How re-use your old smartphone or tablet

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playing game phoneAfter upgrading to a new phone or tablet, most people dump their old devices into a cupboard. However, what if you could repurpose it, use it to help a charity or turn it into cash?

In this article, we will discuss how to:

– … use your old gadgets as a security camera.

– … create a smart kitchen using your old tablet.

– … Turn an old smartphone into a ‘super remote.’

– … drastically increase the speed of your old devices.

– … make your unused gadgets kid-friendly.

Smart security camera

There are countless expensive smart security options on the market. Why pay more when an old gadget can do the same job? For an intelligent security system to work, it needs to be always on, and allow you to view images securely. Below are some apps you can use to turn your old smartphone or tablet into a smart security system.

Alfred Security Camera – This is a user-friendly security camera app for iOS. It is quick and easy to set up. It comes with features you would expect from expensive security cam setups. Alfred works on iPhones and iPads.

Salient Eye – This is a popular smart camera app for Android devices. It specialises in motion detection and can be set to notify you of a break-in and play an alarm. It can also capture images and video of intruders. If you know how to send an email, you can use Salient Eye. It is that easy!

Smart kitchen

In conjunction with an inexpensive stand, you can turn a tablet into a super device for your kitchen. For instance, you could use it to find recipes, watch tutorials and monitor all the smart devices in your home. Plus, you can view emails as they come in, and even have video calls while cooking.

One of the best things about using a tablet in the kitchen is that you can listen to podcasts and music. This makes time zip by. Below are some apps I recommend for kitchen use.

Supercook – It can be challenging to decide what to cook. With the Supercook app, you simply type in the ingredients you have in your home, and it will use this to recommend dishes.

Youtube – Youtube is packed with exciting podcasts, tutorials and other great content. Therefore, you can create an ambience or catch up with the latest news.

Kids’ device

These days hardware is of less importance than software. Any device made in the past five years can access Youtube, websites and download apps. There is a negligible difference in terms of speed. Therefore, an old tablet or smartphone can be repurposed into a child-friendly device. However, in order to make it kid-safe, you would need to block adult websites. If you have an iOS device, use this guide to block adult content on Safari. Google developed Youtube for Kids. This removes all adult or controversial content from Youtube.

Social media is part of modern life, and it is impossible to block children from using sites such as Facebook. However, you can monitor discussions to ensure that nothing ‘unsafe’ is being discussed. By installing Messenger for Kids on an old device, you can approve connection requests, see chat histories, set deadlines, and receive a notification whenever your child reports content. Facebook has even made sure that all emoticons and AR effects are child-friendly.

Children can be very energetic; therefore, it is worth getting a case to protect the device. 

Alarm clock

Most of us use our phones as alarm clocks, so it only makes sense to have one sit permanently at the side of the bed. You could quickly check the weather and news before hopping out of bed. Moreover, you have more personalisation options as compared to a ‘traditional’ alarm clock.

Make money

Your home could be filled with a treasure trove of smartphones and tablets. Selling your device doesn’t just put money in your pocket; it also helps the environment.

The standard way to sell a device is to put it on a marketplace such as Facebook or eBay. However, this has the following disadvantages:

1) You will need to spend time negotiating and responding to potential sellers.

2) You could get scammed. Some buyers initiate a chargeback. Therefore, they can have your device for free.

3) Some marketplaces charge high fees. Plus you might need to pay for postage out of pocket.

4) Selling to strangers has an element of risk. For instance, some sellers get robbed at knifepoint.

5) The entire process is time-consuming.

On the other hand, you could sell to electronics recycling sites such as Plunc. After entering a few details, you will receive an instant valuation for your device. They will send a prepaid envelope. Pop your phone or tablet inside, and money will be in your account within 2-3 days. This is quicker, safer and more convenient than selling to strangers. Plus, by recycling your devices in this way, you would be helping to eradicate the e-waste problem.

Install a custom ROM (Android)

Is your Android device running too slowly for day-to-day use? A custom ROM could make your device run faster and unlock new features. Android is open-source; therefore, you are free to change the operating system. This can be quite technical; however, there are several tutorials on Youtube to help.

Android Go is a lighter version of Android developed by Google. On average, apps are half the size and run at twice the speed. Therefore, it can make an old Android device feel like new. You still get all the latest features such as Google Assistant and ‘Find my Android’. Here is a useful tutorial for installing Android Go on any device

If you are after special features, check out the most popular Android ROMS. Tinkering with an old device can be a lot of fun. 

Final thoughts

In conclusion, there is no need to leave an old device to gather dust. As you can see, it can be incredibly useful. From increasing the speed to making money, what will you do with your old device? Let us know in the comments section.

Category: Technology

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