How to Turn an Old Android Device Into a Cool, Useful Gadget

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How to Turn an Old Android Device Into a Cool, Useful Gadget

What do you do along with your outdated Android telephones or tablets? That query often prompts three drained solutions. You may commerce them in for a new buy. Or you may resell them on eBay. Probably, although, you’ll simply stuff them in a drawer as emergency backups.

Better choices exist, nonetheless, that will allow you to proceed to get worth out of your ageing units. For instance, you may obtain Google maps to create a devoted in-car GPS navigator, or you may flip them into webcams.

Numerous variations on the webcam theme deal with virtually any modern-day surveillance, video or audio software. For occasion, you simply may flip your unused Android telephone into a weathercam, child monitor, petcam or nannycam. Streaming photographs over your house community is a enjoyable undertaking to arrange and takes little in the way in which of additional price or technical abilities.

All you want is an current WiFi connection. Of course, you possibly can prolong the performance past your house or workplace WiFi vary in case your cell phone provider has a low cost plan for including a second line.

An even higher possibility could be including a WiFi pack to your major cell phone account. Sometimes known as a “Jetpack” or “port-a-pack WiFi extender,” such WiFi scorching spot packs — concerning the dimension of a deck of enjoying playing cards — can present an Internet connection on your dashcam or GPS if you journey.

Read on for some eventualities that can allow you to put your outdated telephone or pill to higher use than as a mud magnet in a drawer. Keep in thoughts that a few of these examples are higher suited to an unused smartphone, whereas others would work higher with the bigger viewing display a pill offers.


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1.Turn an outdated Android Into a Webcam or Dashcam

Step 1: Establish the retired telephone’s community features.

Open the Settings drawer on the Home web page and browse to Wireless and Networks. Then choose Turn on WiFi.

The telephone will acquire an IP deal with and join whether it is configured on your dwelling community. If it fails to join, open WiFi Settings and select Add WiFi community. Then enter the community particulars just like the community title — known as SSID — and password. It’s the identical info you employ to join a laptop computer to the community. Test the connection by shopping to any Web web page.

Step 2: Download a webcam app from the Google Play retailer.

Many of those apps work with a PC Client element that installs the webcam drivers and connects the pc. Other apps have superior options that allow you to ship audio and pictures to a cloud storage spot. For starters, take a look at Pavel Khlebovich’s free IP Webcam, DroidCam Wireless Webcam, USB Camera and IP WebCam – Acid.

Click on the set up button and permit the app to set up to your gadget. Click the Setup possibility if required or press Start Server or related possibility throughout the app. The digital camera video picture will seem on the telephone.

Step 3: Configure the viewing medium in your distant gadget.

This step might not be crucial if all you need is to save the pictures to the telephone’s storage or add it to the cloud. First, open your Web browser on a desktop or laptop computer pc that’s linked to the identical router because the telephone. You configured this community on the telephone within the earlier step. The laptop computer doesn’t have to be on the identical wi-fi community.

Next, enter the IP deal with of the telephone into the browser deal with bar. Usually, the app you put in on the telephone will let you know what the deal with is. It can be one thing like “http://192.168.1.3:8080.” The “:8080” is said to a port. The telephone is serving the picture and audio very similar to a web site does.

Then press the laptop computer’s Enter button. The telephone’s webcam server choices web page will show on the laptop computer.

Last, if you’re utilizing Chrome or Firefox, select the Use Browser Built-In Viewer or related possibility. They are examined to work. You might have to experiment if you happen to use one other Web browser to view your digital camera photographs. For occasion, if you’re utilizing one other browser, select Use Java Browser Plugin and agree to any safety prompts. You might have to set up Java Plug-in from the ensuing hyperlink.

Step 4: Locate the telephone.

Position the telephone for the best-protected view. If you’re planning to use the phone-turned-webcam as a safety gadget for an exterior pathway, for instance, window panes afford good weatherproofing. Another possibility is to place the digital camera inside pointing on the window. Do not level the digital camera into the solar. Try to acquire gentle from behind for finest photographs. To save the telephone’s battery provide for long-term use, select a location close to a energy outlet.

You can use an automotive telephone cradle to create a makeshift telephone digital camera stand for inside placement. Use the suction cup to stick the holder to the window. Plastic L-shaped holders are handy to place the telephone subsequent to a camera-less desktop PC.

To safe the dashcam telephone in your automobile, you want a mount to put the telephone at an angle that shows the highway forward of you. Accessory retailers on-line and in brick-and-mortar shops supply a number of merchandise for each windshield and dashboard mounting.

Step 5: Set up energy features.

Connect a USB energy cable from the telephone to a wall outlet for stationary use at dwelling or the workplace. Two-year-old and older telephones can endure from battery degradation — the battery holds much less cost and expires sooner. So don’t depend on battery energy for long-term digital camera use.

To use the outdated telephone as a dashcam on your automobile, a normal auto suction cup harness will maintain the telephone securely to the windshield. You can handily plug the telephone’s auto charging cable into the powered USB socket or cigarette lighter on the dashboard’s instrument panel.

Step 6: Configure the audio medium.

This step could be crucial for some pc configurations. Most webcam apps have a settings possibility to play audio with the browser. Perform this step final to keep away from potential suggestions that may happen if a telephone and pc are too shut to one another.

Depending in your gear, you may give you the option to file voice by way of the built-in laptop computer microphone or the accent microphone plugged into the desktop pc. If you employ the outdated telephone or pill as a standalone webcam in a automobile or elsewhere, be certain the quantity is about to a passable degree.

2. Turn an outdated Android Into a Standalone Music Player

This repurposing is right for die-hard music lovers and audiophiles. This strategy helps you to retailer your entire favourite music on the outdated telephone’s inside reminiscence or micro XD card. You should not have to fear about a expensive information plan caps or streaming limits.

You can bypass the tinny, low-quality sound of some older telephones by plugging in or wirelessly connecting a cell speaker. If you’re biking or strolling round, earbuds are an ideally suited answer.

Even battery energy will be almost limitless if you happen to stick a rechargeable battery pack in your pocket. For use in your automobile, simply plug within the telephone’s auto charger.

You have two choices. One is to use the telephone offline. Transfer your prerecorded music choices onto an empty microXD card and place it within the telephone’s hideaway slot. Or sideload the music you need out of your pc’s storage gadget to the telephone utilizing a USB cable.

The different possibility is to use the outdated telephone — or as soon as once more, a pill — with a viable information plan. This permits you to join to audio streaming websites.

Of course, you may mix each choices into a extra helpful third strategy. Here is how to full the conversion. It is basically easy.

Step 1: Wipe the reminiscence clear by going again to manufacturing unit settings. The course of varies barely relying on the gadget. Follow this common process:

  • Go to Settings > Backup & reset.
  • Select Factory information reset.
  • Confirm the reset motion. Make positive to delete ALL information.

Step 2: Set up the telephone once more with house saving choices in thoughts, making it fully clear.

Do not use a saved backup from a totally different telephone. Remove any extraneous apps.

Step 3: Download media apps.

This is an pointless step if you happen to plan to use the telephone solely to play your prerecorded music. Otherwise, go to Google Play Store and seek for media apps. Decide what sort of music participant you need.

For occasion, would you like offline music from streaming apps? Or will you stockpile native recordsdata out of your PC? If the latter is your selection, be sure you have audio gamers for the kind of music recordsdata in your assortment.

If you need to do audio streaming, get an app that fits your wants. All music apps are usually not the identical.

For occasion, some fashionable streaming companies, similar to Spotify and Google Play Music, allow you to obtain for offline playback. If you employ them, keep in mind to obtain music for offline listening earlier than you permit the WiFi community. Also, keep in mind that some companies, like Spotify, cost you a month-to-month subscription to use the offline characteristic.

You should not have to pay for a information connection on your repurposed music participant gadget. You can use your house or workplace — or public WiFi — to obtain your choices for offline use later.

3. Turn an Old Android Into a Baby or Door Monitor

Use your discarded telephone to watch over your child or a doorway entrance, both inside or outdoors your house. This is a no-cost different to shopping for costly monitoring cameras and connecting them to a community.

The course of could be very related to the detailed directions for organising a dashcam or webcam. The solely actual distinction is the app you employ to run your video monitoring. The benefit, past the principally free price, is that you should use the Internet connection to tune into the audio/video feeds from nearly wherever, so long as the Android telephone is linked by way of WiFi.

For a slight financial outlay, you possibly can step up the know-how and use the outdated smartphone or pill as a video doorbell. This plan barely modifies the strategy detailed above, however it’s far less expensive than a devoted Ring-type doorbell system.

The telephone or pill stays inside the home and serves because the monitor. So you possibly can prop up the gadget conveniently. You will want to set up an outside WiFi webcam or a sensible doorbell. Your outdated telephone or pill then serves as a devoted video monitor.

The solely different issues wanted for the child and door monitor jobs are the Android apps you resolve to use. For occasion,
Dormi is designed expressly for child monitoring. Besides each audio and video monitoring, the app gives two-way audio so you possibly can discuss to a crying child from afar.

The Dormi app works at any distance and makes use of any accessible connection route, similar to WiFi or cell information: Edge, 3G, 4G, HSPA+, LTE. It even works when Internet will not be accessible by way of WiFi Direct, HotSpot / AP). If the reference to the kid gadget is misplaced, the father or mother gadget will notify you.

Doorbell cameras supply a wide selection of options and join to a number of Android apps. You do have to buy a door digital camera, although. Buy the digital camera first. Then match it to an app with the options that fit your wants. You can run the app on the outdated smartphone or pill.


Jack M. Germain has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2003. His predominant areas of focus are enterprise IT, Linux and open supply applied sciences. He has written quite a few evaluations of Linux distros and different open supply software program.
Email Jack.



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