[dropcap]P[/dropcap]eople upgrade their smartphone on average once every two years. And every time, you’re faced with the same question: What to do with the old device? As it happens, there are a number of creative uses for an old Android smartphone, that can make your life and the lives of others far easier. And these require little to no investment on your part.
So, check out 10 things you can to do with your old Android smartphone.
Your old smartphone can be used as an ideal gym device. Reformat the device to remove unnecessary apps, take out the sim card, and don’t log into Facebook or Twitter via Wi-Fi, and you’ll avoid any unnecessary notifications that could interrupt your workout.
Then take your pick of the countless fitness-tracking apps out there and boot it up or just pack it full of music and use it as an MP3 player when out and about or on the treadmill.
Apart from its physical form, a smartphone is indistinguishable to a normal computer so why not treat it as such? Even the oldest smartphones out there are considerably more powerful than desktop computers were even 20 years ago.
You can install Debian, a version of the open-source Linux operating system on your device. Then just connect it to a monitor, sync up a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and you’re good.
GPS for your car
Load up your smartphone with mapping apps (think CityMapper, Google Maps, Waze, and anything else that takes your fancy), mount it on your dash, and voila you’ve got a dedicated GPS unit that won’t interrupt your journey with phone calls or notifications. With an aux cable, it can even double-up as a dedicated stereo/MP3 player for your car.
Who uses an analogue clock these days? Take your pick of the thousands of clock apps in the Google Play Store, buy yourself a cheap smartphone dock, and you’ve got an infinitely customizable alarm clock to sit beside your bed.
Buy yourself a Chrome cast streaming device (or a micro USB-to-HDMI cable), reformat your old phone, and fill it with streaming apps. You’ve now got a dedicated TV top box with a remote/living room media center.
If you’re plagued by weak Wi-Fi, you can boost the signal throughout your house by installing an app like fqrouter2, which will pick up the signal and repeat it. It will require rooting the device to work.
Take advantage of your device’s camera by turning it into a Wi-Fi-enabled security camera to protect your home. Apps exist that are motion-sensitive and will email the owner with photos.
Apps like Dormi and the simply-named Baby Monitor transform an old smartphone into a baby monitor, streaming video and audio to your current device.
It’s well-known that children love touchscreens. But having to hand over your shiny Samsung S6 to a dribbling toddler isn’t ideal. So take your old device, set up a Restricted Profile to limit their access, and install a set of kid-suitable apps like “Angry Birds.” Children entertained, worry free.
Contribute to scientific research
As long as your device still works fine, you can use it to help contribute to modern scientific research via its processing power. [email protected]
is probably the best-known such app, using a devices unused processing power to try and find cures for cancer, Ebola, Alzheimer’s and more.
BOINC is another option, released by the Space Sciences Library at Berkeley, that lets users choose from a variety of projects including space.