Smartphones and tablets have taken their place as the dominant form of consumer technology. We almost all have one or the other. More often than not, it serves as our media hub, social hub, reference, and organizer.

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We’ve covered ways to recycle your old phone. or what to do with an old tablet do with an old tablet and also when to try fixing your own phone. fix it yourself fix it yourself or when to leave it up to the professionals. Today we are focusing on hacking jobs for your current phone or tablet.

This mega list is divided into light , middle and hard difficulty based on the crafting skills needed to complete them. Many of these hacks will work regardless of your choice of Android or iOS, and there is something for everyone here. Let’s start!

Easy Hacks

1. Toilet Paper Smartphone Speaker Booster: Let’s start with the classics. No speakers available? It’s time to make Smartphone Speaker Booster! This tried-and-tested method really makes an amazing difference to your smartphone’s built-in speaker, which only requires the inside of an old toilet roll and two plastic cups.

2. Protective film for shrink cables: You Tired of damaged charging cables? There are many ways to avoid this problem. You can choose something as simple as duct tape, or something more permanent like a dedicated cable box. My personal favorite? Heat shrink!

3. Stand for a bottle. Smartphones and tablets alike benefit from a hands-breaking stand. This is possibly the simplest and most elegant design we’ve seen. Requiring only a soda bottle top and an old wire hanger, he doesn’t get much more DIY than this one.

bottle stand
Image Credit: spacepirate04 via Instructables

Of course, this is one of the many options, we have previously covered over 20 ways to make your own tablet stand.

4. Ikea lamp stand. Another way to break arms is to attach a tablet to an articulated arm. This hack by Instructables user Mikeasaurus includes a hand from a cheap IKEA lamp. This design uses a cheap, threaded iPad mount and makes great use of the fixtures already in place to create a multi-function device for hands-free tablet viewing.

ikea arm maikavr
Image Credit: mikeasaurus via Instructables

5. Game controller attachment. If you are a fan of mobile games then this controller and phone mount is for you. This sturdy do-it-yourself hack uses a metal spatula and car mount in combination to let you play on the go!

Prefer to play on a tablet? Instructables user madebyjoe has you covered! This build uses coated steel rods, making it arguably the strongest DIY mount we’ve ever seen.

6. Velcro Chair Attachment: It’s hard to be comfortable when traveling as is, take your device off balance with this Velcro mount. This is just one of the countless ways sticky-backed velcro makes the world a better place.

Velcro seat
Image Credit: OrenLederman via Instructables

7. Android slow motion: latest iPhones make standard intervals time. With a little tweaking, you can do it on Android too. This Instructable uses the versatile Tasker app to automate photos that can later be stitched into GIFs.

8. Camera video surveillance : You can use any smartphone as a security camera, and if you have an old phone somewhere, why not use it? This article talks about using the Salient Eye to protect your home while you’re away, as well as two other options for protecting your property.

conspicuous security camera

9.Macro Camera Lens: Add your phone’s camera lens to take beautiful macro photos. The lens of this hack is made from an old disposable camera which is a great example of reusing old consumer products for DIY projects!

10. Mobile microscope: take it one step further and turn your phone camera into a microscope. This simple addition to any smartphone uses a 3mm ball lens to dramatically enlarge an existing camera.

11.Stop Motion Film Set: Stop motion is a fantastic way to get into animation. This iPad method is designed to be easy for adults and kids. Using a dedicated app to line up each shot, this method makes it easy to see where you left off on another day.

Image Credit: Brooklyntonia via Instructables

Don’t use an iPad? Here’s another approach using a static stand and a smartphone tied to it to stop any unwanted movement during the animation.

While these next two hacks may push the definition of «genius», they certainly deserve an honorable mention.

12. Lego camera case. Have you ever taken a photo on your smartphone, only to look up and realize that everyone else is doing the same? This hack is for you! Disguise your camera phone as… well, a camera with Lego.

camera phone lego
Image credit: mkim00 via Instructables

13. Hat Mountain: This next one could very well push you down a completely bizarre path back to genius. The ideal hands-free device. Ladies and gentlemen, smartphone mount. One wooden spoon, one molded plastic package, several minutes of assembly, and several days of aches and pains as you inevitably hit the wall.

hat mount
Image Credit: mpilchfamily via Instructables

Intermediate DIY level

These next steps will require some more DIY, although these fantastic guides will make it easy for you.

14. Smartphone Smart Home: For starters, why shouldn’t your smartphone or tablet control your home? It’s easier than you think using Blynk to control Internet of Things devices. You can use it with almost any microcontroller to control just about anything!

15. Mounting the monitor. Why not attach your tablet to your laptop monitor so it’s exactly where you want it to be? This rugged construction uses sheet metal and wingnut for quick and easy operation.

second monitor clip Ironman
Image courtesy of Ironman 54 via Instructables

16.Camera Remote: Are you a fan or DSLR photography? Use your iPhone to create an infrared (IR) remote for your camera. This great hack uses a 3.5mm jack to send IR signals to your camera — you may already have many of these parts.

17.TV Remote: According to the theme of IR, do you want to switch TV channels with your phone ? This project uses an Arduino along with some cheap components to bridge the gap between your phone and the IR receiver on your TV.

18. Projector Shoebox: Have you ever wanted to watch a movie with your friends but were limited by your small smartphone screen? Why not turn your smartphone into a projector. Using only a shoebox and a lens, this build produces surprisingly good results.

19. Mini Computer: what happens if you need to do some work, but you don’t have a computer? Why not turn your smartphone into a mini desktop that you can take with you wherever you go? There are several ways to do this, the easiest of which is to use a Chromecast, Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.

20.VR Headset: Have you tried VR yet? With these simple instructions, you can create your own Google Cardboard VR headset in minutes. Scroll down to Instructions on loading for detailed guidance. The lenses are available for less than a dollar on AliExpress.

google cardboard
Image Credit: Google

21. Leather Case: For a completely DIY yet stylish and high quality tablet case, follow this Instructables psharp20 user guide. Using an old leather jacket, this gives a DIY project a professional, vintage look.

leather case for tablet
Image Credit: psharp20 via Instructables

22. Metal stand/case: as What about something heavier and with a built-in stand that costs less than $20? Using sheet aluminum, Instructables user Triplezee has created something strong and durable.

triplezee folding stand
Image Credit: Triplezee via Instructables

Advanced Maneuvers

This last section includes some of the most vicious or specialized hacks. Some of them require decent experience while others require more resources.

23. Arcade Cabinet: To start with, retro games are big right now. With such a wealth of old great games available, it’s easy to see why. This hack and build includes an Android tablet in an old school arcade case. This project has a fantastic application MAME4droid’s as a base, which is available for free in the app store. If you’re looking for those fat old-school buttons, AliExpress is your friend again.

24. Steampunk Charging Station: charging our devices in the evening has become part of our daily ritual. Why not add some style to your charging station with a steampunk overhaul? This is a really beautiful design, which already uses modern technology and is placed in a stylish wooden box. The great thing about this guide is that even if you don’t have the tools to create a case of the same scale, you can still follow the build and give it your own design.

steampunk charging station
Image Credit: badjer1 via Instructables

25. iPhone Amplifier This next logical conclusion of the very first hack on this page. From toilet paper holder boosters to a fully functional Victrola cabinet hacked to boost iPhone. These old cabinets show up in car boot shops and thrift stores more often than you might think, and this hack gives functionality to an already great story.

Victrola passive amplifier
Image Credit: theerikjohnson via Instructables

The real beauty of this hack is that it doesn’t change or damage the phonograph. A true fusion of old and new.

26. DSLR Photobooth: In keeping with old style ideas, bring back the camera with this iPad and DSLR photography combo. This build uses an SD card and wireless transmission to instantly display pictures taken on the iPad screen.

dslr ipad photobooth
Image Credit: acoens via Instructables

27. Smart Mirror: Returning confidently to the future, this motion-sensing smart mirror has an Android tablet and a widely available single-sided mirror cover for the mirror.

28. Car Dashboard: You can also use your Android tablet as a PC for your car. This deep build replaces the car amplifier and creates a complete media center and GPS system. It’s worth noting, however, that this sort of thing is highly regulated in cars, and you should check local laws before attempting to hack.

car tablet
Image Credit: willyam111 via Instructables

29. Game Boy Biopsy. You may have already played retro games on your smartphone. Why not go even further and stick an old smartphone into an old Game Boy? This build links the original GameBoy case buttons to the Bluetooth keyboard circuit board so you can control the emulator on the built-in phone.

Gameboy Android assembly Pjmor
Image Credit: PJMOR via Instructables

30. Dual Boot iOS: The following few are about the smartphone software. To start with, do you have an old iPhone and find that the new version of iOS is sluggish on your phone? Why not dual-boot iOS versions and only use new ones when needed? Similarly, you could have two completely different versions of the same OS on your phone for different use cases.

31. Dual Boot Android Modifiers: similarly, if you want to fork and download multiple Android ROMs at the same time, it’s easier than you think. It uses the BootManager app from Google Play to let you choose between different Android ROMs.

several android roms
Image courtesy of Lifehacker

For more functionality, booting Linux along with Android is a great step forward. Although Ubuntu Touch is no longer maintained, there is a whole group of people who support it.

Or you can just go for a full install of Ubuntu.

Android phones can be an ideal candidate for building a server.

32. Motorola Microcontroller: Are you using Motorola? Moto Mods essentially turns your phone into a Raspberry Pi. This project from Motorola comes with its own dedicated development toolkit to help you turn your smartphone into a microcontroller.

moto fashion
Image credit: Motorola

Finally, this amazing project may be useless to many, but it’s worth a look simply because of its sheer scale. Andy Brown created a reflow controller from scratch to work on boards. The project includes some serious electronics knowledge, an Arduino-like processor core, and an Android tablet that controls all the work.

andys app
Photo Credit: Andy Brown via

This article describes over 30 different hacks, tips and tricks for your smartphone or tablet. As always, we’ve only scratched the surface, and there are many more ways to get the most out of your equipment.

What did we miss? What are you planning to do to improve your experience? Let us know your own favorite hacks in the comments section below!

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