Todays guest post is from… (drumroll please…) my husband!
He just started his own blog: The Social Network Consultant – I would encourage you to check it out!
He is an awesome resource when it comes to anything technology related, especially when it comes to cell phones, apps, and social networking!! I’ve learned so much from him and I know he would be glad to answer questions and get some feedback!
The Iphone 4S just came out, the newest android phone has been announced, so as we continue to get the bigger and better what do we do with those old smart phones? Beyond handing it off to a friend or family member or selling in on craigslist… what can they do?
Suprisingly, quite a lot.
Let’s touch on some of the obvious ones first –
Portable game player
Games are a staple for mobile phones and there is no reason why you can’t download and install new games. Most all smart phones can be connected to your computer, from there you can download games, transfer them to your phone and install them.
Since we are on the subject of computer connections, why not use it as additional portable storage instead of dropping money on a flash drive? Most of those old phones have at least a few gigs of really portable storage available.
Why use your old smart phone as an MP3 player when your new one has the same, if not better playing capabilities? Because no one wants to scratch up that new iphone on their hike through the mountains, or on their cross country bike trip. Not an athelete? Download the latest Sesame Street tunes and hand it off to your child.
Portable Photo Album
This seems fairly straight forward, why have all those photos in your purse or wallet, just store them all on your smart phone, ready to show grandma those brand new baby pics of Junior you took last week.
Many recipes can be downloaded in PDF or document forms and then stored and viewed easily via your phone.
Yes it is small, it is compact, that screen is tiny. But! Did you know that it is small, compact, and that the screen is tiny!? What a perfect way to read that good book while saving your new phones battery on the bus, subway or airplane.
Why not make your old phone your new personal assistant? It can still sync with your computer and most old phones have functions such as to-do lists, calendars, notepads etc. You could even download financial software and keep your finances on hand at all times! (I would recommend setting up security features if you go this route)
Did you buy that awesome dock for your phone? Why not put that dock next to your bed and plug in our old smart phone… permanently. Most alarm apps let you use mp3 files and have hundreds of settings, so why not have a highly functional permanent alarm clock? Bonus: Now you can charge your phone in another room over night and avoid being woken by those 3AM text messages from your old college buddy who you KNOW only texts you when she’s drunk…
Ok, let’s skip to a few concepts that may not be so obvious:
Media Remote Control
Several wireless devices can be accessed via apps made for that very purpose. For instance, on android you can download an app called gmote which will allow you to use the smart phones touch screen as a wireless mouse, wireless keyboard, etc. You can also download an app called 2player which will allow your android phone to access any DLNA or UPnP device. For instance, I can sit on my couch, whip out my old phone, connect to the wifi, select a song off of my laptop upstairs and play it on my blu-ray player in the living room. This app is a lot of fun to show off at parties and you can change the track or pause the music from any place in the house.
Most of our phones have better cameras than our computers, so why not put them to use? Applications like smartcam let you use your phone as a webcam using bluetooth or wifi. Use it to video chat with a friend or set it up in your child’s room and get a live video feed for your laptop, wherever you go!
While you no longer have service from your provider, that doesn’t mean your phone can’t be used as… a phone! Several popular companies like Skype and Google Voice have smart phone applications that can be used to make phone calls using your wireless internet. Betsy and I plan on doing this on a tablet to be used as our ‘home phone’ when we have kids.
If your phone has wireless capabilities then there are several applications available. Line2 is a personal favorite of mine. This app even lets you have two numbers on one phone, perfect for a work number and a personal number all through one device.
In the end, if you really don’t see a need for your old phone then I recommend donating it. Someones trash is another ones treasure. That smart phone that treated you so well for so long can do the same for another for a little while longer.
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