Technology has become as essential as your clothes nowadays and you would not like to step out of your home without it! However, there is no denying that technology keeps changing rapidly, in fact, faster than people can cope with. What was cutting edge a few months back is passé now and will turn obsolete in the near future.
The same thing can be said about Android devices. These devices are loved and used by billions of users worldwide and the advent of newer and feature-laden devices makes users discard their existing products.
But just because a device gets old doesn’t mean it has no use anymore. You can use your old Android phone in a few creative ways.
Re-purposing Your Old Android
Google is busy making its popular mobile OS even better and more versatile with time. As a result, Smartphone makers are cramming in more features and powerful hardware in their newer and upcoming models. Users of older Android devices are tempted to buy such newer devices.
If you are thinking about exchanging or selling your old Android phone that is sluggish and lacks recent updates, stop and rethink. It makes sense to keep using the device in other ways than a phone when you switch to a new device. This may prove to be more useful than selling or exchanging it.
There are so many ways in which you can extend the lifespan of your Android Smartphone. You may use it for purposes other than calling and receiving calls.
If you cannot work out without listening to groovy tracks or want a music player as a companion as you go for your morning run, using the old Android device as a music player, makes a lot of sense. You can discard the SIM card from the device and this will save battery as the device will not keep searching for network always. The benefit is that the music will not be interrupted by phone calls and messages, whether you are in or out of home.
You may also use the device for video playback. Using a MicroSD card will allow you to store tons of songs on the device and enjoy listening to them whenever you want. Use a good quality stereo headset for better experience.
PC Webcam for Video Calls
Your laptop has a webcam which you use for Skype sessions with long distance friends and family members. What about your desktop that lacks an inbuilt webcam? There are plenty of people who use older desktops that lack inbuilt webcam.
Surely, you can buy and use an external webcam with such PCs. Also, most smartphones come with cameras better than a standalone webcam. However, you can always use your Android Smartphone as a webcam for the desktop and save money!
If your smart phone runs on Android 2.2 and later versions, this is simple to do. You will need a wi-fi connection and suitable apps. Skype is one app that is used by millions of people for video chats, across different operating systems.
You need to download:
- Skypemobile video chat app
- TheIP Camera Adapter software for the PC
- TheIP Webcam app (available on Google Play)
- Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox
You will need to install the IP webcam app on the smartphone first and then install the PC suite. There are a few settings to tweak with including orientation and resolution. Enable audio mode for talking with the person you want to interact with. Ensure the phone is charged because the app can drain battery. After settings are covered, tap on start server.
Digital Photo Frame
You must have seen your friends and colleagues setting up a digital photo frame in their rooms while holding parties. The device plays slideshows of images, often accompanied by soothing music, thus setting the mood for celebration. If the idea appeals to you there is no need to spend money on a standalone photo frame. You may very well turn a slow and old Android device into a digital photo frame, without much hassle.
You will need:
- A PC with Wifi connection or SD card with ample space
- Photo Slides app / Digital Photo Frame Slideshow
- Collection of images
You can use both Photo Slides app and Digital Photo Frame Slideshow to play back image slideshows using photos stored in the PC. You can also use the SD Card on the phone to store images. The apps offer visual effects and easy to use interface. There are attractive transitions as well.
Universal Remote Control
Like most people, you may also be tired of handling multiple remote control units at home! One remote for the TV, another for DVD player and yet another to operate the set top box. Imagine the kids hiding one unit in the laundry basket and you are searching frantically for it all over the house! Thankfully, you can turn an older Android Smartphone as a universal remote control.
- At first, you need to go through numerous Android apps available at Google Play that can be used for the need. Most such apps, however, will not come for free and those that are free will have annoying ads.
- Two popular apps are iRule and Smart IR Remote. The former relies on WiFi network to function.
- Check out user ratings and feedbacks at Google Play before picking any such app. Some apps let you try them for a period before you spend the money to buy licenses, which is convenient.
These apps have different layouts for functioning as remote controls. Pick the one that is user friendly and intuitive.
Standalone GPS Device
Surely, your new Android tab or Smartphone has enhanced GPS capability embedded. However, keeping GPS activated will take a drain on the battery. As it is, modern Android devices care equipped with Full-HD and higher resolution displays that drain battery more than older generation ones. Isn’t it better that you use the older Android phone as a GPS navigator. Use Google Maps that lets you access data offline. It is somewhat limited, but you may also use
Isn’t it better that you use the older Android phone as a GPS navigator. Use Google Maps that lets you access data offline. It is somewhat limited, but you may also use MapFactor’s Navigator Free to access extensive GPS data. Except Antarctica, it covers all other places on the Earth.
So, you can see the sluggish, old Android phone or tablet is far from useless. You can use your old android phone to meet a lot of entertainment and productivity needs. The good thing is that you need not even need to use a cellular network for such uses. Just use your imagination and your ageing digital companion will emerge as a versatile device like never before!