Great Uses for an old Android phone
Mobile World

By Admin - September 17, 2017 7:36 pm   0   353   1

Just because your phone is old doesn't mean it can't be put to good use. Instead of selling it, consider assigning it one of these useful tasks. It's hard to believe, but smartphones as we know them have been around for nearly a decade. And chances are good you've upgraded at least once during that time, if not many times. Usually, that upgrade leaves you with your old phone and a question: What should I do with it? Most common answer: Sell it. That's a good way to help defray the cost of the upgrade. However, that's not the only option, and not necessarily even the best. Instead, consider repurposing that old phone. You might be surprised at some of the feats it can perform. Here are some of my favorite uses for a discarded Android:

1. Use it as a dedicated camcorder

Whatever your recording like a wedding, a kids soccer game, a music video or your sure-to-win-the-film-fest indie movie -- nothing beats multiple cameras. When it comes time to edit, you can mix footage from different angles and positions to create the much more interesting video.

Needless to say, your old Android can make a great second camera. Even older, lower-end phones can usually capture at least 1,920x1,080-pixel video at 30 frames per second. Clear out as much storage as possible to make room for new footage and youre good to go.


2. Use it as a baby monitor

If you have a child and a spare Android phone on your hands, you don’t need to buy a baby monitor to check on your new family member. Numerous Baby Monitor apps will ensure that you hear everything that your baby is doing in another room.

Besides standard baby monitor features, this app can also play your baby a recording of your voice, track the times at which your baby can’t sleep and many other really useful things.


3. Keep it as a backup phone

Its a hard truth: Phones get lost, stolen and broken every day. I dont know about you, but Id be in pretty dire straits if something happened to my phone.

The straits would be less dire, though, if I could just grab my old standby. Id still have access to my calendar, contacts, email and the like (because theyre all synced), along with daily-use apps like Facebook, Twitter, Google, my password manager and so on. Theres really no better short-term rescue option.

In fact, if you still have your new phone (assuming its merely busted and not lost or stolen), you can probably just pop the SIM card out and back into the old phone, restoring voice and data until repairs are made.


4. Help researchers cure diseases

Nowadays quite a lot of scientific advancements come from analyzing enormous amounts of data. And you know what? You can help researchers find a cure for diseases and even help to understand global warming.

Data analysis requires a lot of computing power! With BOINC you can share the unused computing power of your old Android devices’ processor with the researchers from all over the world. The only thing you need to do is download the app and you’re good to go.


5. Use it as a video doorbell

No baby? Consider putting your Android on door duty instead. No, the phone itself doesnt go outside; youll need to install either an outdoor Wi-Fi webcam or a smart doorbell. Then your phone can serve as a full-time video monitor, one that lives on, say, a coffee table or nightstand.

For example, the Canary Flex is a versatile, security-minded webcam that can go just about anywhere including outside. Alternately, check out video doorbells like the August Doorbell Cam, DoorBird Video Door Station, Ring Video Doorbell and SkyBell Video Doorbell.


6. DIY Google Home

Dont want to spend $129 for Googles voice-powered smart speaker? Thats understandable, especially when you can put together something similar for a lot less. Unless its really old, your old phone can listen for and respond to voice commands, same as a Google Home. So all you need is a speaker to round out the equation.

What kind of speaker? And what kinds of things can you do with a phone-brain that you cant-do with an actual Home? Find out in "Turn a spare Android phone into a Google Home."


7. Create a dedicated VR headset

Get ready for a surprise. That old Android phone of yours? Virtual-reality powerhouse! Its true: A smartphone can serve up some terrific VR experiences. All you need is a headset and some apps.

Even more surprising: a headset wont cost you much. Amazon, for example, offers dozens of universally compatible VR goggles priced in the $20-to-$35 range. Look for a model that lets you adjust focal width and length, the better to accommodate less-than-perfect vision. I also recommend choosing one that comes with a Bluetooth gamepad, the better to control games and access menus.

As for the apps, hit the Google Play Store and search for "VR" or "Google Cardboard." Both will reveal a wealth of games and other experiences that are compatible with nearly any Android and VR headset.


8. Leave it on your nightstand

An old phone might just be the best thing to hit your nightstand since the lamp. Because in that one spot, it can serve countless purposes:

  • Alarm clock: Not ready to roll out of bed yet, but dont want to fumble for your phone to turn off the alarm? Check out Voice Snooze Alarm, which is exactly what it sounds like: An alarm clock you can snooze with a customizable vocal command.

  • Clock radio: TuneIn Radio is a good choice, as it has both alarm and sleep-timer features.

  • Dedicated e-reader: iBooks, Kindle, Nook, OverDrive -- you dont have to limit yourself to just a single app.

  • Meditation player: Im partial to Calm, but there are zillion others.

  • Spare Roku remote: Check out the latest update.

  • White-noise machine: I dont have a particular favorite; hit up the app store for lots of choices.


9. Transform it into a free-standing security camera

Who needs a fancy-schmancy connected camera when youve got an old Android phone sitting around? With the aid of a third-party app, the camera on your dated device can let you keep an eye on your home, office or top-secret crime lair from anywhere and even perform advanced functions like video recording and motion detection.

Just download the free IP Webcam app and follow its instructions. Within moments, youll be able to peek through your devices lens from any compatible web browser and cackle with glorious glee.


10. TV Remote

A while ago I lost my Roku remote. I assume it will turn up someday, or maybe the wall gremlins just got it. BUT, I was able to download the official Roku app onto my phone and boom - its a virtual remote that connects to my Roku via their shared wireless network.

There are a few setups that allow for Wi-Fi remotes including OTT devices like Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV $149.99 at Apple Store in addition to a number of connected TVs.


11. Dedicated Music Player

If you subscribe to one of the many streaming music services out there, you gain access to just about any song ever made and thats really kinda cool when you think about it.

So, you can use your old phone as a dedicated music player. But if you dont dig the tinny audio quality of your generation-old device, pair it with a Bluetooth speaker or connected dongle such as Chromecast Audio, and you will have a decent internet-connected jukebox with access to all of the worlds tunes.


12. Wireless hotspot

Wouldn’t it be great if you and your family could have WiFi on the go? Simply turn your old Android phone into a wireless hotspot!

Most Android phones have this feature already built-in natively, so the only thing you will need is a spare data plan (mostly cheaper than minutes+data plans) that you can use for the hotspot.

My all-time favorite use case is WiFi in the car. Connect your old Android phone to a charger in your car, enable the Wireless hotspot options your settings, (hide the cables if you want to) and put it in your glove compartment. And voila, you have WiFi in your car.


13. Charge one Android phone from another

Another useful way to use your Android phone is using it as a backup battery, just in case, your main device is about to run out. To make sure your device supports this, install the USB OTG Checker app and run it once. If you pass the test, you can use your old phone as a portable battery.

To charge your daily driver from your old Android phone you will need a so-called USB OTG (on-the-go) adapter, which will allow you to plug in your other device using your regular USB charging cable.

Simply plug in this adapter in the phone you would like to use as a spare battery, turn it on, plug in your charging cable and there you go! A portable battery!


14. Gaming device

Not enough space for many games on your main Android device? No problem! Supercharge your old one with all the games you like, without needing to worry about space. After all, games like Leo’s Fortune, Machinarium or Need for Speed take up quite a lot of space.


Gamer Gamer
September 17, 2017 8:55 pm