It’s one of modern life’s most vexing mysteries: what to do with old electronics. So we hang onto them, collecting hardware and software and cords and plugs and dust.
But we can get pretty creative with our old tech. If you have an old Android phone or tablet, Computer World offers some ideas for ways to repurpose it. Here’s a sampling:
* Wireless trackpad and controller for your computer. With an app called Unified Remote and a WiFi or Bluetooth connection, that device can act as an on-demand controller for your Windows, Mac, or Linux computer.
* Universal smart remote. You can load Nest, Hue, and other apps onto your old phone or tablet to control your home or office tech and pair it with a Chromecast streaming stick. You can also turn it into a dedicated remote for TVs, cable boxes, and DVD players.
* Free-standing security camera. You can download an app like IP Webcam and use your phone’s camera to keep an eye on things.
* Digital photo frame. With Google Photos, you can open the app, tap a photo, then choose “slideshow” to cycle through your photos.
* e-reader. Yes, you can connect to Kindle, Nook, Google Play Books, or OverDrive (for library books) and download reading material. Then you can read books without interruption, kind of like … reading actual books.