Top 10 tricks for your old smartphone

  • 08/09/2016
Top 10 tricks for your old smartphone

By Emma Brannam for Newshub Connect

For Apple fans it's that time of year again. The new iPhone 7 has just been unveiled, and your old smartphone suddenly seems a bit of a dunce.

Android fans too have recently had a slew of shiny devices tempting them to stray.

But what should people do with their once-smart friend when they're ready for an upgrade?  It's time to innovate.

Fight disease

Help Stanford University scientists with their research into diseases such as cancer and ebola by getting the Folding@Home app. By leaving the app running it will become part of the world's largest distributed supercomputer, adding to the 21,000 teraflops of computer power that the system currently churns out.

Make like a spy

A range of different apps are available to to track and record the location of a phone. Information can be sent live by adding a sim card. The phone can be used as tracking bug or hidden in a vehicle for some easy do-it-yourself tracking if a car gets stolen.

Go green

Swap an old phone for a bit of cash or credit with Vodafone's trade-in scheme. It'll get reused or recycled. You can also get a new phone every year deal on some plans.

Get reading

There are dedicated e-book apps for both iOS and Android, or there's the Kindle app so an old device can become a new e-reader. For those who prefer to watch the box, download a TV remote app and leave it in your living room permanently.

Watch the baby

An old phone can be used to watch over a baby or a whole house with an app such as Presence. In fact, there are whole host of apps that have similar features, such as local streaming, cloud streaming, recording and storing footage locally or remotely, motion detection and alerts.  

Give it to the kids

There'll be less gnashing of teeth if the screen shatters when they drop it, which they will. It's also great for budding photographers and cameramen or as a game machine.

Play music

Make an mp3 player out of an old smartphone. It's also a great portable recording studio for musicians. Connecting a guitar to an iPad is easy and there are lots of portable music studio apps to choose from. Try Garageband or the KORG gadget app to start.


It's good to keep phones out of the bedroom - more sleep and less distraction. An old phone can be used as bedside clock using an app like Wake or Timely. It's also useful as digital picture frame.

Map routes

A navigation app with offline routing capabilities on an old smartphone can turn it into a rather handy GPS device for a car or bike.

Scan documents

Smartphones can be used as scanners too. They're not great for copying photographs at high resolution but they work well for digitising paper documents.

This article was created by Newshub Connect for Vodafone. Check out its new global business accelerator Vodafone xone.

Contact Newshub with your story tips: