8 Things to Do With an Old Android Tablet

Turn an old and unused Android tablet into something useful

1st Generation Nexus 7 tablet
Google Inc.

If you replaced your old Android tablet with a new Android tablet, don't throw away that old tablet. The old tablet may not have much value, so it may not be worth selling it. Instead, mount it somewhere and give it a new purpose. Here are eight suggestions that will give an old Android tablet a new life.

These suggestions should apply no matter who made your Android device: Samsung, Google, Xiaomi, LG, etc.

Turn It Into an Android Alarm Clock

Put your old Android tablet in the bedroom and convert it to an alarm clock. This gives you a clock with a large time display and with the weather. There are several alarm clock apps and websites where you can download a clock if you don't want to use the basic app that comes with the device. Android alarms are smart; set the alarm to wake you up on workdays and let you sleep in on weekends.

Alarmy Alarm Clock for Android

In addition, install a weather alert app that wakes you up if there's an emergency. This is especially important in regions that are prone to tornados, hurricanes, and other extreme weather events. With a weather alert app, if you don't hear the outdoor weather sirens, a weather radio can be a lifesaver.

Display an Interactive Calendar and To-Do List

Put the old tablet in the living room and use it as a calendar or a to-do list. Google Calendar or another calendaring or task management app is a great way for household members to stay up-to-date and on schedule.

Google Calendar for Android

Your phone and your new tablet are great for checking your agenda on the go, but sometimes it's nice to have that information displayed at home.

Create a Digital Photo Frame

An old Android tablet works great as a digital photo frame. Set it to display a slideshow from Google Photos or go to Flickr or another photo-sharing service and display those photos wherever you like around your home. Apps like Fotoo can simplify the process, and use pictures that are stored on the tablet.

Fotoo for Android

You could also load the old tablet with photos and give it to a less techno-savvy loved one as a present. In a pinch, it also works great as an entertaining mirror if the tablet has a front-facing camera.

Get Help in the Kitchen

Mount the old tablet in your kitchen and use apps such as AllRecipes or Epicurious to find recipes while you cook. If you know the recipe or you're busy cleaning up, use it to entertain yourself with movies while you load the dishwasher.

AllRecipes for Android

You can also stream radio from apps such as Pandora, Google Music, or Slacker Radio. Radio apps work in the background, even on most older model tablets, so you can look up that pecan pie recipe while dancing to your favorite tunes.

Control Home Automation

Android has been doing a lot of work on home automation, and you can take advantage of one of many apps to automate your lights, thermostat, and other devices. Use your old Android as a central hub to control your home without having to find your phone or other devices.

Logitech Harmony remote for Android

Some older tablets come with a built-in infrared blaster, so you can control your TV and other devices. If not, use something like a Peel Universal Controller to add that functionality. Shop around to find one on sale or used.

Use an Android Tablet as a Universal Streaming Remote

Many streaming devices and apps come with a companion app that controls them from an Android or iOS device. Re-purpose your tablet as a universal remote that won't get lost in the couch cushions.

Multimedia streaming remotes for Android

With an app-based tablet remote, you have a single remote for your streaming devices, and the controls are generally more flexible and offer more options than a traditional remote. Plus, you can control your media from any room because most of these remotes work over Wi-Fi instead of IR beams.

Find remote apps for Roku, Amazon FireTV, Kodi, and more universal options at the Play Store.

Read eBooks

An old Android tablet can make for a fantastic eBook reader, and it doesn't require much setup at all to make the switch. Most eBook readers are based on Android, and the eBook reader apps that power them are freely available on the Play Store.

Kindle Reader for Android

Even though your tablet might slow down on the latest games, it still has plenty of power for books. Download your favorite eBook reader and set up the tablet to launch the app by default. From there, start downloading and reading all you want.

Donate or Recycle It

You don't necessarily need to keep your tablet to do something useful with it. Depending on the connectivity that it supports (Wi-Fi only or cell service), donate the device to a worthy cause. Charities such as Cell Phones For Soldiers, Rainforest Connection, and Medic Mobile put your tablet to work again, doing some good.

Donate your device to save the rainforest

Sometimes, though, the tablet is just too old or doesn't work well. In these cases, recycle the tablet the right way. The EPA offers a list of locations where you can drop off electronics for recycling. Never throw a phone or tablet in the trash; these devices contain chemicals that harm the environment.

Android Tablet Mounting Tips

If you have a cradle for the tablet, put the tablet in the cradle and set it on a shelf. Sometimes you can also pick up a cheap cradle for an obsolete device. If that isn't going to work, use the same mounting hardware used to display collectible plates. Make sure there's room to plug your device into the charger from whatever spot you choose.