Tip of the Week: Putting Your Old Android Device to Good Use

January 17, 2018

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Considering how often smartphones are replaced, you’re bound to have a couple of them stashed away for a rainy day. These devices are particularly helpful in the event that your smartphone breaks unexpectedly. There are other purposes to consider. Here are four ways you might be able to use your old mobile devices around the office.


A Portable Trackpad
There are all sorts of applications to pair your old phone with your computer. For example, you could use it as an extra controller for various apps or specialized features, allowing for an alternative way to control media playback, among other functionality.

You can achieve this by using the Touchpad app  on the Google Play store. It’s not perfect, but it’s the safest way to download legitimate apps. You should also run the decision by your IT department, or IT decision makers, to ensure that these apps will be compatible with your technology.

A Universal Remote
An old smart device might be a great way to take control of your other office devices. You can use a universal remote app from the Google Play store to control all sorts of devices around your office, eliminating the need to hold onto that old TV remote. Plus, since you are using just one device for every single television in your office, you don’t need to keep track of multiple remotes. If you have an older smartphone that comes with an onboard IR Blaster, you can utilize it as a TV remote, since many newer smartphones don’t come with one.

A Makeshift Security Camera
There are applications that you can find on the Google Play store that can turn your device into a miniature security camera. You might be surprised by how many different features you can find for this purpose. Boost your business’s physical security presence, all by logging into a web browser. You can even record the footage and have it activated when detecting motion.

Of course, if you want to take your security seriously, you will want to discuss integrating a network-based IP camera security system.

A Donation to Science
If you donate your device to the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing, or BOINC, then you will give the organization a valuable tool that allows them to advance various research projects. Resources donated to BOINC have researched the climate, molecular dynamics, genetic sequencing, measuring earthquake magnitude, and much more, all with the intent to make a better and more informed environment.

If this sounds like a better option than letting your devices collect dust in your junk drawer, then download the BOINC app from the Google Play store and select the type of research you want your phone’s resources to go toward. This app will run only if your device has been charged and plugged in, so that your device isn’t being drained. Thanks to it transmitting data via Wi-Fi, you won’t waste any of your data, either.

What are some of your favorite ways to use your old Android devices? Let us know in the comments.

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