Do you have an old unused smartphone or tablet lying around your home? Wondering what to do with your old iPhone? Don’t throw your old cell phones and tablets yet. Your old Apple devices can still be useful tools in your daily life. They can even be helpful companions to your existing iPhone, iPad, or Android devices. Here are some creative ways that you can repurpose your old smartphone or tablet.
Soundbar Or Speaker Controller
Each time Apple updates their charging cables, all of your existing accessories become useless. If you own an iPod or iPhone speaker dock or soundbar, then you might be in this situation. So why not turn your old iPhone into a dedicated music player or jukebox?
Wipe your old iPhone to free up some memory and load it up with music. Depending on the size of your old iPhone, you might end up with 10-12 GB worth of music. That is about 15-20 albums (360 songs), or a full 24 hours worth of music.
Skype Or WiFi Phone
Install Skype, Google Voice or another WiFi phone app on your old iPhone. Doing this will turn your old phone or tablet into a free WiFi phone. You can even have a phone at the ready in a coffee shop or other place that has WiFi access.
And if you run a small business, this is a great way to give an employee an extra phone line on the cheap.
Unlock / Jailbreak The Phone
Apple doesn’t want you to jailbreak your iOS device, but with your old iPhone, you have nothing to lose. Jailbreak that old iPhone! Unlock if you’re going to put another SIM card (like a prepaid card) into the phone and jailbreak to see all the cool unauthorized apps you may have been missing. If you run into any problems, you can always restore to factory config.
Touchscreen Remote Control
You can use your old iPhone or iPad as a touchscreen remote control. There are many remote control apps and accessories out there. For example, I own a device called iWavit by ThinkOptics. Plug-in the dongle and use the remote for multiple devices. The on-screen remote can look exactly like the actual remote, or you can customize the buttons to fit your use. And if you own a Boxee or Roku, then you are in luck! Both companies have iPhone apps that allow you to use your phone as a remote control.
Sell Or Donate Your Phone
An old iPhone might get you as much as $400 on eBay. Donating your old iPhone or iPad is also a great option that will get you a nice tax write-off.
Load up your old iOS device with nothing but kid’s books, movies, and games. Then add a protective cover and case to make it more durable. It might even free up your current iPad or iPhone enough from the kids so you can use it for a change.
NERD NOTE: Make sure to switch your old iPhone to Airplane mode with the WiFi turned on. That way, kids won’t be able to call emergency numbers like 911 accidentally.
At one point, you might not have access to your primary phone. For example, if your current iPhone breaks, then you will need another phone to use while you get your new phone fixed. Just restore your latest iPhone backup from iTunes and swap SIM cards.
Coffee Table Device or Toilet Reader
Put your old smartphone on a coffee table with some simple games and reading materials. When you are entertaining guests that want to check their email or read something on the internet, they can pick up the phone and go.
Your old iPhone can also be a good toilet reader. Might sound disgusting, but the glass does have an antibacterial coating on it. If you have an invisible shield on your phone, then keep antibacterial wipes nearby. Statistically, our phones are very disgusting. One in six smartphones has traces of feces on it. And please don’t drop your iPhone in the toilet.
Secondary Display / VNC
You can set up your iPhone to be an extension display from your computer. Download the iDisplay app to attach to your computer. You can put video, Twitter feeds, Facebook posts, and more on the iPhone display. Then if you have to move away from your computer, you can use the iPhone screen to keep reading something.
Streaming Music & Podcast Player
Add on Pandora, Spotify, Stitcher, and other streaming music and podcasts . By having it stream on your old iPhone, you are not taxing your new iPhone and saving battery.
Halloween Costume Accessory
I’m going as a futuristic Cyborg this Halloween. All I need to do is rig my old iPhone 1G in front of my face.
Put the phone in your car or another emergency location. You will have to make sure it stays charged enough to call 911 if needed. All phones have to be able to call emergency numbers. Replace that old flip phone in your glove box.
Digital Picture Frame
Load it up with pictures and put it on a stand or the wall. Let the picture frame flip between photos.
Hand Me Down
You can always give your old iPhone to a friend or family member. Teens and tweens who are jealous of their friends, probably won’t mind getting your hand me down. They just want a way to text their friends.
Sound Effects Board for Podcasters
I’m a podcaster, and one of the ways I like to use my old iPad is as a sound effect device. There are plenty of smartphone apps that can play audio clips on demand and send sound effects to a mixing board. So one of the ways I use my old iPad is to play intros, outros, and other audio clips while I’m recording my podcast.
Learn To Repair Smartphones
Why not dismantle your old smartphone or tablet? See how it tick inside. Get proficient in taking apart an iPhone or iPad and then charge people to fix them.
This is a crafting project. You can get nametag magnets that are strong enough to hold to clothing. You can then turn your phone into a picture nametag or video nametag. Just set the video to repeat. Attach to your shirt, and you have an innovative nametag.
Did you know that you can set your iPhone to never turn off? Just go to Settings >> General >> Auto-Lock and set to Never.
Install Memory-Intensive Programs
Some programs take up almost a gigabyte of memory. If you don’t need that new 16:9 retina display, why not just put the game on your older iPhone? You save space and battery.
You could attach the iPhone to a cabinet and load it up with recipes and videos. That way, when you are cooking, you can watch all your soaps, then flip back to the recipe to make sure how many teaspoons of curry you should use.
Time-Lapse Camera & Video Camera
Affix the camera to a stand (there are many companies that make iPhone camera mounts), then point and shoot. A smartphone time-lapse app like iPhone Camera Lapse HD lets you take pictures every 1/4 second and could do that for up to 24 hours (depending on how much memory you have free).
The camera can also be set up for the ready to shoot video. Using an accessory: OWLE – you can turn your phone into a full video camera.
Useful Things To Do With Your Old iPhone
With all of these old iPhone uses, you should be able to find a solution that works for you. Did I miss something on this list? Let me know by commenting below or Tweeting @Methodshop. Let’s find 100 uses for that old iPhone!
- This First Generation iPhone User Doesn’t Plan On Upgrading Anytime Soon
- Why iOS 6 Just Turned Your iPad 1G Into a Paperweight
- Unopened First Generation iPhone For Sale On eBay for $10,000
- The Evolution of the iPhone: 2007-2011
As a podcaster, videographer and blogger, Jeffrey works to convey the geek message. Inspired and passionate about tech and geek life. As a musician, Jeffrey loves to rock the house.