Wednesday, October 20, 2021

What can be done with an old mobile device?

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Upgrading your smartphone or tablet will leave you with a decision: What to do with your old device?

Here are just a few ideas to get more use out of your demoted device.

Trading in, donating or recycling retired gear are all popular options, as is passing on a serviceable phone to a family member sharing your wireless-carrier account. But you have countless other ways to get more productive use from outdated hardware, without putting a lot of money into it.

Make a Media Machine

Just download your TV provider’s app (like Spectrum cable or Verizon Fios) or your separate service (Amazon Prime Video, Disney+,, Netflix or whatever) and log into your account.

Need an extra television in the kitchen or home office? If you subscribe to a TV provider or streaming service, your old phone or tablet can step up.

Prop up the device near an outlet so it can run on electrical power while you watch, since chances are good that the old device has a worn-out battery.

Likewise, parking your old phone in a speaker cradle that also charges gives you a bookshelf sound system for music and podcasts. Or you can keep the phone connected to its charger and stream music to a nearby wireless Bluetooth speaker.

Powered speaker docks can be found online starting at around $40, and a wide variety are available. Wirecutter, the product-testing and review site owned by The New York Times, has suggestions for Bluetooth speakers, general audio gear and those shopping on a budget. And even if they have to stay tethered to a charger, old tablets also make good dedicated e-book readers or digital picture frames for photo slide shows.

Control Your World Smart home appliances, music libraries, internet-connected televisions — so many things can be controlled by apps these days, so why not convert your old phone or tablet into an all-purpose universal remote?

Third-party remote apps abound, but many tech companies (Amazon, Apple, Google, LG Electronics, Roku and Samsung, to name a few) have their own programs. Just take a stroll through your app store for software that matches up with your hardware.

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  • What can be done with an old mobile device?
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