Part of Operation: A Place For Everything is Sub-Operation: A Use For Everything. Well, I have a use for these old smart devices. We have my dad’s smartphone that he didn’t know how to use on the left and the old smartphone with storage so terrible I had to replace it on the right sitting on the keyboard of my old tablet. This week’s project was to finally set them up for the function I decided to give them and optimize the apps and storage towards that goal.

Unfortunately the project was not completed and I’ll go over why in the video. Working on three projects, since I already set up my  current phone recently for what I want to use it for…namely making calls when I’m out and give me something for when I take a walk or have to sit in a waiting room or something in the future…so it was time to get these other things going. This may give you an idea on how to repurpose old smart devices you have, because they still have their uses. Alternately you could clear them out and sell them if they’re still usable to someone, or donate them to a group that gives phones to soldiers overseas so they can call home. I’m pro-recycling but I always like to see something be useful as it before being destroyed and turned into something else that may cost more in the long run. I don’t even know what they do with the bits of recycled devices they smash up.

I started with dad’s old smartphone, the one he could never figure out how to use and just got a regular flip phone instead. You may recall in a previous project that I wanted to use this as a “mini-tablet”, a pocket-sized version of my regular tablet. Well, that kind of changed. I am not able to get a TV set-up in my bedroom. There’s no place to put it, which is why the TV I got from my aunt that was in my late uncle’s basement bar is in the studio. Long story short this device became a TV by my bed. After all, some of the apps you can barely make out her are also on the Firestick my dad also wasn’t able to use and I ended up with, or you can watch them through a browser if you wanted. I also put one from our current TV service provider, which means I can also get those shows. I like having options, and some of these are specific to things like classic Japanese animation, old shows, and local news.

I also have a weather widget that tells me what the weather is and can give me the forecast, and for the spring I have an allergy forecast app because of my sinuses. I’ve mentioned using relaxation feeds on YouTube to sleep at night as a replacement for my faulty natural sounds machine (The Relaxed Guy has recordings of actual nature sounds; I just turn the display setting down low to reduce the light) or some lo-fi music when I’m taking a nap. It works great and I can charge the device up at night and in the morning I can listen to my favorite wake-up podcast or old episodes of the Adventures Of Superman radio show. It’s not the ideal sound system. The speakers are on the bottom of the phone so to have it long view they both end up on the right, but under the circumstances I’m not picky.

If you’ve seen this before you’ve had to reset an Android smart device before, and here’s what slowed me down. The bedside “mini-tablet” works okay and I didn’t have to pull any old apps off (more on that coming up) but my old storage-limited smartphone I have been using as a replacement for my broken webcam, using an app called Iriun Webcam. You just need a program on the computer end to help feed the camera footage to the computer. However, the darn thing was running slow and there was stuff on there from before the new usage was solidified. It was just easier for me to reset the darn thing to factory, update the device software, and start over again.

This meant any apps I didn’t need that were added after the fact were gone. The only problem is the apps that came with the phone. I can see some apps Google wants on there and maybe there were deals made with Twitter or other companies, but when you can’t remove an app you don’t need it’s annoying. I had to go through the factory apps, disable and clear the data from the ones that aren’t required for the phone or my recording purposes, which were all taking up the limited storage space on this thing, and then add in apps I need like Iriun. This is what took up so much of my time…and then I had to do it again with the tablet.


This one is a bit different in that I’ve had different uses in the past. Back when I first got it I did a rare video presentation, an unboxing for safety purposes followed by a full on review. The current usage is for writing and a teleprompter, with some artistic use as well. I’d talk more about it but this reset used up the rest of the time the webcam reset didn’t take. So I didn’t finish this by writing time. Joining a few other issues I had with unrelated electronics, time to update software, and reinstall stuff, set up accounts, and all that not so fun stuff the project ends here. Luckily I don’t need it for this purpose at the moment as I’m still redoing the video drive, which will be followed by stuff I may need this for. So next week I’m going to set this up as my word machine, since I have the laptop and desktop for the heavy lifting. We’ll go over that next week and I’ll show you some more good reuses for old tablets.