'Eight things your old smartphone or tablet can do besides gather dust' (WSJ)

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Maybe not a "deal" per se, but -- Pretty good W5J article on re-purposing old smartphones and tablets.  I esp. liked the idea of using old phone for home security purposes.
Link:  http://on.wsj.com/2bhFFWo 

ETA:  The Manything app mentioned in the article, for camera streaming, is pretty cool.  They even have free printable templates that serve as camera mounts:  https://manything.com/printable-stand.html

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lifehacker.com has had a few articles about this topic in the past

use as a dedicated recipe station in the kitchen, use as clock, etc.


FutureDilemma said:   More ideas: http://www.pcmag.com/slideshow/story/331633/12-things-you-can-re...
  wow, PCmag really pushed the creative limits ... place tablet on table, place drink on tablet ... BAM !  Ideal #12.   Put tablet on wall.  Open clock app ... BAM, another idea.  Open photo app ... BAM, one more.  Open weather app, another ...

The best use of an old smart phone that I have found is to put it in a zip lock bag with rice, put the bag in a box, and tell the kids they will get the old phone back if they break the new one. Never suffered a lost or broken phone.

wizwor said:   The best use of an old smart phone that I have found is to put it in a zip lock bag with rice, put the bag in a box, and tell the kids they will get the old phone back if they break the new one. Never suffered a lost or broken phone.
  At first I read this as you were challenging them to break the new phone so they can get their old phone back.

Pulling the oldies out of the drawer and trying some of these ideas.

wizwor said:   The best use of an old smart phone that I have found is to put it in a zip lock bag with rice, put the bag in a box, and tell the kids they will get the old phone back if they break the new one. Never suffered a lost or broken phone.
  We don't store them in rice(but that's a good idea).  We do keep them as backups since service can be switched almost immediately with most companies.  If the battery can be removed take it out.  Don't store batteries/phones with a low charge.  They slowly lose their charge and some batteries can not be recharged if they go below a certain level.

Let me add some things I do with my old cell phones.

  • I use my old cellphone to download files instead of leaving on a power hungry PC.
  • A WiFi phone and a Skype phone.
  • Audio book reader.
  • Home automation.  Requires extra hardware!
  • A nearly disposable camera.  Nice when you are somewhere you might be afraid of losing/breaking your phone or camera.  I have 2 hydros I got from a deal right here on Fatwallet.  It worked great canoeing last year and got me some great geo-tagged pics.  Bonus feature: Can call 911 even without an active line.  Let's see your camera do that.
  • Portable HotSpot.  I am currently using a phone as a hotspot/tablet.  It is not activated as a phone.  The SIM card is activated for a hotspot through Verizon and I simply slipped it into my phone.  Overall the data is cheaper this way and I only needed a temporary Verizon hotspot.  I can also do VOIP calls with it if I want.

A note about the WiFi phone.  I set my primary phone to ring my Google Voice account instead of going to voicemail.  Google voice then rings all my VOIP phones and rings my primary cell phone for an additional 25 seconds.  This gives me a few benefits.

  1. More time to answer my cell phone.  Increase my ring time isn't an option for my cell Provider.  Ring time is locked at 30 seconds.
  2. I can answer on any device just like the old days when you had multiple handsets.
  3. I still get my calls when my phone is out of order. If the phone is off the other lines ring immediately.  Example: When I took my phone apart to change my battery I did not miss any calls.  My primary phone does not have a "user replaceable battery" so that took a while. Particularly after I busted a cable and had to order the part. OOPS.

i was a bit embarrassed to mention it earlier, but we keep an old phone (with a pretty large screen) in a bathroom drawer as a substitute for the "magazine rack" when a bit of reading is a welcome way to pass a bit of time there. (connects to the house wifi, can read newspapers, magazines, books on the internet or through apps.)

1. Large old tablets are good for killing bugs and also cracking walnuts.
2. Smaller thin phones can be put under table leg to level it
3. Can be used as a mirror
4. In a forest camping,  if bear attacks you can throw old phones / tablets at it.
  Especially with music or movie playing  / decoy.

 

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