A good majority of iPhone users probably trade-in or sell their phones when Apple releases a new model. Some might throw them out, which is such a shame because there’s so much life left in even an old device that tossing it is quite a waste! Unless you plan on keeping your phone around as a backup in case something happens to your new one, take a look at these clever uses for an old iPhone.
If you’re lucky enough to have one just taking up space in your junk drawer, then you might be surprised at how much use you can get out of a long-obsolete phone.
You don’t even need a cellular or Internet connection to use the built-in photography app on your iPhone. Regardless of where you are, it works as a fully-functional digital camera as long as you have some charge left in your battery. The thing most people don’t realize is that Apple puts a ton of work into this app as well as the underlying hardware. This translates into the camera on even some of the oldest iPhones beating out most standalone models on the market. The next time you plan on investing in a camera, pull your old phone out of your junk drawer instead.
Build Your own Home Arcade
Everything retro seems hot right now, and there’s nothing more retro than classic arcade games. Several third-party vendors make attachments that allow you to slide an iPhone into housing that looks and feels like a real arcade machine. Once you’ve installed a special app and have everything configured, you can actually use a physical joystick to play many past favorites as well as a few games that have been specially developed to take advantage of the iOS platform.
Use it as an eReader
People pay big bucks for standalone eReaders, which is funny considering book reading apps can work on pretty much any modern phone or tablet. Apple has always had great deals with publishers and you can sideload your own books and magazines straight to your old iPhone so you can read them anywhere. This means you won’t have to waste space on your current phone to store books that you probably change out fairly often. Considering that the Internet Archive and Project Gutenberg have loads of free books in several portable formats, you could breathe a lot of new life into an older phone by going this route.
Turn it into a Classic iPod
If just using your old phone to run the iBooks app and nothing else sounds boring, then you might want to consider using it as an MP3 player. You may have already used iTunes on your PC or Mac to port loads of music over to your old iPhone. There’s a good chance you’ve bought plenty of Apple’s online store as well. There’s no reason that you can’t hook your older device up to a good pair of external speakers and use it in place of a stereo. It sounds great, save space on your current phone and it might even save you a little electricity over using a traditional receiver.
Build your own Security System
Several apps, like Manything, can be used to stream and record any video captured by the lens of a stationary iPhone. You could easily put one on an old phone and then mount it wherever you’d have mounted a traditional surveillance camera. It’s an excellent way to keep an eye on your valuables without shelling out a ton of cash. In fact, the iPhone’s built-in camera offers a higher resolution than an overwhelming majority of standard security cameras.
Control Smart Home Devices
Third-party developers sell actual remotes that will control all of the fancy smart home automation gadgets found in modern houses. If you’ve bought some sort of automatic lighting system or Internet-connected thermostat, then a special remote might have come with it in the box. However, you can install an app on your old phone and use it as a single universal remote that controls everything from the lighting to your furnace. You might even be able to use an older iPhone to keep an eye on electricity consumption, which is a great idea for anyone who lives in an area with smart meters.
Jailbreaking sounds like a load of fun, but it can easily brick your iPhone if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you’ve ever wanted to explore the world of unofficial apps but have been leery of doing so, then this is your chance. Since you may not be as concerned about damaging an older phone that’s no longer synced up with your cell carrier, you can install an alternative apps store called Cydia on it and have fun trying out free programs written by hobbyists who share their work with the world. Cydia offers software that can do everything from turning your iPhone into a streaming media server to giving you a chance to try your hand at coding. While it’s not something you’d want to do if you’re a complete beginner, it’s certainly tempting if you’ve ever dreamed of experimenting.