a re-purposed device

is a happy device

Frequently Asked Questions

The idea of converting old phones and tablets into appliances may not be a new one, but if you are not a technology geek you may have a few questions about the process.

My cell phone plan has expired, how do I install Apps on my phone?

Many old devices (cell phones and tablets) have WiFi built into them meaning that you can connect to the Internet using the wireless Internet in your house, or go to a library and connect the device through the library's wireless connection. See below for instructions on connecting to a WiFi network.

I have no sim card in my phone, can I still use it?

If your device has WiFi, you should install via WiFi. If not you can generally 'borrow' a sim card from another device in order to install the Appliance App. Search YouTube for instructions on how to install and remove a sim card from your particular device. If the sim card is from another carrier you may need to 'Jailbreak' the phone using a service like Unlock All Cellular, however this is not a trivial task.

How do I install an Android App using WiFi?

To connect your phone or tablet to the Internet using Wifi, find the password for the wireless connection you wish to connect to. If you are at a library ask the librarian, if you are at home ask the person who set up your wireless Internet. Once you have the password, you can follow the instructions in this video to connect your device. Once you are connected to the Internet you can go to Google Play using your PC or your device, and install the desired App.

Some of these Apps talk about Bluetooth, what's that?

Bluetooth is a wireless connection that differs from WiFi in that it allows two devices to connect to each other directly without using the Internet or Cell phone service.

For two Android devices to communicate via Bluetooth they must be paired. On each device open the settings menu, click 'Wireless and Network', 'Bluetooth Settings', and ensure 'Bluetooth' is checked (turned on). On the first device click 'Scan Devices', on the second click 'Visible' to make the device visible. When you see the name of the device you want to connect to, click it and then accept the confirmation message that displays on both phones.

My Bluetooth App was working fine but now it's not. What do I do?

On some older devices Bluetooth can get confused. To get the service running again, Unpair each phone (long press on the phone name in the Bluetooth menu, and click 'Unpair'). Turn Bluetooth off on each phone, and shut them both off. Wait for them to fully shut down, then restart them, restart Bluetooth, and re-Pair them. If that does not solve the problem there may be a hardware issue with one of the devices. Try sending a photo between the devices to see if they are working properly (take a picture, click 'share', 'Bluetooth').