9 new uses for your old gadgets

Many of us have old cell phones and tablets that we no longer use. Technological changes happen so fast that sometimes we feel like we need to replace our devices often. If you have an old cell phone lying around, you might be wondering if there is something you can do with it.

Bring new life to an old cell phone or tablet

Let’s talk about how we can use some of these old items and give them a second life.

Kitchen helper on cell phone

First, find a suitable place to secure your phone or tablet. You can buy a stand to hold the device. It can be something so simple that it sits on the kitchen counter or table or something you can hang. See some ideas on Amazon. You can then use it to search for recipes or other information and watch cooking videos. You’ll also want to download a shopping list app and add your grocery list as you see the items you need. Some of the applications can be shared with family members so that everyone can see and edit the list. Then, move the list to your main phone that you carry with you when you go to the supermarket.

Universal remote control on cell phone


There are many apps in the Google Play Store and the Apple Store that you can use to turn your tablet or phone into a remote control for your TV or computer. One application is called Unfied Remote (available for Android or iOS systems). The company says: “The only remote control application for your computer. It turns your device into a universal wi-fi or bluetooth remote control for Windows PC, Mac and Linux ”.

Set up a pet, baby, or security camera

A tablet used to view security cameras

Do you need to monitor your pets while you are not at home? How about setting up a camera in the nursery or nursery? Or maybe a camera to capture activity in your driveway? There are many other applications that can do this. One is called Alfred Home Security. This application is free, but there is a paid version that will give you more options. You need two devices for this to work. You can use your current phone or tablet as one device and the old tablet or phone as a second.

Play games, watch TV or videos, or listen to music

Cell phone with headphones

You can use the tablet or phone to play games or as a video or music player. There are thousands of free music, video, and TV show apps to watch, and you can play online games or download apps to play. One good thing about having an old device dedicated to this is that it separates from your main device. So if one of your games causes a problem (which they are known to do), you are probably not harming your current tablet or phone. If a game or application causes major problems with the part, you can simply restore it to the original settings.

Read e-books or listen to audiobooks

A woman with a tablet in her hands

Using an old tablet as a device for digital reading or listening to audiobooks is a great way to read and listen for free. If you have a library card, you can use OverDrive Media, or the Libby app, to borrow the content you want from your library. Just like lending a regular book from the library, the first and second allow you to reserve and borrow e-books and audiobooks and then only return them when you’re done. And almost all libraries now offer a registration card whose registration is online, so you can apply for a card in the country’s libraries. If one doesn’t have the book you want, another might have that one. There are many other websites that offer free e-books and audiobooks. One of my favorites are LibriVox, Project Gutenberg, and Loyal Books.

Use of sleep or meditation aid

You can use your old cell phone or tablet as an alarm clock or white sound machine. You may also want to install a meditation app to help you relax at bedtime. There are tons of free apps available here; just search the Apple or Google Play store.

Use a tablet to display photos


Set up a photo player. Show family photos to visitors without passing these on your phone. You can configure it so that the photos change continuously in a loop. (This works best on tablets as they have a larger screen.) Use this at graduation parties, birthdays, anniversaries, or other special occasions to display your photos. Saving photos to an additional device can also provide you with a backup of your must-have photos.


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people are using video conferencing as a form of communication regardless of whether they work at home or speak with family and friends. Set up a station in your home where everyone can connect.

Distance learning


Many schools have established distance learning because of the pandemic. An old tablet can be used for jobs, access to homework, and send messages to teachers and classmates.

Final notes

These are just a few ideas for using an old cell phone or tablet in a different way. If you don’t want those devices, you can target them to the people who need them or trade with them.

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