Tech providers are desperate to get us to buy more stuff. Our old phones lose their charging ability, run out of memory space, or don’t get updated. But don’t bin your old Android phone just yet. There are things you can do that will give it a new lease of life, even if you no longer use it as your number one device.

Alarm Clock

Your phone is always with you…except when it isn’t. Sometimes you leave it downstairs, charging, or just forgotten, when you go to bed. Or you forget that you turned it off or left it in flight mode. Your old phone can stay by your bedside all the time, so it never fails to wake you up. You can find an excellent reliable and customizable alarm app on Google Play.


Your car may not have its own GPS system, and if it does it may not update often enough. Remove all your personal data and leave your old phone in the car as a permanent navigation device. Plug it into the 12v socket and it is always charged and ready to go. Use downloadable maps so that you don’t need a data connection.


Do you often find that you are searching for the right remote for your TV or any of the other devices you have in your room? Apps that will allow you to control all your devices from one phone are easily available, although you will need a phone equipped with IR Blaster or equivalent.

If you use a Wi-Fi home hub, you can configure your old phone as the main controlling device.


If you worry about your home while you are away, or have pets you want to check up on while you are at work, you can set up your old Android phone as a surveillance camera. You can download an app that will detect motion and notify you, or else just allow you to access the phone live from your home’s router, so that you can watch whatever is going on and set your mind at rest.


Instead of leaving your old phone to sit and gather dust, why not get it to serve a useful purpose? There are many research projects which need huge computing power, but whose researchers don’t have access to supercomputers. Instead, they get millions of PCs and phones to work on small bits of data at the same time. BOINC from Berkeley University’s science department is a good place to start.

If all else fails, you can always donate your old phone to one of the charities that recycle them or donate them to schools in Africa.

Old Phone, Old Friend

You and your old phone have been through some good times together, so don’t just leave it sitting on the shelf. There are plenty of good uses to help it feel that it still has a part to play in your life.

Billy Lawrence is a techy guy who is always seeking out apps to improve his day. He shares his favorites as well as techy tips with an online audience.