I have a drawer full of old iPhones in various states of disrepair. In the past I have given a couple away to members of my family and often considered selling the rest. But I would rather keep them, I can still vividly remember unpacking each one, even the smell of the expertly crafted packaging.
Its hard not to become attached to our phones, after all our fascination with these objects is unprecedented, we stare lovingly at our iPhones hundreds of times a day, enraptured by social networks, news, games and messages. However all good things come to an end, these things that we now treasure, now become quickly obsolete.
So what to do with something that we have invested so much in? We could sell them but maybe we could repurpose them to keep them useful a bit longer, below I have compiled a few novel uses for your old iPhone.
For older iPhones your options can be pretty limited, but before using your old phone as a highly advanced paperweight you should try out Whited00r. Whited00r is a community built Firmware that can breath new life into older iOS devices. Whited00r can bring some of the latest iOS features (multi tasking, Voice control, push notifications, iOS7 look and feel) to the iPhone 2G and iPhone 3G and even the iPod touch 1G. One of the great features of Whited00r is the AppTimeMachine which enables you to older versions of many apps that no longer support older devices. Have a look at the installation guide here.
Security Camera or Webcam
Why not turn your old iPhone into a security camera or webcam? There are a number of apps available to do just this such as:Presence iWebCam / Mobiscope. The Galileo robotic iPhone stand (pictured below) it costs $99.95 and lets you turn and pivot your iPhone remotely, it also works with the iPhone 3GS.
Dashboard cams are all the rage in Russia but along with capturing video of accidents, that could be useful when making an insurance claim, they have also taken amazing footage of natural disasters and crimes in progress. DashCam app is free and works with iOS 6 and above.
Jukebox & Online Radio
A simple use of an old iOS device is to load it up with your favourite tracks and just use it as a beautiful music player. You could also combine it with a cheap dock as an internet radio or podcast player. If you haven’t already try out the Tunein Radio app.
You could use your old iPhone as an audio receiver. With Airfoil Speakers Touch you can do just that, send audio from iTunes, or Spotify from your Mac or PC to your old iPhone. Airfoil for Mac or Windows required, this app works with iOS4 and above.
If you can find a cheap contract or PAYG plan you could use your iPhone as a vehicle tracking device simply by using Apple’s Find my iPhone service.
Mobile Gaming for the Kids
Ever get sick of having to hand over your precious new iPhone to your kids to play games on? Why not just put some games on your old phone and let them have that. If your iPhone is getting a bit ancient, and you are finding hard to find games that work with your iOS version, have a browse though this site that has a list of apps by OS: iOS 3.0 games.
How about turning your iPhone into a beautiful digital alarm clock with live weather conditions? Try out Alarm Clock Free. if you are willing to invest a few bucks you could try the iLuv App Station Alarm Clock Stereo Speaker Dock for just $18.95 on Amazon.
Apple Trade in scheme
Apple has recently started a trade in scheme, in both the UK and US you can go into any Apple store and get $99 dollars towards a new shiny iPhone.
If you do decide to sell your old iPhone, it’s probably worth more than you think. There’s a thriving market for used iPhones on Ebay and Craigslist. In the UK you can also use Music Magpie who will give you a guaranteed price online, you just need to answer a few questions.
There are a number of charities who could also benefit from your old iPhone, check out: phones4charity.org
Do you have any other ideas? Please share them in the comments.
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I put a bunch of old iPods and iPhones in a shadow-box on the wall…
Great post, and a lot of very good suggestions which I am following up on. However, Tunein Radio requires iOS 7, so you may want to pull it from the list or replace it with another option that works with older iOS versions.
Thanks for the great ideas!