06 February 2014

What can you do with an old smart phone?

From what I’ve been reading on Facebook lately there seems to be an epidemic of unwanted smartphones at the moment.  Everyone seems to be upgrading – maybe it’s just the time of year when contracts expire, or the new models that are appearing are just too attractive; but whatever it is, there are a lot of old smartphones going into drawers and forgotten about.  But there are so many uses for old phones, and you don’t need a SIM card for your phone to work:

A first phone for your child

Does your child need a phone yet?  Your child’s first phone will probably be a basic one – just for emergency calls – or when they start getting the bus home from school on their own?  Could your old phone do the trick? 

Even if it’s a smartphone, you can dumb it down a bit:
·       only sign up for a phone plan that does not have data – so it can only be used for phone calls and SMS
·       uninstall all the unnecessary apps and remove any personal accounts and data
·       turn off Wi-Fi so that the battery isn’t being drained constantly looking for a signal.  Try not to show your child how to access Wi-Fi because you don’t want them to be able to connect to Wi-Fi at their friend’s homes.  If you have Wi-Fi at home the phone will still be able to connect for updates, just make sure you do it.

Game player

Load the phone up with your child’s favourite games.  I’ve written before about how I gave my boys their Android ‘iPods’ – you can read it here.

A camera

The camera in some smartphones rivals, and in some cases is better than, a basic digital camera – and a lot smaller too.  You can download any photos by connecting the phone to your computer, or wirelessly with an appropriate app – like Dropbox.

A music player

You can load it up with your favourite songs and videos and you’ll have an FM radio as well.  How do you get the music onto the phone? Either by connecting the phone to your computer if you've got your music on it, or download them when the phone is connected to your home Wi-Fi.

A dedicated alarm clock 

You could just use the basic alarm function of the phone, or download something really fun

For reviews of some for your iPhone - click here
For Android - click here

Make sure you turn off all other notifications if you’re still using your phone for other things – you don’t want to be constantly woken by other sounds.

Keep it in the kitchen

Load the phone up with your favourite recipes and foodie apps.  You could even attach it with double-sided tape to a convenient spot (make sure you can charge it) so that you can see it while you’re cooking.  You can get cheap phone holders for cars that could easily be ‘adapted’ to hold the phone in the kitchen.

Use it as a phone – sort of

Download the Skype app or WhatsApp and use your phone for video calls and messaging when you’re connected to Wi-Fi at home.

A security camera at home

Download the AtHome Video Streamer app from Google Play or the App Store and set up your phone to keep an eye on your baby, the pets, the nanny – anything – while you’re away.  The instructions you need are here  

These are just some ideas of what you could do with your unwanted smartphone.  You can probably think of some more, and I’d love to hear your ideas, so please leave me a comment below.

1 comment:

  1. Why not turn your old smartphone as a home video surveillance camera? Try this app, Web of Cam. It's really powerful and easy to setup. You can see watch your home, kids, or pets anytime anywhere: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ivuu