By Jack M. Germain

Apr 2, 2020 12:37 PM PT

What do you do together with your previous Android telephones or tablets? That query normally prompts three drained solutions. You would possibly commerce them in for a brand new buy. Or you may resell them on eBay. In all probability, although, you’ll simply stuff them in a drawer as emergency backups.

Higher choices exist, nonetheless, that might 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.

Quite a few variations on the webcam theme tackle nearly any modern-day surveillance, video or audio software. For example, you simply might flip your unused Android cellphone right into a weathercam, child monitor, petcam or nannycam. Streaming pictures over your property community is a enjoyable venture to arrange and takes little in the way in which of additional value or technical abilities.

All you want is an current WiFi connection. In fact, you possibly can lengthen the performance past your property or workplace WiFi vary in case your cell phone service has a reduction plan for including a second line.

A good higher possibility could be including a WiFi pack to your main cell phone account. Typically referred to as a “Jetpack” or “port-a-pack WiFi extender,” such WiFi sizzling spot packs — in regards to the measurement of a deck of taking part in playing cards — can present an Web connection on your dashcam or GPS whenever you journey.

Learn on for some situations that can allow you to put your previous cellphone or pill to higher use than as a mud magnet in a drawer. Remember that a few of these examples are higher suited to an unused smartphone, whereas others would work higher with the bigger viewing display screen a pill supplies.

1.Flip an previous Android Right into a Webcam or Dashcam

Step 1: Set up the retired cellphone’s community capabilities.

Open the Settings drawer on the House web page and browse to Wi-fi and Networks. Then choose Activate WiFi.

The cellphone will acquire an IP tackle and join whether it is configured on your residence community. If it fails to attach, open WiFi Settings and select Add WiFi community. Then enter the community particulars just like the community title — referred to as SSID — and password. It is the identical data you employ to attach a laptop computer to the community. Take a look at the connection by searching to any Net web page.

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

Many of those apps work with a PC Consumer part that installs the webcam drivers and connects the pc. Different 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 Wi-fi Webcam, USB Digital camera and IP WebCam – Acid.

Click on on the set up button and permit the app to put in to your gadget. Click on the Setup possibility if required or press Begin Server or related possibility throughout the app. The digicam video picture will seem on the cellphone.

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

This step is probably not crucial if all you need is to avoid wasting the photographs to the cellphone’s storage or add it to the cloud. First, open your Net browser on a desktop or laptop computer laptop that’s linked to the identical router because the cellphone. You configured this community on the cellphone within the earlier step. The laptop computer doesn’t should be on the identical wi-fi community.

Subsequent, enter the IP tackle of the cellphone into the browser tackle bar. Often, the app you put in on the cellphone will inform you what the tackle is. It is going to be one thing like “http://192.168.1.3:8080.” The “:8080” is said to a port. The cellphone is serving the picture and audio very like an internet site does.

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

Final, if you’re utilizing Chrome or Firefox, select the Use Browser Constructed-In Viewer or related possibility. They’re examined to work. You will have to experiment if you happen to use one other Net browser to view your digicam pictures. For example, if you’re utilizing one other browser, select Use Java Browser Plugin and conform to any safety prompts. You will have to put in Java Plug-in from the ensuing hyperlink.

Step 4: Find the cellphone.

Place the cellphone for the best-protected view. If you’re planning to make use of the phone-turned-webcam as a safety gadget for an exterior pathway, for instance, window panes afford good weatherproofing. Another choice is to position the digicam inside pointing on the window. Don’t level the digicam into the solar. Attempt to acquire mild from behind for finest pictures. To avoid wasting the cellphone’s battery provide for long-term use, select a location close to an influence outlet.

You should use an automotive cellphone cradle to create a makeshift cellphone digicam stand for inside placement. Use the suction cup to stay the holder to the window. Plastic L-shaped holders are handy to position the cellphone subsequent to a camera-less desktop PC.

To safe the dashcam cellphone in your automobile, you want a mount to place the cellphone at an angle that shows the highway forward of you. Accent retailers on-line and in brick-and-mortar shops provide quite a lot of merchandise for each windshield and dashboard mounting.

Step 5: Arrange energy capabilities.

Join a USB energy cable from the cellphone to a wall outlet for stationary use at residence 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 digicam use.

To make use of the previous cellphone as a dashcam on your automobile, an ordinary auto suction cup harness will maintain the cellphone securely to the windshield. You’ll be able to handily plug the cellphone’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 laptop configurations. Most webcam apps have a settings choice to play audio with the browser. Carry out this step final to keep away from potential suggestions that may happen if a cellphone and laptop are too shut to one another.

Relying in your gear, you would possibly have the ability to report voice by way of the built-in laptop computer microphone or the accent microphone plugged into the desktop laptop. If you happen to use the previous cellphone or pill as a standalone webcam in a automobile or elsewhere, be certain the amount is about to a passable degree.

2. Flip an previous Android Right into a Standalone Music Participant

This repurposing is good for die-hard music lovers and audiophiles. This method enables you to retailer all your favourite music on the previous cellphone’s inside reminiscence or micro XD card. You would not have to fret a few expensive knowledge plan caps or streaming limits.

You’ll be able to 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 a perfect answer.

Even battery energy could be practically limitless if you happen to stick a chargeable battery pack in your pocket. To be used in your automobile, simply plug within the cellphone’s auto charger.

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

The opposite possibility is to make use of the previous cellphone — or as soon as once more, a pill — with a viable knowledge plan. This lets you connect with audio streaming websites.

In fact, you may mix each choices right into a extra helpful third method. Right here is the right way to full the conversion. It’s actually easy.

Step 1: Wipe the reminiscence clear by going again to manufacturing unit settings. The method varies barely relying on the gadget. Observe this normal process:

  • Go to Settings > Backup & reset.
  • Choose Manufacturing facility knowledge reset.
  • Affirm the reset motion. Be sure to delete ALL knowledge.

Step 2: Arrange the cellphone once more with area saving choices in thoughts, making it utterly clear.

Don’t use a saved backup from a unique cellphone. Take away any extraneous apps.

Step 3: Obtain media apps.

That is an pointless step if you happen to plan to make use of the cellphone solely to play your prerecorded music. In any other case, go to Google Play Retailer and seek for media apps. Determine what sort of music participant you need.

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

If you wish to do audio streaming, get an app that fits your wants. All music apps will not be the identical.

For example, some common streaming providers, akin to Spotify and Google Play Music, allow you to obtain for offline playback. If you happen to use them, bear in mind to obtain music for offline listening earlier than you permit the WiFi community. Additionally, keep in mind that some providers, like Spotify, cost you a month-to-month subscription to make use of the offline function.

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

3. Flip an Outdated Android Right into a Child or Door Monitor

Use your discarded cellphone to look at over your child or a doorway entrance, both inside or exterior your property. This can be a no-cost different to purchasing costly monitoring cameras and connecting them to a community.

The method is similar to the detailed directions for establishing a dashcam or webcam. The one actual distinction is the app you employ to run your video monitoring. The benefit, past the largely free value, is that you need to use the Web connection to tune into the audio/video feeds from nearly wherever, so long as the Android cellphone is linked by way of WiFi.

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

The cellphone or pill stays inside the home and serves because the monitor. So you possibly can prop up the gadget conveniently. You will want to put in an out of doors WiFi webcam or a wise doorbell. Your previous cellphone or pill then serves as a devoted video monitor.

The one different issues wanted for the child and door monitor jobs are the Android apps you determine to make use of. For example,
Dormi is designed expressly for child monitoring. Moreover each audio and video monitoring, the app affords two-way audio so you possibly can speak to a crying child from afar.

The Dormi app works at any distance and makes use of any out there connection route, akin to WiFi or cell knowledge: Edge, 3G, 4G, HSPA+, LTE. It even works when Web will not be out there by way of WiFi Direct, HotSpot / AP). If the reference to the kid gadget is misplaced, the mum or dad gadget will notify you.

Doorbell cameras provide a variety of options and connect with quite a lot of Android apps. You do should buy a door digicam, although. Purchase the digicam first. Then match it to an app with the options that fit your wants. You’ll be able to run the app on the previous smartphone or pill.


Jack M. Germain - The right way to Flip an Outdated Android Machine Right into a Cool, Helpful Gadget | Cellular TechJack M. Germain has been an ECT Information Community reporter since 2003. His primary areas of focus are enterprise IT, Linux and open supply applied sciences. He has written quite a few opinions of Linux distros and different open supply software program.
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