14 Smart Uses For Old iPhones Besides Selling Them On eBay

Whether or not you believe Apple goes to lengths to ensure your new iPhone will be obsolete mere months after you buy it, the fact is we've all wound up with a stack of seemingly defunct pocket computers over time. But rather than let them gather dust in a junk drawer or redeem an insultingly low trade-in sum, you could be using them to improve your day-to-day life in unexpected ways.

The next time you find yourself with a post-upgrade brick on your hands, try upcycling it in one of these 14 different ways.

1. Use it as a bike or vehicle tracker

Rather than drop any cash on an official LoJack system, install a reliable, remote geo-tracking app and slyly stash your old iPhone in your car or on your bike. That way, should it go missing (or you feel the need to surreptitiously track your spouse or kid's whereabouts) you can keep an eye on their location from your current phone or computer.

2. Turn it into a digital photo frame

Refresh your desktop photos on the fly by keeping it flush with your favorite album and placing it on a special iPhone stand.

3. Use it as a dedicated e-reader

Keep your Wi-Fi-only device's iBooks and Newsstand stocked with your favorite reads to enjoy novels and the news free of distracting phone calls or texts.

4. Set it up as a universal remote

Attach this special dongle to your old phone and you'll be able to control everything from your entertainment system to your automatic blinds, and even set up optional chain-of-command options that will engage a whole series of actions at the press of a single button. 

5. Turn it into a next-level camera

Your current phone will work great for candid and unexpected snaps, but why not transform one, with state-of-the-art lenses and accessories, into the sort of camera you'd want while shooting something special. Photojojo has a whole spread of stuff to get you started.

6. Turn it into a driving navigation system

No nav system? No problem. This app provides turn-by-turn navigation without a data connection by allowing you to download routes ahead of time on Wi-Fi. So all you need to do is mount it to your dash and hit the road.

7. Use it as a home security camera

To set up a surveillance system on the cheap, download this app and position your old pocket computer so the camera picks up the space you want to keep tabs on. As long as it's connected to your Wi-Fi network, you'll be able to watch live and receive alerts on your current device or computer when certain actions are detected.

8. Turn it into a Twitter ticker

For social media junkies, there areseveral apps you can use to turn your Wi-Fi-connected old phone into a livestream of your Twitter feed. Perfect for slyly keeping tabs on things at work without your boss knowing. 

9. Keep watch over your kids

Spare yourself the cost of a fancy baby monitor and instead use your old and current phone together via this handy app to make sure all's well from down the hall or across the house.

10. Use it as a clock

Rather than repeatedly checking the time on your phone every five minutes, turn your spare one into a permanent digital clock. Keep it on display on a stand synced up with this unique 24-hour video clock app, or opt for a more specialized setup.

11. Keep it around for storage

Using Dropbox and this app you can harness the storage capacity in your old phone and turn it into a drive to keep your photos, files, and other important documents.

12. Turn it into a wireless music receiver

Beam audio from your current phone (or Mac) to any speaker with an aux input by turning your old phone into a wireless receiver. Simply boot it up, download this app over your home Wi-Fi network, plug it into the speaker of choice, and boom, you're in business.

13. Turn it into a document scanner

Keep copies of your most important paperwork without stepping foot into a depressing Kinko's by setting up a special scanning center to snap photos of documents, sketches, notes, and anything else you'd be screwed losing a hard copy of.

14. Use it as a voice recorder

While this one may only be useful to a select set, having a device dedicated to recording voice memos can be a huge help when you need to conduct interviews, record meetings, or want to perform some sly audio surveillance.

Joe McGauley is a senior editor at Supercompressor and has a beat up 3G in a drawer somewhere if you need a loaner.

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