12 new uses for aged smartphones and tablets

August 11, 2016 - photo frame

From a home confidence complement or glow alarm to a design support or twin monitor, there are many crafty jobs your late inclination would adore to have.

On normal we ascent a phones each 29 months; and with a betrayal of new and softened tablets always on a horizon, iPads and their family are mostly left in a dirt when new glossy models appear. Old phones competence have mislaid their battery lives or other functions that make them archaic for daily work; and a new phone competence have softened capabilities that we require. At best these late inclination are upheld on to kids or others who competence find them useful, during misfortune they are sent make-up to a landfill. The rest? Well I’m guessing some-more than a few of we have a drawer filled with aged phones.

As we all know, a smartphone is some-more than a device for creation calls. (It competence warn some people that they can indeed be used to speak to one another regulating one’s unequivocally possess voice.) They are some-more like tiny slot computers; tablets are their saved cousins. So instead of putting them to pasture, we can give them a retirement pursuit instead. Geoffrey A. Fowler during The Wall Street Journal got this round rolling for me with his suggestions, and I’ve combined many some-more from my possess experience. (If we know of others, leave them in a comments.)

Many uses don’t need violation them open, usually operation complement updates and app downloads, as Fowler notes, “the hardest partial competence be anticipating a aged charging cable.”

1. Recipe book

iPad, kitchen, recipes. Capisce? we have an aged iPad on an aged book rest that binds recipes that we have collected from all over a web and ones that I’ve entered myself. Of march one doesn’t need a dedicated inscription for a kitchen, though if you’ve got it laying around anyway, it’s good to have one that competence be a tiny reduction changed in a face of flour and eggs.

2. Security system

As some-more people deposit in confidence systems to view on a nanny or locate a antics of pets when left alone, an aged Wi-Fi means phone can mount in for some high-tech voyeurism.

Fowler suggests a giveaway app called Manything, that can renovate an aged Apple or Android phone into a confidence camera. You can use a mini-tripod to residence a phone (like in a print above) and a energy source to keep it plugged in. The app is unequivocally flattering nifty and has many a pretence adult a sleeve, see below:

3. Fire alarm

With a giveaway app called CleverLoop Smokey, your aged phone becomes a glow alarm, of sorts. As shortly as it hears your fume detector go off, it sends we a text.

4. Remote control

Another giveaway app, this one called Peel, can occupy an aged Wi-Fi means phone or inscription as a concept remote control that also knows what’s on TV and thinks it knows what you’ll wish to watch. Some phone models competence need an additional square of equipment, a Peel or Peel Pronto that both cost $50, and that kind of defeats a purpose – though we can still put iPhone apps to work for Apple TV, Roku, or TiVo regulating usually Wi-Fi.

5. Picture frame

An aged iPad competence not have a bells and whistles of a some-more new model, though it still has a good arrangement that can be put to use as a digital design frame. Hang it on a wall or column it on your desk, stagger a slideshow or usually uncover off your favorite photo.

6. Portfolio or print album

ipad portfolioPublic Domain/CC BY 2.0 In a identical vein, if we have an aged iPad and have photos to move with we somewhere, bucket them onto a inscription and we have a sharp arrangement – this is good whenever we have digital images we would like to share though bringing a whole laptop (or desktop, that competence infer tricky) or paper album, prints or portfolio.

7. International transport phone

Roaming charges, one of a banes of travel. Am we right? But as Fowler points out, we can use an aged phone and squeeze a new SIM label during your end for internal service. As he explains, in a UK for instance, we can buy internal use with 100 mins and 1 GB of information for $13 with a new SIM card. However, he writes, there’s a tiny (but workable) caveat:

Sometimes U.S. phones have program thatch to forestall that. ( Verizon is a large exception—it’s 4G phones are unlocked.) However, we customarily can clear aged phones that are no longer underneath contract, if we ask.

A few days before we travel, call your conduit or put in an clear ask on a website. You should also check either your indication will work in a nation where you’re traveling—phones and network standards do vary.

8. Back-up phone

Speaking of phones, we know what happens if we remove your phone or it bites a dirt before your agreement is adult – you’re stranded profitable full cost for a replacement. (That is if we live on a corner and don’t squeeze a insurance plan. Like me.) If we can mount reverting to a former indication until your agreement is up, it can be a good overpass to save we a income until we are authorised for a new device.

9. Alarm clock

If we don’t like your phone in your bedroom or we like to have it off and wordless during night, regulating an aged phone for an alarm time creates ideal sense. And not usually can we use a phone’s time function, though we can supplement a imagination app to fit all of your waking-up needs, like apps that yield a peaceful rousing, or ones that need some-more bid to make certain we get out of bed.

10. Jukebox

I know many people have modernized ways of storing and personification their music, though some of us are some-more simple. (Again, me.) we commissioned adult many of my song on an aged phone and have it plugged in to a compress Bose complement that belts out my favorites. we concocted this complement when my iPod died; we had an aged phone, it saved me from shopping another iPod. This would be a good resolution for someone wanting song in another room detached from where their categorical sound complement lives, like a bedroom or kitchen.

11. Shower radio

Like a jukebox use above, though this is even easier – hang an aged music-filled iPhone in a lavatory to set a mood for a morning showering or dusk bath. The acoustics of a lavatory will make adult for a music-straight-from-the-phone quality.

12. Second monitor

second-monitor© Lloyd AlterIf we like to work with dual screens, we competence unequivocally good already have one fibbing around – in a form of an aged tablet. Several apps make this easy, Fowler recommends Duet Display ($20) that plays easily with both Macs and Windows PCs. Once commissioned (with an iPad 2 or later), we usually block it in and voila, double a fun. TreeHugger’s unequivocally possess Lloyd Alter attests to this usage, as we can see from his lakeside summer essay mark graphic above.

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