What To Do With Your Old iPhone

By Tracey Dowdy

If you’re like me, your iPhone functions less as a phone and more as your brain’s literal external hard drive. Cell phone providers continue to improve their plans and offer incentives to get you to upgrade your phone. If you take advantage of the offer, what do you do with your old phone? Sometimes turning it in means a discount off the new phone, but that’s not your only option.

  • The obvious first choice is to keep it as a back-up. As long as it works, this is a great option. Your social media, calendars, iMessages, etc. are already synced and logged in, so it’s a simple matter of swapping out the SIM card and you’re ready to go until the new phone is repaired or replaced.
  • Use it as a Roku Remote. Recent updates to the Roku app means the screen looks like the actual remote. They’ve added a “What’s On” tab to make finding what you want to watch easier, and a Channels screen for quick, one-tap access to all your favorite shows.
  • Pair your old phone with any of the video doorbells that are on the market for an additional security camera. The Canary Flex, August Doorbell CamDoorBird Video Door StationRing Video Doorbell and SkyBell Video Doorbell have all been reviewed on CNET.
  • Make the most of Siri. Simply by connecting the phone to a Bluetooth speaker. If you use Apple Music, Siri will open your playlists or podcasts if you have the Apple Podcasts app. Siri can’t make other streaming music services like Tidal or Spotify play, but is compatible with Pandora.
  • DIY a VR headset. So far, Google is the star of the Virtual Reality show but pairing your old phone with iPhone-compatible VR goggles – you can get them on Amazon – and pair them with any of the VR apps and games available in iTunes.
  • Do some good. Verizon’s Hope Line wipes, refurbs, and provides free phones to women in shelters escaping from domestic violence. Cell Phones for Soldiers accepts used phones and provides both devices and minutes for men and women serving in the military. Phones donated to Hope Phones enable rural health clinics to better manage patient records, diagnose in the field, and facilitate communication.

There are loads of other options – a spare alarm clock, white noise machine, even a dedicated e-reader. The possibilities are endless!

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.

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