Here’s a secret they didn’t tell you when you bought a 3G iPhone: One of its best features—the ability to run new applications found on iTunes—is also possible on the old iPhone with an easy software upgrade. Plus, you can hack your first-gen to run unofficial apps alongside the sanctioned ones (known as “jailbreaking” the phone). And remember that your deactivated iPhone still has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth as well. With all this at your disposal, there are lots of ways to give a first-gen a second life.
Apple’s free Remote application is the slickest way to control your AppleTV or Mac’s iTunes with an iPhone, but there are other free apps for controlling your TiVo (code.google.com/p/tivoremote), your MythTV home-theater PC (trac2.assembla.com/mymote/wiki) or any computer (code.google.com/p/telekinesis).
Turn the page to see how to turn it into a GPS device.
Turn the page to see how to turn it into a VoIP phone.
Turn the page to see how to turn it into a media center.
With Apple’s Universal Dock ($50; apple.com), you can play video and music from your iPhone through a connected TV and stereo. Download movies and TV from iTunes or transfer them from your Mac, and install applications like Pandora and Last.FM for customized Internet radio.
Turn the page to see how to turn it into a music studio.
Turn the page to see how to turn it into a tool shop assistant.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.