What the Tech? How you can give your old smartphone a second life | What The Tech?

We once paid hundreds of dollars for a shiny new smartphone. They might be cracked and the battery might be dead, but don’t toss them in the trash. Dig them out, and give them a second life.

Once upon a time, people spent money on iPods for music on the go. But if you have an old smartphone you’re not using, convert it to a portable music player. Delete all of the apps and photos and load the device with your favorite tunes from your computer. 16 or 32-gig phones hold a ton of songs. Plug it into the USB port in your car and you’ve got a music player that won’t stop when your new phone rings.

Old smartphones make excellent bedside or desktop clocks. Apps that display the time and forecast are free. And you can set an alarm just by asking.

The FCC requires all smartphones to be able to call for help, even if they don’t have any cell service. Keep one in the car or in the kitchen so the kids can always call 911, even if they don’t have a smartphone.

Old smartphones make excellent TV remotes. Download the app for Roku, Amazon FireStick, Google TV, or Apple TV. The apps are easier to use than the remote that came with the streaming device.

You can use old smartphones as security cameras. Download the app “Alfred” to your primary device and any old smartphone. Connect it to a power source, prop it up, and you can use it as a nanny cam. You’ll even get a notification if it detects movement.

Provided the old phone can connect to WiFi, you can use it for all of these things. If not, they’ll make a fine camera for the kids or an iPod. Keep in mind if it’s an old phone, like an iPhone 4 or 5, you won’t be able to install new apps on it, but you can still use it as a camera for the kids, or as an iPod. They may not be worth anything, but they’re not worthless.

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