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7 Ways to Breathe New Life into Old Electronic Devices

It’s exciting to acquire a new smartphone or tablet! But what about the device it’s replacing? If you no longer have any use for it, there are numerous ways to sell it, donate it, or recycle it responsibly.  

However, before disposing of an old device, have you considered dedicating it to a new purpose? Old phones or tablets can make excellent “dedicated” devices around your home. Consider the possibilities:

1. Alarm Clock

Use an old device as a dedicated alarm clock and tuck your current smartphone out of reach. By removing the temptation to check messages and notifications while in bed, you’ll sleep better and start each day with a clear mind.

Consider using an app that soothes you into sleep with nature sounds or guided meditation to make the most of your repurposed bedside device. Then, in the morning, use a gentle wake-up app to gradually add light and sounds to your room and ease into your morning routine.

2. Electronic Cookbook

Cooking can get messy! Paper recipes are prone to collecting kitchen stains, and a busy kitchen is not the best place for your newest and best device. However, an older tablet or phone with a large touch screen can be a perfect solution.

Outfit your old device with an excellent recipe app and load up your favorites. Add a stand that can position your device for easy reading. Or mount an under-cabinet holder so you can pull down your electronic cookbook when needed, then push it up and out of sight when you’re finished cooking.

3. Security Camera

Instead of purchasing a dedicated security camera, consider repurposing an older phone to serve as a nanny cam, pet monitor, baby monitor, or indoor home security device. With apps like Alfred Camera, AtHome Camera, and Manything, you can pair an old phone to your current phone and monitor activities while you’re away, working in another part of the house, or out in the yard.

4. Wireless Webcam

If your desktop doesn’t have a webcam, consider converting an old phone into one. The camera on your old phone may be superior to a new, standalone webcam! Look for apps like DroidCam / DroidCamX for Android and EpocCam for iOS devices.

5. High-Tech Remote Control

With the proper app for your television (check your app store for options), you can convert a retired phone into a universal remote control and ditch all the clunky, ugly remotes scattered on your coffee table. Plus, if you have other smart home devices like lights or a thermostat, you can control them too from the same remote.

6. A Camera for Youngsters

Even the youngest kids will enjoy taking digital photos with your old phone. First, consider outfitting it in a sturdy, protective case. Or select a specialty case that makes it appear like a classic camera.

7. Dedicated Entertainment or Video Chat Device

Turn your old phone (or better yet, a retired tablet) into a dedicated e-reader, a gaming platform, or an audiobook library. Or connect it to a wireless speaker or Bluetooth earbuds and create a personal music server.

Another option is to convert your old phone into a dedicated video chat device and encourage the younger members of your household to use it to stay connected with friends, grandparents, or far-flung family members.