When it comes to upgrading your iPhone or iPad, you are always posed with the question of what to do with your existing/old model. Trade it in, sell it to a friend, or if you’re like us, stick it in a dedicated drawer where technology goes to die - never to be looked at again.
It poses the questions of how to make better use of old devices rather than laying them to rest in the technology graveyard. Here are some ways which allow to put those old devices back to use.
1. Turn them into a home security camera
One possibility would be to setup and use your old device as a security camera. You would need to mount the device somewhere suitable for the location you would like to keep eyes on and keep it hooked up to a lightning cable so that power won’t be lost.
Most apps you will find relevant for this functionality will offer many of the same features, like the recording and storage of footage locally or remotely, automatic movement detection and two-way talk so you could even double this a baby monitor, if you so wish.
Once this is all set up you would be able to monitor and control the camera from anywhere, direct from your new device.
2. Use your old iPad as a second monitor
Using your iPad as a second screen / sidecar with your MacBook or iMac is something we have covered in more detail in a previous article. But you could save yourself even more trouble and set this up with an old device to free your new iPad up for whatever you like.
This provides the perfect portable solution to keep you as productive as possible when working from home. Even better, when the world begins to resume to business as usual, using this feature whilst working during a commute or anywhere you find yourself will allow you to manage your screens with ease.
Want to know more? Read our MacBook and Sidecar article.
3. In-car Navigation System / Dash Camera
Despite built-in navigation systems becoming much more prevalent in newer car models, there are many older cars which could use an upgrade in this regard. Many people already mount their phone in the cars for streaming music or for navigation, but it can be somewhat of an inconvenience having to mount and unmount the phone every time.
Purchasing a mount that sits on your car’s dashboard and a double port car charger will allow you to setup and take advantage of your old iPhone’s up to date maps and traffic information.
Using your phone as a Dashcam
If you have an old phone with a working camera then you can even double this up as a dashcam with a wide range of apps that will constantly record while you are driving and back up the footage to the cloud. This might even lower your insurance premiums!
4. Use your iPad as a dedicated Kitchen Companion
Having an iPad set up in the kitchen as a dedicated companion means that you can use this as a dedicated recipe station to follow along while cooking with a multitude of different apps that can store recipes, track nutritional data, etc. There is also an endless number of apps dedicated to discovering new recipes and flavours or simply healthy meals.
If you’re more of an expert in the kitchen and don’t need to follow a recipe and simply want some background noise while you’re cooking, then keep it simple and have your old iPad as your dedicated Netflix player in the kitchen (other streaming services are available).
Pair it with a TORRO iPad case with stand functionality and you’re all set.
5. Apple TV Remote
To use your old handset to control Apple TV, simply download the app for Apple TV remote on your device from the app store and from there you are good to go. The downside to this being that it can quickly deplete your phone’s battery and we would wager that you don’t really want to be using a remote connected to a cable, that just doesn’t seem efficient.
Pairing this approach with a wireless charger where you can sit your device once you’ve committed to a new show would work very well.
6. Use it as a HomePod / Smart Speaker
If you’ve been thinking about grabbing yourself a HomePod recently, they would run you about £279, or £99 for the HomePod Mini (at the time of writing). If you find the cost somewhat off-putting, particularly with Apple recently announcing that they are discontinuing the original HomePod, then why not use an old device instead.
Simply go in to “Siri & Search” settings on your old device and toggle on the switch for “Listen for Hey Siri”. You will of course then have to keep the device hooked up via Lightning Cable to ensure it doesn’t run out of charge, but you can then use your old device to ask Siri to play your favourite songs, ask about the weather, set a reminder and much more.
As a caveat, Siri will only answer to your own voice command, anyone else in the household would need to unlock the device first.
7. Turn It Into A Handheld Gaming Console with Apple Arcade
If you often find yourself (or your family) draining the battery on your device playing games, then why not use your old device to get the most out of Apple Arcade?
A £4.99 monthly subscription to Apple Arcade gives you access to endless hours of entertainment. Using an old device for this means you don’t have to deal with constant notifications interrupting you as you play. Sure, it’s not quite the same as grabbing yourself a new Xbox or PlayStation, but you’re still going to have a great new past time.
What will you do?
There is of course always the option of factory restoring your old device and selling it on, but where is the fun in that? Let us know what you do with your old devices!
Are you going to try any of these out or leave them sat around doing nothing but collecting dust?