When it comes time to upgrade to a new phone, you’re faced with a decision. Do you trade it in and get a discount, or do you hang on to it? I can’t fault you if you want to get a discount on a new phone, especially on the already affordable. That said, don’t be so quick to ditch your old phone.
Even with just Wi-Fi access and no cellular connection, your old iPhone ($699 at Apple) can still be useful. For example, you can program it as a spare Apple TV ($179 at Apple) remote, or repurpose it as a security camera to keep an eye on your front door.
Before you repurpose your old phone, I suggest resetting it to factory condition (Settings > General > Reset) and setting it up as a new device. You should also disable any features you won’t be using, like iMessage to prevent your messages from constantly causing your phone to sound and vibrate.
Here are eight great, cheap or even free options for your old iPhone.
A cheap security camera
Keep an eye on your front porch or the side of your house by turning your old iPhone into a security camera. You’ll need some extra gear,and a spare charger, but you shouldn’t have to spend a lot to get it up and running.
Once that’s done, you’ll be able to check in on your home from anywhere.
Get the most out of Apple Arcade
Instead of draining your phone’s battery and dealing with constant notifications while you or your kids are trying to beat a hot new game, use your old iPhone as a dedicated gaming device. Sure, the screen isn’t as big as, say, a , but you’re still going to have a blast. And with Apple Arcade’s $5 a month subscription
for access to its entire game catalogue, hours of gaming awaits you.
Turn your old iPhone into a dedicated FaceTime or Zoom hub
With most of usduring the coronavirus pandemic, routine video calls over FaceTime or are the new norm. Keep your old iPhone charged and in a central location, giving you and your family an always-ready device for video calls. This is especially handy if you have kids who frequently want to call relatives or friends. It gives them the freedom to call, and gives you the peace of mind that something won’t happen to your new phone.
Or if you’re using, be it on an exercise bike or yoga, you can to make it easier to follow along.
You now have a spare Apple TV Remote
Have an Apple TV? Then you know how downright frustrating (and easy) it is to lose the Apple TV remote. It happens to me on an almost daily basis. Know what’s harder to lose? An iPhone. Well, in theory, at least.
Install the Apple TV Remote app and use your iPhone to control your Apple TV. One downside, however, is that the battery won’t last nearly as long as the Apple TV remote does. Although, if you misplace it, you can at least .
Use it as a less expensive HomePod
With the phone plugged in, you can ask Siri for the weather, control youror play some music. The Hey Siri feature is trained to only respond to your voice, so if a family member or roommate wants to use it, they’ll have to hold in the home button or press the side button to bring up Siri.
Give it to another family member, like your kids or parent
Been on the fence about getting a phone for your kid? Pass down your old phone. It’s already been paid for, and if theyor ruining the battery, you’re not out hundreds of dollars.
If you do go this route, make sure you set up, and your child’s phone, so you can keep tabs on which apps they’re using, and when. You can even limit who they can talk to. It’s pretty cool.
Kids already have a phone? Give it to an elderly parent or relative. They can then use it as a phone, or if nothing else, a dedicated FaceTime device to stay in touch.
Make it your emergency backup phone
If you decide to repurpose your old phone, you will constantly have a backup phone in case yours breaks, gets lost or is stolen. With Apple Stores closed right now, taking a phone. You’ll likely have to ship it somewhere for repair, meaning you’ll be without a phone for a few days.
It might be worth keeping your old phone for this reason alone.
Donate your old phone to turn it into a new phone for someone in need
There are several organizations that accept donations of old phones to benefit different causes. For example, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence helps victims and survivors of domestic violence. Want to help troops overseas stay in touch with their loved ones? Check out Cell Phones for Soldiers.
That’s just two, of many, organizations that will accept old phones and gadgets and either repurpose them or sell them and use the proceeds to benefit those in need. Want to find a local place to donate? Call your local YWCA or homeless shelters and ask if they accept donations.
It’s important to make sure you factory reset your phone before mailing it in or dropping it off. Do that by going to Settings > General > Reset > Erase all content and settings.
Now that you know what to do with your old phone, take a. From to learning its , to , we’re here to help.