can even turn it into a photo frame or a calendar that will stand on your desk in your office.
To turn your device into a digital photo frame, you can use Google Photos. Launch the Slideshow feature it has and the app will cycle all your photos one after the other.
Alternatively, you can turn your phone into a desk calendar. Once again, you can use Google’s Calendar app or search for an alternative with an interface you like more.
Power For Scientific Research
Did you know that you can help scientists detect earthquakes, improve cancer treatment, and search for extraterrestrial life with the help of your old device? By using your device’s computing power to conduct scientific research, your smartphone or tablet can become a part of a series of programs that will help scientists. Review these options and choose the one you like more:
HTC Power To Give
This app connects your device to UC Berkeley’s BOINC (Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing) which conducts research in such spheres as physics, biomedicine, and astronomy.
Belonging to UC Berkeley Seismological Laboratory, this app uses your device’s sensors to detect and analyze earthquakes. This can be effective if you live in an area with seismological activity.
This app is a joint effort by Vodafone and Australia’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research. Their aim is to understand how cancer relates to a patient’s DNA profile which will eventually help find effective cancer-fighting drugs.
Games are probably the reason why you run out of space on your device so quickly. You might transfer your photos and videos to a flash drive or your laptop, but you can’t do that with games, and if you are a gamer, this may become a problem.
Instead of throwing away your old smartphone or tablet, you can easily turn it into a separate gaming device. Transfer all of the files you won’t be using anymore and install the games you want to play.
All in all, there is definitely no need to throw away your old smartphone, even if it’s almost dead. From using it as a clock to playing games on it in your spare time, this old friend of yours can still serve you well even when you get a replacement for it.