Great Hacks for Your Old Phone
Modify your ageing device to perform a completely new function
When it’s time to upgrade to a new phone, your old device is often soon forgotten about. Although it may have an inferior OS update, average power and mediocre features, there’s still a wide range of things you can do with it.
The hackable nature of the Android operating system means that the devices that run it can be heavily customised and modified to perform a variety of different tasks and functions.
Their Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities can also be tinkered with to perform different functions, and you’ll be surprised with what can be achieved if you no longer want to use your ageing phone as an actual phone anymore. In this project we’ll be exploring some of the more interesting and useful ways you can implement new functions into your old Android devices, and best of all, they can all be performed with minimal spend.
Use your phone as a VoIP webcam
By using your device’s camera you can modify it to become a fully functional VoIP webcam…
With apps like Skype, Viper and Tango all being great ways of saving money on calls and texts, why not take it one step further and use your phone as a traditional VoIP webcam. By following this simple tutorial you’ll be able to connect your computer to your smartphone via Wi-Fi and begin video chats in no time at all.
1 Download DroidCam
Download DroidCam on your devices. Open on the computer and choose to connect via Wi-Fi.
2 Input IP address
You’ll now need to enter the matching IP address of your phone directly to the desktop software.
3 Connect the devices
Once connected, open up the DroidCam desktop software and select Stream video and audio.
4 Use VoIP client
Use Skype to start a video call. Head to its settings and select DroidCam as the primary source.
Create your own independent email server
Put together your own email server and take it wherever you go
An old Android phone tends to be small and generally low powered, so a great use for it is turning it into a portable email server. By using the Servers Ultimate app you can create a personal email account server, and manage it in the palm of your hand. The servers can be started and stopped whenever you aren’t using them, and even better, your old phone doesn’t need to be rooted for it to work properly. If email servers aren’t your thing, you can even create a DLNA server within the app. Old phones are usually no longer under contract, one best way to get them connected again is to consider SIM-only, 3 SIM only deals offer unlimited internet with flexible monthly contracts.
1 Download the Servers Ultimate app from the Google Play store and select the Email Server option from the list of choices. Now enter the server name, and add the necessary port details when required. Press Confirm once this is completed.
2 Select the Domains option from the top toolbar and add all information as and when needed. If you get stuck here, use the app’s help function. Scroll across once more to the Users category and add your own email details when instructed.
3 Your smartphone will now run as an independent email server, and acts as a gateway from where emails can be sent and received. If you have problems with the various ports, this forum thread over at XDA Forums is helpful.
Create an AirPlay streamer
By connecting to your iTunes accountover AirPlay, you’ll be able to stream youriOS music collection through your phone
1 Open up iTunes and navigate to your music. Download the AirBubble app from the Play store and install it on your device. Once enabled, the app automatically connects to your iTunes account if in close proximity.
2 Begin playing music through iTunes, but choose your listed phone as the audio receiver (usually listed on the menu on the left of the software). If done correctly the music will now begin playing through your device.
Turn your phone into a portable hard drive
Transfer and store the various documents and media files stored on your device without spending anything
If you’ve got a device with an expandable memory slot, you can simply swap and change your micro SD card when you wish, enabling you to store a multitude of files, and access them on your device. By using the USB Tethering function on your phone, you can then instantly connect it to your desktop computer and move the various files around.
1 Insert SD card
Insert a brand new SD card in to the expandable memory slot on your device. Find a media fi le on your phone, and choose to transfer it to your SD card. After a few seconds it’ll be ready to transfer across.
2 Connect to desktop
Connect a micro USB cable to both your phone and desktop computer. From the menu that appears on your device, select the Mass Storage option, and then enable USB storage.
3 Find the E: drive
Your phone will be listed as the E: drive on your computer, usually named SD card, or the type of device you’re using. Double-click on the E: drive icon to access it.
4 Start transferring
You’re now free to transfer files to and from your phone and computer at will. Do this to transfer files between home and work, or simply use it to access your cloud storage.