10 Ways to Reuse Old Smart Phones as Part of Your IT Services-Bergen County Tech Tips
If you’re like most people, there is a big possibility that you have a spare smart phone lying around. You probably have no idea what to do with it—you know you’re never going to use it as a primary phone again—you have a newer phone you use to make calls, texts and take pictures. Probably you keep it as a backup phone, or in the event that a friend or family member needs a phone you can hand it over. Those are good options, but we’ve got some other ideas to offer you.
At TNTMAX we provide IT Services to Bergen County, and we want to provide you with some ideas for repurposing your old phone. Luckily, there are several alternative uses for an old smart phone that you’ve likely never considered.
In this article, we are happy to present you with some cool hacks which can transform your old, used smartphone into a brilliant and useful device once again.
1. Google Home Hub
You can turn your old Android phone into a Google Home. Reusing your old Android phone as a new Google Home smart speaker is a simple process which does not require you to download any apps.
However, you will need to make sure that your old Android smartphone is updated to the latest Android OS version because you need to have “OK, Google.” Also, you will require a Bluetooth speaker which you’ll need to pair with your phone. Furthermore, all the devices need to be plugged in and switched on at all times for Google Home to work.
Once you are done setting it up, you are ready to give Google commands. The best thing about this idea is that you won’t have to buy a new Google Home for $129! The experts in IT services for Bergen County feel this is one of the best hacks out there!
2. Advanced ChromeCast
Give your TV and Android a super boost that is even better than ChromeCast! If you have a TV that is MHL compliant, you can directly connect your old Android phone to your TV so that it plays video and sound just like a monitor. With this, you will be able to stream your favorite apps like Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, Spotify, etc. and control it through your Wi-Fi network on any other device, such as your PC laptop or your primary Android phone.
This is a great idea if you want to set up a movie to watch, create a playlist for a party or merely sharing Youtube videos on the big screen. With an Android and Bluetooth controllers, you can set yourself up for playing games with no wires or mess.
3. Advanced DSLR Kit
Are you on a budget and like taking pictures? Add an Android or iOS phone to your photography kit to save a few hundred dollars instead of buying a field monitor. This is a great idea to control the shutter, autofocus and more from a dozen feet away without even having to touch the camera for touch-sensitive photography and candid shots.
This is also a neat feature if you are interested in long exposures where you should not touch the shutter button or for time-lapse photography, where it will tell your camera to take a picture every couple of seconds, minutes or hours. After the photo shoot, you can also do some simple editing of your photos in the field so that the client can see what your results would look like right away.
4. GPS Tracking
Feeling sneaky and want to play James Bond? You can create a GPS tracking beacon with your old smartphone to detects its coordinates whenever it senses movements. So, for instance, when a car starts moving, the smart iOS or Android device will activate and log its location. This is done using the accelerometer that comes in most phones, which detects and turns on when it is jostled.
You can either set your device to automatically connect to any free Wi-Fi sources and send you back an email informing you about where it has been, or you can just retrieve it manually and load up the coordinates on your computer or PC laptop. But, experts at IT services in Bergen County want you to be sure to check your local laws before you start because this might be illegal in your area!
5. Security Camera
Google announced they would be getting into the security camera business, but many people do not realize they already exist! Android or iOS phones are already capable of protecting your home just fine.
You can use your old Android or iOS phone to see the quality for yourself: use a couple of phones to set up a security camera network to monitor your home, car, baby, or pet. You can set up a totally amazing grid and view the situation in real time—or you can set your device to upload pictures or footage each hour to your Youtube channel or Google drive.
So, if you are a new parent and do not want to spend $200 on a new baby monitor, you can just use your old Android or iOS phone and have it watch over your child for free—you can even set it up to play classical music to soothe your baby to sleep!
6. Desktop Workstation
You can use your old Android or iOS smartphone to create a surprisingly fun desktop workstation! You could use it to do just about anythin—like reading comics, playing movies, watching Youtube videos, instant messaging, Skype, Google, Hangouts, and many more. It can also be used to do some light gaming.
The first thing you will want to do if you’re interested in using your big monitor with your old smartphone, is to grab an MHL cable and make sure it is compatible with your smartphone and TV or monitor. Since you will be using your phone’s USB slot for outputting video, you will have you to use a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.
With this set up it is really nice for plugging your old smartphone into our TV and using it from the couch. If you do not need to use a bigger screen with your old phone, at least try to find a beautiful stand for your so you don’t have to hunch over! The great thing about using this method is that you have the flexibility to plug your old phone into a USB hub and plug all of your other USB devices into it. Have fun and feel free to customize your smartphone with Desktop Launchers, Start Menu, etc.
7. Dedicated DashCam
Why not use your old Android or iOS smartphone as a dedicated DashCam? The way it works is that once you start the program, the dashcam will start filming but will not save anything until you tell it to, which is great if you see something unusual on the road while driving. If you get into an accident, your phone will auto-detect the sudden jarring stop and auto-save in case you are injured and cannot do it yourself. Since you might need enhanced optics, you can use a USB HD webcam. The experts in IT services for Bergen County feel this is a very innovative idea.
These small devices can come handy in ways that you may not have considered. You can still place phone calls, send texts and photo message and do everything you would do on your primary phone plan, but for free! Of course, you will need Wi-Fi, and as such, you are limited to using your Wi-Fi phone in areas with internet access. Luckily there are Wi-Fi hotspots all over the world!
It can be frustrating at times when the battery of your wireless mouse dies on you without warning. It is useful to keep a backup wireless mouse, and, amazingly, you can transform your old Android or iOS smartphone into a wireless mouse within no time.
First, you will need to download an app like Remote Mouse. Once the app is downloaded on the phone, you can connect your smartphone, PC laptop or monitor to the same Wi-Fi network and say goodbye to your old-school wireless mouse. Simply keep it in your laptop case for when you’re traveling around and want to make a stop at a coffee shop to complete any of your pending work!
10. Nintendo Game Boy
Now, you can play your favorite video games wherever you go by merely transforming your old Android smartphone into a Nintendo Game Boy. The things you will need during the process are an Android phone and a Hyperkin Smartboy Mobile Device. Also, you need to buy the Game Boy cartridges (unless you already have them, of course!) in order to play the games. In case you do not have any retro cartridges, you can also play Game Boy Advance games.
TNTMAX offers IT Services for Bergen County and is always happy to help you come up with innovative ways of using technology. Call us any time for a consultation.