What Can I Do With My Old Cell Phone?
We are encouraged to buy new cell phones for many different reasons. Whether it's due to the inbuilt obsolescence of the technology, a desire to get the latest features, pressure to keep up with trends or because we break them so easily, we may find we buy a new phone with more regularity than we should. The result is often a collection of old cell phones taking up space in a drawer or shoebox somewhere. Unfortunately, since technology does move so swiftly, we are not always able to sell these on to recoup any of our spending. Instead, we need to find useful and practical ways we can make use of our old cell phones.
At oneHOWTO, we ask what can I do with my old cellphone? We provide some practical and fun suggestions for things to do with your old phone so you don't have to let them go to waste.
Use them as a baby monitor
Baby monitors are an incredibly helpful tool to ensure your baby's protection. They allow you to check in on the child's well-being without physically going in and potentially disturbing them. They can also be quite expensive. An old cellphone can be repurposed to work much in the same way a baby monitor would.
There are myriad apps in both the App Store or Google Play which will allow you to have this function. How they work is your set the phone in such a way the camera is pointed toward the child. Then you use your current phone to check the video and see what is happening. It is great if you have replaced your phone because the screen is broken. As long as the camera works and you can access the app, it should be fine.
Keeping the camera on for long periods may use up a lot of battery. You may need to keep the phone plugged in to make it useful. Also, you can check out our article on how to save mobile battery life to learn more.
Musical instrument tuner
Do you play a musical instrument such as the guitar, bass or ukulele? Before selling off or throwing away an old cellphone, you can use it to help your musical ability. There are many apps for Android and iPhone which allow you to use the microphone on your cell to tune your strings. While we might think we need to purchase a professional tuner for this purpose, cellphones actually have very sophisticated microphones. For this reason, the results we get using a tuner app are usually pretty accurate. Many also offer options for uncommon tunings.
TV remote control
If you want to keep your old cellphone and make it useful, it can serve as your television remote if you lose the main remote or it breaks. By incorporating infrared sensors, turning it into a remote control is possible with applications such as Universal TV, available on Google Play. If your old device does not have this infrared sensor, you can connect it to the TV via WiFi to work as a remote.
Learn more about connectivity with our article on how to connect your Apple Watch to WiFi.
Video surveillance camera
As you have seen with some of the previous ideas for what to do with your old phone, this next one makes use of the phone camera. Transforming the mobile into a video surveillance camera is easy by using existing apps on Android and iOS. With the applications, the phone will have the same functions as a typical surveillance camera: you will be able to see live images and record what happens in the area where you place the smartphone.
If you want to make this function last longer, take a look at our article on what to do if your phone is overheating.
You are likely to have already used your smartphone to watch videos or listen to music. With the old device you can do the same. Although you won't be using it with your SIM card to make phone calls, you can still use apps. Download Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music or whatever music player you prefer to use it like an iPod. Do the same with YouTube, Netflix and any other video streaming service.
This way you can use the old phone like an iPod or other media player. You may not want to take your new phone on a run or doing anything where it might break. Using an old phone in this way means you always have a backup.
Keyboard and mouse for computer
You may not have thought to do it, but you can use an old cellphone as a keyboard and mouse for your computer. When a key breaks or the touchpad stops working, the old device will serve as your emergency resource. Applications such as Unified Remote, Mouse Kit and Remote Mouse use Bluetooth or WiFi connection to connect the mobile to the computer and use it as a mouse and keyboard. Check out this feature before you make a decision and sell old phones.
If you want to learn more about keeping a phone useful, check out our article on whether it's bad to charge a phone overnight.
Finally, you may have seen people use their old tablets as multi-photo photo frames. You can do the same with your old phone. It may be smaller, but you can still set up a slideshow and have it next to your bed, your desk or anywhere you want to display some memories, even if they aren't as prominent.
Keep the battery life of the new smartphone safe by using your old mobile as a GPS navigator. You will only need to have a navigation application installed, e.g. Google Maps. In this way, you can receive calls with one phone use the other as a map system. This is especially useful if you are running low on battery. Just remember, you may need to plan your route first with WiFi or temporarily use your new phone as a hotspot.
Learn more with our article on how to share mobile data with or without a hotspot.
Video game console
Despite the fact that the latest generation mobiles have better processors and higher RAM memory, the old devices can also be used as a portable video game console. With various emulators and a video game controller that can be attached to the smartphone, you will play comfortably.
Mobile phones have had the alarm function for many years, meaning less and less of us use a traditional alarm clock. Instead of using your new smartphone as an alarm clock, use your old one to wake up every morning. Although it is a very basic function, it can be helpful to have a separate phone for alarms.
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