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6 new hacks for your Android and iPhone

You may not know what to do with your phone that is only one or two years old. It's still useful and has lots of life left, but you've just upgraded to the latest version. Sure, you can give it to a relative or recover it . Or you can give it new life by making it something new that you actually want to use.

After all, smartphones are small, powerful computers with storage space and a camera. Instead of spending money on a new device that you have looked at, you may be able to do it yourself. Your smartphone can be a practical replacement for lots of other electronics ̵

1; it can also diagnose the car's mechanical problems.

Here are some ways you can make your old smartphone useful again.

Use your iPhone or Android as universal remote control

It's great to have a remote control that can do it all – think Click on the movie. OK, maybe not so extreme, but being able to control all your devices from a remote is a relief. Download a remote control patch, eg iRule (for iPhone or Android) and then sync your phone to devices like your Xbox One Roku and Apple TV .

If you have smart light bulbs you can synchronize your phone to them as well. Follow these tips on how to make the device a universal remote control so you never have to wonder where your TV remote is hiding again.

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Turn your Android into a Google home.

Chris Parker / CNET

Turn your Android into a Google home

Resume your Android phone to be a Google Home smart speaker is simple and requires no downloads of apps. Make sure your phone is updated to the latest Android OS so you have "OK, Google." Then you need to find a Bluetooth speaker to pair your phone with. Make sure both devices are always plugged in and on. You will be ready to give Google commands in no time. The best part is that you don't have to spend $ 129 on a Google home. Learn more about what you can do with a Google home here.

Your iPhone or Android can double as a home security camera

Feel safe by turning your old phone into a home camera . Download a security camera app, like Alfred (for iPhone or Android) to get started. Check out your house while you are at work to make sure everything is fine. Place the phone in the main room of the house in a place where you have the best view.

When you are at home, set it up (hidden, of course) to see who is knocking on your door or to see any suspicious activity. Maybe you find that it is just a raccoon that has left candy wraps in your yard and not your neighbor's children. . “/>

Turn your phone into a child monitor.

Alina Bradford / CNET

Use your old phone as a child monitor

Instead of running into your child's room every time you think you hear crying or a strange sound, check to see if your baby is okay turn your old phone for a baby monitor .

You can set up your old phone in the room and access it from your current phone by installing Skype on both devices. You can also use a baby monitoring app such as Dormi (for Android) or Cloud Baby Monitor (for iPhone). We have not tested them for real children, but the ratings are excellent. You feel better that you can be in any room and still see your baby.

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8 ways to reuse your old phone


Turn your iPhone or Android into a wireless mouse

It can be annoying when your wireless mouse dies without warning. It helps to get a backup, and you can turn the phone into a mouse in no time. You need to download an app, like Remote Mouse (for iPhone or Android), to do so.

When you have the app, connect the phone and desktop to the same Wi-Fi network and say goodbye to the old school mouse. Keep it in your portable bag for when you are traveling and end up with a coffee shop to get some work done.

Keep your old phone as a music player

Upload storage space to your new phone using your old phone as a media player. Because you have a new phone, you can wipe away all the data from your old phone (except your music and music apps).

You will be able to add as many songs as your old phone allows without worrying about how much storage space you use. Hook it up to your surround sound speaker if you have a party and let the fun begin.

The big thing is that you will be able to leave it in one place and do not have to worry about incoming calls and messages that interrupt your songs.

Originally published May 3 at. 5.00 PT.

$ 999

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