7 great uses for an old phone or tablet

Sea_of_phones600Once you’ve gotten that new iPhone or Samsung Galaxy you’ve been waiting and saving for, only one dilemma remains: what to do with your old smartphone or tablet?! You could throw it in a drawer, give it to your friend or sell it to an electronic gadget recycling service – or you could try one of these ideas:

1. Home security

With the help of an Internet connection and a downloadable app, your old phone can be used as a home-security system. “Salient Eye” (Android) and “Manything” (Apple) are two apps which let you use a smartphone as a security camera, perfect for keeping an eye on your kids, pets or valuables while you’re out of the house all day at work.

2. Digital frame

You already have thousands of photos stored on your old phone. Instead of deleting them, you can turn an unneeded tablet into a digital frame. Just download the app “Dayframe” for your Android device or “Digital Photo Frame” or “Picmatic” for an iPad. All of these can easily use photos from a camera roll or your social media accounts and display them in rotation, all day long.

3. Universal remote

Did you know that a smartphone could act as a universal remote control? If your television or Blu-ray player is Internet capable, then it can! Many new models of these devices come with free apps that let you control them with a smartphone over your home Wi-Fi connection.
Additionally, the app “Remote Mouse” lets you control your computer or laptop from your smartphone.

4. New toy

Kids love tablets; they’re a proven remedy for noisy, rowdy little ones that you need to settle down for a while on the sofa. Downloading a few apps and changing the privacy settings on your old tablet will make it a great pastime for the kids in your life. Both Apple and Android app stores allow you to restrict the kind of material that can be downloaded onto your device. Also, apps like “Famigo” lock certain aspects of a tablet, making it kid-appropriate.

5. E-reader

Hold on to your old tablet if you like reading e-books. Instead of buying a special device, all you have to do is download the “Kindle” app and you’ll be able to download and read e-books form Amazon, Google Play or iTunes. There are also online library services which let you rent books for your e-reader at lower prices.

6. Alarm clock

Clock radios are so retro. An old smartphone can be used as a next-gen alarm clock with the software pre-installed in the device. If you have some free time on your hands and don’t need to wake up for work, an app like “Sleepbot” will track your sleeping cycle and wake you up only once you’ve had enough!

7. Music & maps

Instead of carrying your new phone in and out of the car every day, you can use your older smartphone as a music device in your car. Most new car models offer smartphone docking stations and a simple Wi-Fi connection will let you update the music library from your cloud when your car is in your home’s driveway. Additionally, your music device can double as a GPS. Apps like “Waze” let you navigate effortlessly to any address in the country, all the while providing you with real-time traffic updates.

No matter what you plan to do with your old device, make sure to wipe it clean of all your personal information before you pass it on to someone else, sell it or dump it in the garbage!