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Don’t Throw Out That Old Cell Phone – Yet!

Just got a new cell phone and not sure what to do with the old Old one?

Smart Phone

BlackBerry Z30

You’re not alone. As a result of this dilemma I’ve been keeping a number of old cell phones in my “Museum” including flip phones, early Motorolas with nice leather covers, an old brick phone (a real monster by today’s standards) even an original BlackBerry, the one with the wheel on the side (you remember, the one that made BlackBerry famous). These all reside on a shelf in my office – collecting dust – along with a few Kodak Brownie cameras and a smattering of ancient transistor radios.

But these are really old cell phones and mostly analog they don’t even work on today’s modern digital networks. So unless you’re very (very) techy or have a museum of your own, you might just as well recycle or donate your old cell phones.

On the other hand, if your most recent “old” cell phone is a smart phone or even a super phone then you’re in luck!

So what can be done with these oldies?

For starters, your old smart phone is more or less a “WiPhone” which describes it for what it really is; a WIFI enabled phone. Your WiPhone is a valuable asset and should be cherished not discarded.

Except for 911 calls (see below), the only thing on your WiPhone that won’t work, of course, is the cellular network – any feature, service or app that doesn’t rely on that network will most likely function properly. Things like WIFI (hence the name WiPhone), Camera, Calendar, Games, Tasks, Web Browser, Clock, et cetera will all function as before. Don’t forget, your WiPhone is not just an old cell phone it’s a palm sized PC. Almost anything your desktop or laptop or new cell phone can do your WiPhone can do. Even download new apps.

Things you can do with your WiPhone:

The possibilities are endless but here are just a few ideas to get you started:

    • Wi-Fi phone using Google Voice or Skype. Yep, it can still be a phone. Here is a post by Simon Hill from androidauthorty.com covering Android phones;
    • TV remote. There are some very cool apps for turning your phone into a TV remote. Check out this GIZMODO post by Andrew Tarantola;
    • Camera. A second phone camera gives you extra picture storage and the added advantage of a second, charged camera. Remember to download the picture off your old phone as soon as possible to free up space on the media card. Here’s more on this topic by Annabelle Smyth
    • Backup Device. This is easy, just sync your old phone with your new phone every day. Job done. You’ll never again lose more than a day’s worth of data.
    • Music. Load your favourite songs on to your WiPhone, voila, no more scrambling to switch apps when your cell phone rings.

Here’s some more ideas: nice article by Adam Dachis on LifeHacker

And another good idea, this one from Trent Hamm’s blog: “Use it as a 911 phone. Charge it up, turn it off, and stick the phone (along with the old charger) in your glove box. Then, if you’re ever in an accident or other emergency, you can pull the phone from your glove box, flip it on, and use it to dial 911. This will work because all cell phones are required to allow you to dial 911, even without an active service plan to the phone.

You could also keep it at the cabin or your boat or anywhere else an emergency phone could come in handy. You must check with your cellular network provider before relying on the 911 without an active service.

One more thing, as a professional, using your WiPhone frees up your cell phone for business – and that can only be a good thing!

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Do you have ideas on WiPhone uses? I would love to hear about them. Please add a Comment or email me at mail@cliverichey.com. And thank you for reading this post.

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