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Smartphones & gadgets

5 uses for your old iPhone

It’s almost Christmas, and a lucky few of you will be getting new iPhones under the tree. Congratulations!

But now comes the hard part. What can you do with your old iPhone? You can sell your old phone for big bucks, depending on its model and condition. But what do you do with an iPhone that’s past its prime?

Here are five fabulous ideas that can transform that phone from a paperweight into a useful gadget again.

1. Keep an eye on your house

Put the high-quality camera in your old iPhone to good use by turning your smartphone into a sophisticated security camera for your home. There are several apps available that do just this. Presence is a popular option, but you can also check into Manything and Alfred. Install the app, set it up, and place your iPhone in a strategic spot. These apps offer live video streaming and motion-detection alerts. You can keep an eye on your front door, use it as a nanny cam, or check in on your pets when you’re traveling.

On a related note, your old iPhone can act as a video baby monitor through the use of the $4 Cloud Baby Monitor app, which can send noise and motion alerts to your current phone and let you look in on your young one.

2. Entertain yourself with a VR headset

You’ve probably seen commercials where people strap a phone in front of their eyes and have a blast playing games and experiencing new worlds through virtual reality. It can be a lot of fun, but it also requires moving your phone in and out of a VR headset mount. Your old iPhone can become your full-time VR gadget.

You will need to pick up VR goggles that are compatible with your model of iPhone. Check out the Google Cardboard goggles as an inexpensive way to get started. From there, you can try out a variety of VR apps available through Apple’s App Store. The Google Cardboard app works with the Google goggles and is a good place to start your VR journey.

3. Control your Apple TV

The Apple TV remote is a model of minimalist design, but this means it can be a little cumbersome to use. Make your life easier and download the Apple TV Remote app to your old iPhone. Now you can navigate the Apple TV interface, conduct searches, and control your streaming entertainment with ease.

If your remote-control ambitions extend beyond just your Apple TV, then check out the Pronto Smart Universal Remote Control for iOS. This interesting device turnd your iPhone into a universal remote control that can handle almost any television, stereo system, or another home-entertainment device. Your iPhone doesn’t contain an IR blaster (the infrared technology used by most remote-control systems), but this device makes up for this shortcoming.

4. Up your alarm-clock game

Spiff up your nightstand by ditching your old-school alarm clock and adopting an unused iPhone as your bedside companion. You could use the phone’s built-in alarm functions, but you can have a lot more fun with one of the many cool alarm apps available to download.

It’s not just about getting you up and going in the morning. You can also load up apps to help you fall asleep. Search for white-noise generators or try out an app like Slumber that offers a collection of sleep meditations and bedtime stories.

This can also help reduce the temptation to keep your current iPhone right by your pillow. Your old phone can handle all the bedtime and wake-up duties and not distract you with incoming text messages.

5. Use it like an iPod

You live your life to a soundtrack of your favorite tunes, but all those songs are clogging up the storage space on your phone. You could buy a $199 iPod Touch, but your old iPhone will work just as well. Repurpose it as a dedicated music machine for your home and car. Apple’s hands-free Siri voice assistant will work just as well in your living room when you call out, “Hey Siri, play my morning playlist.”

Once your old iPhone has a new lease on life, you will have a compelling reason to keep it around. This leads us to a bonus purpose for that outdated gadget: as a backup phone. If something happens to your new iPhone, you can always press your old phone back into service to tide you over until you get a replacement.

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