Once you get a new Android device it’s common to simply toss the old one in a drawer, throw it in the garbage or sell it to a service that gives just mere pennies compared to what you paid for the device. There has to be a better way. Why not use the old Android phone as a WiFi only device?
This is actually a quite simple process, considering all you are really doing is shutting down all the network capabilities on your device and connecting to your WiFi to use it for downloading apps, using the apps, browsing the internet and whatever else you can use WiFi for.
Let’s take a look at how to use old Android phones as WiFi only devices so you don’t have to part ways with your trusty old friend. Rather, use it to play games, read books or even play the radio so you don’t have to clutter up your computer while working.
Prepare Your WiFi-Only Device
To start off we need to make it so that your phone is ready to become a WiFi only device. Sometimes you might have problems connecting to WiFi or using any of the functions on your phone because it still has old data that connects your phone to past wireless provider.
Here are some tips to get started:
Turn on Airplane mode and enable the WiFi connection on your phone. Airplane mode turns off all wireless network access.
Make sure your WiFi connection is running properly in your home or office by trying out other devices on the connection.
Go to Settings > Network and uncheck the Data option. Then also uncheck the Roaming option. This also removes data connections that are lingering. This varies depending on your device, so search for the Settings area and locate the Network or Wireless option. Keep clicking through until you find the Roaming option.
Go to Manage Apps on your phone, select the Play Store and delete the entire cache if you are having problems with lingering data connections.
Make sure you have a Google Play Store Account in order to download games and apps.
Complete a factory reset to clear everything out and feel free to try a launcher or ROM if you want to change the look and feel of your phone.
Turn off the data connection on the phone.
Method 1: Use the Old Phone as a Radio
One of the best ways to use your old Android phone is to turn it into a radio.
Download and install an internet radio site such as Pandora below. You can also checkout our other radio suggestions here.
Find a location in your home where everyone can reach the radio and change the channel or create a playlist.
Purchase a stand and a set of nice speakers so that you can hear the radio throughout your home or office.
Consider loading up your local music files to play songs in your car if you are having problems with your radio or just want to listen to your own playlists.
Method 2: Use the Old Phone as a Clock
Now you might be wondering why you would need to use a phone as a clock since you already probably have one, but an Android phone is more than a clock. You can load up certain apps to present the news to you in the morning, share stock info, tell you about the weather and even wake you up.
Buy a stand for your phone and place it on a table next to your bed.
Install a nice weather app to see if the sun is shining in the morning.
Install a clock that shows up on the lock screen so you don’t have to go scrambling through the phone to check the time when you wake up. Try the DashClock option below.
Turn off sleep mode on your Android phone so you can always see the time. You can change this in your settings, but it’s easier to just install the RedEye Stay Awake app below.
Plug in your phone to an outlet so it always stays on.
Method 3: Use Your Old Android Phone for Your Kids
If you have kids then why not use it to monitor them or give the phone to them to play games?
Download the Baby Monitor app to check in on your infants.
Help your kids learn and lock them out of any potentially dangerous features with the Famigo app. You can put on a child lock and provide fun games for your kids to play.
Upload videos or music and allow them to use the device for media consumption.
Method 4: Use it as Media Device in Questionable Areas
This method doesn’t take many apps or modifications, but they are step-by-step suggestions for using your phone as a media device in questionable areas. What do I mean by questionable? Since it’s an old phone you probably don’t care about it as much, so why not use it where it might get damaged?
Buy a stand so you can move the Android device around in your home instead of placing it on tables or the floor.
Put your own music on the device and use it as an MP3 player at the gym. If you get sweat on it or drop a weight on the phone you don’t have to worry as much.
Use the phone to watch videos or read books in the bathroom.
Place the phone on a stand in the kitchen to bring up recipes or watch TV while cooking.
Put the phone in your garage or workshop so that you can bring up guide while working. Don’t worry about getting grease or dust on the phone since it’s old.
Method 5: Use the Phone as a Remote
This method is great for controlling all the components in your home entertainment system and even for controlling appliances.
Use a basket, container or Velcro holding device so that people can always find the remote in your home. It’s nice to have the phone in a basket so everyone can change the channel if they want. It’s also wise to keep a charging cable around in case you run out of battery.
Consider buying a protective case so people don’t get grime on the remote.
That’s about it for learning how to use old Android phone as WiFi only device. These are usually quick solutions to finding uses for your old Android, so feel free to play around with them. Let us know if you have any questions about how to use your old device, and share other ideas for making a WiFi only device.