With the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smashing all previous sales records for Apple’s smartphone franchise there’s about to be a torrent of older model iPhones in the trash heap, an unfortunate reality on several fronts. Sure you could donate your older iPhones, re-commissioning them for someone who can’t or doesn’t want to shell out the money for a top end iPhone 6, or you could recycle your phone in an environmentally responsible way, but statistics say you won’t, and statistics don’t lie (well 95 percent of the time they don’t).
So while that old iPhone turned paperweight stares forlornly at you from across the room, green with envy (green only if it’s an iPhone 5C of course) at your newest toy, there are several things you can do with your now defunct devices, a modern technological twist on the principle of reusing something instead of just throwing it away.
Having scoured the Internet I’ve found five interesting ways to repurpose an old iPhone, giving life to that device you once loved so dear, and offering hope to your current iPhone 6 that it’ll still have some use when the next iPhone iteration comes along.
1. Surveillance and Monitoring
How about repurposing that phone as your newest night watchmen? British tech start-up Manything has created an app that transforms the iPhone into a security camera, allowing you to remotely monitor the feed from the iPhone’s front-facing camera from anywhere in the world for free. Or perhaps try Presence, a free app that provides a live stream of the area you want to monitor. Both apps allow for motion detector settings as well, recording video when motion is, well, detected.
Not only that, but the phone works great as a baby monitor as well, allowing you to hear (and communicate) with your child. Further, Cloud Baby Monitor ($3.99) can send the signal through any Wi-Fi network to your current device, meaning you can be anywhere and still keep tabs on the little ones.
2. Alarm Clock
If it’s time to get rid of that alarm clock you’ve had since you were a child, why not replace it with something decidedly high-tech, purposing your phone as your new bedside companion? With the purchase of an app like Standard Time ($3.99), the addition of aunique dock like retro-TV looking iPhone 4 dock from Kickstarter, you have a cool looking alarm clock that also can play soothing white noise for those times sleep eludes you.
3. Camera and Light Meter
For the creative types, consider turning your old iPhone into an almost professional-grade camera, as Canon has created an iPhone 5 specific SLR mount, allowing people to capture high end images with their phone. To add to one’s photographic arsenal older model iPhones can also be transformed into a handy light meter with Luxi add-on, a neat little gadget that allows photographers to get accurate light readings making for better photos.
4. Vehicle Tracker and Music Player
For years people have decried the latent tracking ability of the iPhone as an invasion of privacy, but why not turn this feature to good use, using the built-in GPS as a vehicle tracker, an added security feature if your vehicle is stolen. For another in-vehicle use, perhaps consider deploying your iPhone as a music player, using an affordable car mount for safety and accessibility.
5. Document Scanner
The one final ingenious iPhone repurposing suggestion is to transform it into a portable document scanner, using apps like Genius Scan and Doc Scan to scan documents for work or school or to just keep track of business or personal receipts.
While it’s easy to forget about our old tech once the latest and greatest gadget comes along remember that iPhones have feelings too, well not yet I guess, but in any case, our older devices still have innumerable uses and can be repurposed into almost anything we can think of. It’s not only cost effective to use our old iPhones to do other tasks, but it’s environmentally responsible as well, keeping that toxic soup of chemicals out of our landfills.