5 New Ways to Use Your Old Smartphone at Home

Whether you’re always first in line for the latest iPhone release, or only upgrade every couple of years, many people have an old smartphone tucked away that can be put to good use. 

By Savannah Sher | Published Dec 31, 2020 5:20 PM

Photo: istockphoto.com

When smartphones first hit the market, it seemed as though we had reached the peak of technological advancement. Yet the big manufacturers outdo themselves year after year when they release their latest models, adding new features that suddenly seem impossible to live without. While some people sell their old phones when they upgrade, others have an old smartphone or two sitting in a drawer. If your old phone is still in working order—and is currently gathering dust—there are plenty of ways you can make use of it around the house.

Use it as a Remote

TVs come equipped with their own remote controls, but many streaming services are tricky to navigate without a full keypad. If you want to streamline your binge-watching experience, turning an old phone into a remote can help. Apple, Google, Roku, and Amazon all have dedicated apps that allow you to use a smartphone as a remote, which makes navigating their services much easier.

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Use it to Play Music or Audiobooks

If you’re constantly deleting old photos because you’re running out of space on your phone, you might consider offsetting some of your largest files to another device. By designating an old phone to play music or audiobooks, you can save room on the phone you use day-to-day. This is also a great solution if listening to music all day drains your phone’s battery before bedtime.

Photo: istockphoto.com

Give it to Your Kids

Anyone with children likely knows that kids are enthralled by smartphones, but there are many legitimate reasons not to let them play with yours. By giving them an old phone that isn’t connected to WiFi or data, however, you can allow them to safely play games and take photos to their hearts’ content. If you decide to take this route, it’s probably best to outfit the phone with the sturdiest case you can find.

Photo: istockphoto.com

Use it for Home Security

As long as they’re connected to a power source, older smartphones make great home security systems. They can be mounted on a wall or set up on a tripod, allowing you to monitor the entrance to your home. When paired with an app like Alfred, you can easily view the video stream from your current phone. This system is also handy for keeping an eye on pets while you’re out of the house or even being used as a baby monitor.

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Use it as a Webcam

The new prevalence of Zoom meetings has made a webcam a necessity for working from home. If your desktop or laptop computer doesn’t come equipped with a dedicated webcam—or it doesn’t perform well—a smartphone can do the job. There are a number of apps like EpocCam which are specifically designed to turn your smartphone into a webcam. Most video-conferencing apps also work on mobile devices, so you can use them without downloading a third-party product.

Photo: iStockphoto.com