8 Things to Do With an Old Android Tablet

Turn an old and unused Android tablet into something useful

Older 1st Generation Nexus 7 tablet for which new uses can be found
Google Inc.

If you replaced your old Android tablet with a new Android tablet, don't throw away that old device. While your old tablet may not have much resale value, there are many ways to repurpose the device and give an old Android tablet a new life.

These suggestions should apply no matter what manufacturer (Samsung, Google, Xiaomi, LG, or another) made your Android device.

Turn It Into an Android Alarm Clock

Put your old Android tablet in the bedroom and convert it to an alarm clock. An Android alarm clock presents a large time display that can also show the weather. Download an alarm clock app if you don't want to use the basic app that came with the old device. Android alarms are smart; set the alarm to wake you up on workdays and let you sleep in on weekends.

Alarm clock screens on an Android

Install a weather alert app to wake you up if there's an emergency. This is especially important in regions prone to tornados, hurricanes, and other extreme weather events. A weather alert app can be a lifesaver if you don't hear the outdoor weather sirens

Display an Interactive Calendar and To-Do List

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

Displaying Google Calendar for Android is a good use of an old Android tablet

Your phone and new Android tablet let you check your agenda on the go, but it's nice to have that information displayed at home in a central location.

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, Flickr, or another photo-sharing service and display those photos around your home. Apps such as Fotoo can simplify the process and use pictures stored on the old tablet.

Fotoo for Android screen, which allows an old Android tablet to display photos

Another option is to load the old tablet with photos and give it to a less tech-savvy loved one as a present. The old tablet also works great as a 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 to display recipes while you cook. If you're busy cleaning up, use the old tablet to entertain yourself with movies while you load the dishwasher.

AllRecipes on Android screens

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 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, with many apps to automate lights, thermostats, and other devices. Use your old Android tablet as a central hub to control your home without having to find your phone or another device.

Logitech Harmony remote for Android screens

Some older tablets come with a built-in infrared blaster to control a 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. Repurpose your tablet as a universal remote that won't get lost in the couch cushions.

Multimedia streaming remotes for Android screens

With an app-based tablet remote, you have a single remote for your streaming devices; the controls are more flexible and offer more options than a traditional remote. 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 Google Play Store.

Read E-Books

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

Kindle Reader for Android screens

Even though your tablet might slow down on the latest games, it has plenty of power for books. Download your favorite e-book reader and set up the tablet to launch the app by default. From there, download and read 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 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 while doing some good.

Swinging rope bridge in a rain forest
Pixabay

Sometimes a tablet is just too old or doesn't work well. In these cases, recycle the device 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. Cheap cradles are sometimes available for an obsolete device, as well. If that doesn't work, use the same mounting hardware used to display collectible plates. Make sure there's room to plug the device into the charger from whatever spot you choose.