Introduction: New Life for Old Android

Greetings,

So, just to inform you, my native language isn't English so sorry for some misspelled words.

In this turtorial I will show you what can you do with old android device which you don't use anymore.

You could probably sell it, but where's the fun in that?

I'm using older Alcatel T10 tablet( single core 1.0ghz cpu, 1 gb of ram, 7" tft display), but almost any android powered device with a screen would work.

I've got it when it wasn't working( problem with charging) for 100kunas( around 18$), fixed it and started using it.

But after around 25 seconds I realized it wasn't really usable because it isn't quite stable(apps closing etc.)

So I was wondering what to do with it and ended up making it very good Clock/Media player/Online radio/Email notifier/Weather station/Photo frame, and it all works simultaneously.

Step 1: Quick Set Up

So basicly, tablet is connected to a stand by hot glue, and with 3.5mm audio cable connected to old pc speakers.

They are not great but are still quite usable.

I used some double sided tape to secure it in place so it doesn't move when using it.

If you have a working charging port, things are even more easier, because you don't have to solder anything.

And that's basicly it for a set up.

Next, I will show you all the apps I'm using to make it work.

Step 2: Dock Clock Plus

Maybe the most important app I'm using is a Dock Clock Plus ( paid version).

It's on almost 24/7, and shows clock, weather and date (it's capable of showing a tone of stuff more).

The main reason I'm using it is because it's fully customable, looks awsome, and show's me a lot of important information.

I'll mention just some of options it has.

The one very good option is auto dimmer, which dimms display at (at my case) 9pm and turns the brightness back on at 7am, so it doesn't interupt me in my sleep ( also fully customable at your own wish)

Second one is that it can be powered on when tablet is connected to charger( in case of power failure, tablet turns display off after 30 minuits and stays powered on around 5-6 days thus keeping date and time - after power returns back on, you don't have to set date and time and dock clock plus turns automaticly back on).

The main problem is that you can't play music while dock clock plus is on.

That is where android clock comes in.

Step 3: ​Clock (from Android 4.0.4)

I'm using this app, which is already integrated in android system because it doesn't stop music when I turn it on.

So I have a clock and music at the same time.

It automaticly turns the screen black and shows time in blue color.

Basiclly that's it about this app.

Step 4: Oldies Radio

My tablet hasn't got integrated radio so I'm using apps for listening to it online.

One of which is this app which allows me to listen to oldies all day all night :)

You can use any app for online music, depends on your interest in music.

Step 5: Live Wallpaper

Because dock clock plus is on almost all the time, I like to see some nice pictures in background.

I could use just regular picture but that would be boring. So I'm using some of this live wallpapers. My favourite one is Ocean HD. If you have device that is stronger than mine or the same as mine, install it, but if not, don't do it because my device is just a little bit to weak for this wallpaper(it laggs just a little bit).

But still, it's barely noticable and it looks great.

I invite you to try all of above wallpapers, you won't regreat it. :) (except maps)

Step 6: Rocket Player

Because I live in a county where internet stability is something unknown, I use this app.

Basiclly, it allows me to listen to music even when wifi is off or not working.

In device, there is a 2gb micro sd card which holds few hundred songs, just enough for few hours without wifi.

Step 7: Other

I'm also using email app for reciving email.

It's set up to check for email every 5 minuits and it serves me just as a notifier.

Also, you could have the same thing with your facebook account, where tablet warns you about incomming message and you reply from some other device like your smartphone or pc.

Step 8: More Ideas?

I invite you to write your own ideas in comments below, for those who are interested in this project.

My other ideas are:

-Control tablet from your smartphone(I've tried it but I don't use it - it's very much possible!)

-use it as a calendar ( very good use as a reminder)

-use it as a sticky note for you and your family

-use it with youtube( I can't, mine is slow and crashes often)

-install it in your car (google it )

-use it as small torrent machine

-use it as live cam( for video surveillance)

-use it as second monitor for your pc (I would recomend it if you have IPS display on your tablet, because view angles on mine just don't exist).

-use some quality speakers

So basiclly, it looks great, preforms great and is a eye-catcher for everyone who sees it.

That's it, thanks for stooding up with me for so long :)

Comments

author
deanb19 (author)2015-11-29

Awesome idea and final product! This is what I want to do with an old (and cheap) tablet that I have. I want to turn mine into the ultimate bedside device. So far my plan will allow it to:

-Play music online.

-Display time, weather, calender, and photos (through separate apps).

-Record small sound bytes and share them with another device (for when I have an idea or need to do something in the morning).

-Notify me of emails and other social media things.

And whatever else I can think of before then!

author
raza514 (author)2014-09-08

How do you get it to charge now? Have you directly connected the charger to the power inputs on the tablet?

author
kresimir1993 (author)raza5142014-09-15

I opened the housing, and searched for charging pin. Then I located the positive and negative part of pin, and soldered 2 wires on it(it was quite difficult to solder on such a small part of motherboard). I used the hot glue to hold everything in place, and now its connected to original charges by wires as shown on picture.

author
jayzirl (author)2014-08-24

Very nice instructable. Well done on breathing new life into an old gadget. Good job.

author
DustySeven7 (author)2014-06-04

just a tip for longer battery life is to NOT use live wallpapers. they significantly drain battery even with the screen off

author
kresimir1993 (author)DustySeven72014-06-04

This is true, it is because smartphone needs to use cpu more often.
But keep in mind that the tablet from this project is connected to power supply all day and screen never shuts off, so battery is always on 100%, and not a problem. :)

author
drchimpy (author)2014-06-02

This is fantastic, i have an old blackberry tab that is near unusable that I might do this on.
Great stuff!

author
kresimir1993 (author)drchimpy2014-06-02

Hope I will see some pics of your project if you do it :)

Also, I was searching the web about what to do with older bb9780 (it's locked on another network and has few small dots on display) but I couldn't find anything usefull. Any suggestions would be appreciated :)