Make your old phone useful again by turning it into something new.
You may not know what to do with your phone that’s only one or two years old. It’s still useful and has a ton of life left, but you just upgraded to the newest version. Sure, you could give it to a relative or . Or, you could give it new life by turning it into something new that you’ll actually want to use.
After all, smartphones are small, powerful computers with storage space and a camera. Instead of spending cash on a new device you’ve been eyeing, you might be able to DIY it yourself. Your smartphone is capable of being a handy substitute for lots of other electronics — it can even diagnose your car’s mechanical problems.
Here are some ways you can make your old smartphone useful again.
Use your iPhone or Android as a universal remote
It’s great having one remote that can do everything — think Click, the movie. OK, maybe not that extreme, but being able to control all of your devices from one remote is a relief. Download a remote-control app, such as iRule (for iPhone or Android) and then sync your phone to devices like your , Roku and .
If you have, you can sync your phone to those as well. Follow these tips on so you never have to wonder where your TV remote is hiding again.
Turn your Android into a Google Home
Repurposing your Android phone to be a Bluetooth speaker to pair your phone with. Make sure both devices stay plugged in and on at all times. You’ll be ready to give Google commands in no time. The best part is you won’t have to spend $129 on a Google Home. Learn more about what you can do with a Google Home here.smart speaker is simple and requires no app downloads. Make sure your phone is updated to the latest Android OS so you have “OK, Google.” Next, you’ll need to find a
Your iPhone or Android can double as a home security camera
Feel secure by turning your old phone into a iPhone or Android) to get started. Check on your house while you’re at work to make sure all is well. Place the phone in the main room of the house in a spot where you have the best view.. Download a security camera app, like Alfred (for
When you’re home, set it up outside (hidden, of course) to see who’s knocking on your door or to see any suspicious activity. Maybe you’ll find it’s just a raccoon that’s been leaving candy wrappers in your yard and not your neighbor’s kid.
Use your old phone as a baby monitor
Instead of running into your child’s room every time you think you hear crying or a strange noise, check to see if your baby is OK by.
You can set your old phone up in the room and access it from your current phone by installing Skype on both devices. You can also use a baby monitor app like Dormi (for Android) or Cloud Baby Monitor (for iPhone). We haven’t tested them on real babies, but the customer ratings are excellent. You’ll feel better knowing that you can be in any room and still see your baby.
Turn your iPhone or Android into a wireless mouse
It can be annoying when your wireless mouse dies on you with no warning. It helps to have a backup, and you can turn your phone into a mouse in no time. You’ll need to download an app, like Remote Mouse (for iPhone or Android), in order to do so.
Once you have the app, connect your phone and desktop to the same Wi-Fi network and say bye-bye to that old-school mouse. Keep it in your laptop case for when you’re on the go and stop by a coffee shop to get some work done.
Keep your old phone as a music player
Free up storage space on your new phone by using your old phone as a media player. Since you have a new phone, you can wipe all the data off your old phone (except your music and music apps).
You’ll be able to add as many songs as your old phone will allow without worrying about how much storage you’re using. Hook it up to your surround-sound speaker if you’re having a party and let the fun begin.
The great thing is you’ll be able to leave it in one place and won’t have to worry about incoming calls and messages interrupting your tunes.
Originally published May 3 at 5 a.m. PT.