We seem to collect tablets around here. Most of the old ones work just fine, but the screens are bigger and better now, so are the memory and operating systems for the newer tablets. With today being Thanksgiving and seeing we are blest with old tablets, I was thinking of what you can do with an old tablet. Here are ten suggestions you might find helpful:
1. Donate it to someone that could use it.
Family members and children come to mind, but don't forget nursing homes and veteran organizations. A tablet in hand can open the world up for a shut in.
2. Keep it in the car for a GPS.
If it has a satellite and GPS function, just pick your favorite travel and mapping program, throw in a car adapter and you are through or at least on your way.
3. Make it a GPS/Car entertainment system.
You could Bluetooth to your car system if your car is Bluetooth capable or you could throw in some portable speakers. A radio transmitter connected to the tablet would allow it to access your old fashioned car radio and speaker system. Not only would you have GPS, but you could play your favorite car tunes. They make a number of tablet holders for cars these days.
4. Put it by the bed for a number of uses.
I have a tablet by the bedside that I made a wooden stand for. I am a bit of a hobbyist. I use the sleep mode clock on low brightness, I Bluetooth connect to my stereo speakers. I have one of those personal assistant apps I bought before Google and Apple and now Amazon got into the act. The app isn't a rocket scientist, but it can read you the weather, the news and set an alarm for you.
I also have Amazon Prime which comes with a version of Audible. The tablet can play any of the channels available for prime members, including news, sports, science and business updates. There are a number of audio books available too. A tablet by the bedside gives you plenty of reasons to stay in bed.
5. Make a picture player out of it.
If your tablet didn't come with a slide player program to play picture content, then there are plenty in the apps stores to choose from. We have a little bamboo easel really made for recipes, cookbooks and such, that we place a tablet on from time to time to show pictures of the grandchildren in slide show fashion.
6. Dedicated Video Phone.
After watching the slide show of grandchildren's pictures you will want to get in touch with them. Does your old tablet have a front facing camera and enough computing power to run skype, facetime or Google hang outs? We have a granddaughter that lives in another state. It is nice to just pick up a tablet that is set and ready to go for when we want to video visit.
7. Make a radio out of it.
One of the drawbacks of living near the lake here in Tennessee is although the scenery is beautiful, the mountains and valleys make it hard to pick up radio stations. In any case, no matter where you live there are more radio stations on the internet than you can pick up with your average radio. Even police, fire and plane calls. Pick your radio app or why not pick a few?
I am an old time radio buff and I like the mysteries, Sherlock Holmes and other programs of long ago. There are a number of OTR or Old Time Radio apps in the app stores. We listen to the Chiquita Banana Christmas special of 1942 every year as we near Christmas.
8. Big TV in your hands.
If you can mirror your screen to your TV then you can play content and do your work on the big screen. I did that with the widescreen in the bedroom one day and was almost overwhelmed by the size of the display. My wife came in and said, "What is that?" I told her it was my email King Kong version.
Youtube mirrored to my TV screen actually plays better than the smart TV youtube app.
9. Instead of taking it to school, take school to it.
Udemy and other online training is pretty popular these days. There are people that report they like studying courses on their desktop or laptop because they aren't as interrupted by email and messages as on the tablets. Get rid of those other programs and just put your training on the tablet to put school in your hands. Some companies are loading up tablets with training for their employees and passing them out to keep them up to date, so training by tablet is both popular and effective, if you can get away from facebook long enough to finish a lesson.
10. Financial Assistant
Having a dedicated tablet on your desk can be pretty handy. There are all kinds of calculator apps from financial to scientific. With programs like Mint you can keep up with your expenses and account balances. Walmart has a savings catcher program where you can scan your receipts and it will check for lower prices at competitors and refund the difference to an egift card.
11. Child's travel entertainment
I like going the extra mile, so here is an eleventh idea. Load it up with children's movies and games for times you will be on the road with a youngster. Wifi doesn't travel with you and hotspots can be pretty spotty. Cell phone signals and cell internet isn't available in a lot of areas where we travel, so a tablet loaded up with Peppa the Pig and children's games can take the misery out of travel boredom.
12. Okay, an even dozen. Sleep machine.
Noisli is a sound machine app with sounds like rain, thunder storms and even trains. Very customizable. I use it when I need to sleep and the background noise from the minecraft wars are a bit loud..
Remember, before you give your tablet away you want to reset it to factory settings wiping the memory and disconnecting any accounts you have.
It would be a good idea to do this even if you are keeping the tablet and want to use it for one of the purposes we discussed. It will clean out the memory and let you start fresh.
With Christmas specials I have seen decent, but not great tablets selling for as little as $34. You just might want to buy a low powered tablet to do one of these projects.
Happy Thanksgiving for all thankful people around the globe,
Scott Hogue CChH
Scott Hogue is a Strategic Life Coach, an Author and a Certified Christian Hypnotist.