New uses for old smartphones

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That old cell phone sitting in the junk drawer can actually keep families safer, help kids learn and expand your viewing experience. (WLS)

That old cell phone sitting in the junk drawer can actually keep families safer. Tech expert Brad Spirrison of explained how to re-purpose old smartphones.

Use it as an entertainment control center

In addition to movies, TV shows, and songs you download to a smartphone, there are hundreds of entertainment apps that only need WiFi to operate. You can view/listen directly from the device, or wirelessly connect to speaker system, Apple TV, or other Smart TV. I use old iPhones/iPads as a remote control to an Apple TV. A process called AirPlay Mirroring allows me to transmit anything on phone/tablet to the Apple TV. Android phones work similarly with Google's Chromecast interactive TV chip.

Music (Spotify, Pandora, Songza - all free, some have subscriptions for premium content)
TV (Showyou, fee app that showcases all the videos shared by your Facebook and Twitter friends)

Use it for home security

Turn your old iPhone/iPad into a video camera that can monitor a point or room in your home 24/7. This could be used for general security, monitoring pets, elderly, kids, etc. An app called Presence - Smartphone Security lets users set this up. Install it on one or more old devices throughout the phone, and also on the device that you want to view the video feed. Each camera needs to be constantly connected to WiFi and power connections.

Use it as an educational tool

An old iPhone has at least the same functionality as an iPod touch. All of the same games are available. For education, there are thousands of apps K-12 and beyond available on smaller screen iPhones (in addition to tablets).

Use it as a second screen

While watching your favorite TV show or mass events like the upcoming election of Academy Awards, view what other people are saying about what's going on live via Twitter, Facebook and other social networks.

Old Smartphone tips

iPhones and other smartphones released within the last 4 years are more powerful than super computers from 20 years ago.
The iPhone 4 has four times the processing power as NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover.
Phones no longer connected to cellular plans still have WiFi, as well as all of the apps, games, songs and videos you loaded on it.
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