What is the coolest use for an old iPhone 3G?

Sill

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 14, 2014
714
490
Five iDevices later, I have this old iPhone 3G sitting here doing nothing at all. I don't want to give it away, and its worth all of about $2 to the trade-in services.

I thought about jailbreaking it and experimenting with everything available on Cydia. However, that jalibroken phone will then be a security and privacy risk, so I don't want to give it my wifi password. It'll be essentially useless without network access.

I also remember someone had gotten a mini Linux up and running on a 3G, but I never heard anything else after that.

So what can I do to get some good use out of this old but still very capable iPhone?
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
22,095
14,821
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
Five iDevices later, I have this old iPhone 3G sitting here doing nothing at all. I don't want to give it away, and its worth all of about $2 to the trade-in services.

I thought about jailbreaking it and experimenting with everything available on Cydia. However, that jalibroken phone will then be a security and privacy risk, so I don't want to give it my wifi password. It'll be essentially useless without network access.

I also remember someone had gotten a mini Linux up and running on a 3G, but I never heard anything else after that.

So what can I do to get some good use out of this old but still very capable iPhone?
First off, I will debunk your statement about jailbreaking.

Just because you jailbreak a device does not automatically mean you have irrevocably and totally compromised your device. You retain the same level of security you had before. It's not like you opened the door to your treasure hoard and invited the world in.

As to the actual question. I use my older devices as media devices. iPod Touch, video, that sort of thing.

If you play your cards right (Google Voice) you can even have a WiPhone. I.e., a fully functioning email, texting, voice capable phone over WiFi.
 

Sill

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 14, 2014
714
490
Just because you jailbreak a device does not automatically mean you have irrevocably and totally compromised your device. You retain the same level of security you had before. It's not like you opened the door to your treasure hoard and invited the world in.
I should expand on my statement then... depending on what gets installed, I run the risk of security/privacy risks. I"m not a member of any of the forums that discuss all the Cydia goods, I don't have a lot of extra time to put into research, and I"d venture that there's not a lot of advice to be had here about it. I know very little about jailbreaking. Therefore, risk.

As to the actual question. I use my older devices as media devices. iPod Touch, video, that sort of thing.
I already have a 4 and a 5 for that, and since the 3G is limited in image quality and storage space, I thought about doing something a little more in depth and unusual with it. I've been reading about people using them for home automation, security, and I"m sure there's more than that available.

If you play your cards right (Google Voice) you can even have a WiPhone. I.e., a fully functioning email, texting, voice capable phone over WiFi.
My soon to be retired iPhone 5 can do Wifi calling (not sure why I'd need to if I have a current gen iPhone with unlimited voice and data available). In any case, I'm not a Google user so Google Voice or whatever won't work for me.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
22,095
14,821
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
In regard to jailbreaking, there is plenty of advice to be had by long-term JB users in the jailbreak forums here. That said, you are correct in expanding on your statement to mean "depending on what gets installed". Jailbreakers are responsible for keeping their device secure.

In regard to use of your device, you asked for suggestions. Those are mine. I used to have a 3GS that I use to familiarize myself with iOS and jailbreaking. I also used it for these purposes.

Beyond this, I don't have any further suggestions.
 

Sill

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 14, 2014
714
490
I'm glad you mentioned there is a jailbreak forum because I went right by it without noticing it. I must have worse vision than I thought. I'm going to repost this question over there and hopefully get a lot more answers. Thanks muchly.
 
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Sill

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 14, 2014
714
490
Five iDevices later, I have this old iPhone 3G sitting here doing nothing at all. The hardware is quite functional, but the old iOS installed on it just can't keep up with the modern world.

Most of the articles found when I searched on repurposing these phones had to do mostly with the ways of disposing of it - trading it in, donating it, giving it to a family member, or recycling it. I like keeping my Apple gear as long as it works.

As far as jailbreaking it and experimenting with what is available on Cydia, I have no experience with jailbreaking so I'm leery about about the potential risks from making some bad or uninformed software install choices. I'm open to hearing about cool uses for a jailbroken 3G though.

I've heard about people using them for security cams, home automation control, and media control centers. Also, I think I remember someone was trying to get a Linux flavor running on it and succeeded, but I never heard anything after that.

I figure if people are finding incredible uses for Raspberry Pi, the 3G should be good for something. So what can I do to get some good use out of this old but still very capable iPhone?
 

braddick

macrumors 68040
Jun 28, 2009
3,847
799
Encinitas, CA
Either a terrific gym iPod or activate it with a ultra low cost provider. I use one on an iPhone4 (with 4.2.6 installed) and it runs $9. per month. Great if you need a backup or emergency iPhone.
 

BAC5.2

macrumors regular
May 16, 2011
186
2
I use an old iPhone 5 as a bicycle computer. GPS still works without a SIM card, and my sensors all connect via BT. It works OK, and I can leave my new phone in the pack and not kill battery on the ride.
 
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