Uses for your old Android tablet

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2.0 tablet was released in 2012 and I used it for about 3 years before retiring it. However, like other pieces of tech, not even the Galaxy Tab 2.0 could escape being obsolete.

The Popular Question

“What should I do with my old Android tablet? It still works fine”

You might have a tablet lying around that you bought years ago, and ask the same question. I agree that it is a waste to just leave it lying around and gathering dust.

My tablet ran Android, had an SD card slot, and was light. I really loved it but, as stated before, stopped using it after 3 years or so. Well, I decided I didn’t want it sitting around anymore and started brainstorming some things to do with an old tablet and bring it back to regular use.

An E-Reader

Usually, tablets have some sort of note-taking app or PDA-like features included in the OS, making this a nice option for your old tablet. Most, if not all tablets should have an option to create/open text documents, connect to a computer, and import/export them.

On my Galaxy Tab 2.0, the OS offers a File Manager and a basic office suite, making it a good candidate for note-taking on-the-go. Yes, a phone can also work and is faster, but honestly, I don’t enjoy reading on a 4.7″ screen. My Galaxy Tab offers a 7.0″ screen, which is close to the same size as a mass-market paperback book.

It isn’t bad, and since e-books are pretty much a fancy text document, they aren’t very resource-heavy. This shouldn’t make your tablet lag too much.

Music

Yes! Your tablet can also be a remote control for your music! You might also have a speaker or your computer sitting around and while you’re doing something, you might not want to switch over to the music app.

Well, luckily, my tablet does have support for the Spotify Lite app, the built-in music player, and other music apps. Like the e-reader idea, this feature also varies for each tablet.

Spotify’s app has an option to play your songs on a different device, so I play the music on my computer and control it with my old tablet instead.

For other tablets, you can load your songs into the tablet or an SD card, put it into the slot, and play it straight from the music player.

Sometimes you just want a dedicated music tablet for your speaker system so this is an opportunity to make it happen.

World Clock

This one is obvious since all tablets pretty much have a clock feature. Bonus points to those that can display multiple world clocks.

I communicate with people from across the world, and it seemed like a good idea to have a device that could display the time zones to make sure I don’t call at… say… 4:00 am in the morning.

Samsung does offer a World Clock app and now I just need to turn on the tablet to see the time in Paris, Sydney, and so on.

Development

The last option is mainly for developers and it takes advantage of Android’s open-source benefits.

Depends on how far back you want to go in Android versions for your app, Android Studio does give a lot of options for which versions you want to build your app for. This, along with popular alternatives such as MIT AppInventor, can also use your Android device as a test device for your in-dev app.

You can also download a text editor, repository tools, and so on, as there are so many on the Google Play Store. Paired with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, you can probably turn the entire tablet into a portable developer setup in your darkest hours.

Well, those are my ideas for reusing an old Android tablet. If you have any other ideas, feel free to leave a comment!

Angus

Angus

Student, Blogger, and Developer, with an interest in fintech, aerospace defence, and finance.

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