These are 5 great uses for an iPad that kids will love

Your old iPad is collecting dust. It is just collecting dust.

Just in time for Christmas, the new iPad Mini will be available this fall. The latest version of the iPad Mini will be on every kid’s wishlist, and maybe even yours. But what does this mean for the older one? It might be a good idea to either sell it or put it in a drawer in the hope that it will one day come into use.

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You could also repurpose the item for your children. You might not be able to convince them to use the iPad by updating its software, covering it with a stylus, and giving it a new cover. It’s possible to make your old iPad a smart home device for kids by turning it into a mint condition.

Here’s how I can give your old iPad a new lease of life. You can also make your old Android phone a security camera. And here are some ideas for your kids heading back to school.

Your iPad can be turned into a sound and light machine, as well as a nightlight.

Your iPad can be used to help your children sleep peacefully if they are able to go to bed on their own. With an app like Baby Night Lite, you can set up a night light for the kids’ room with a variety of small animals and colors along with a sound machine that comes with a variety of songs and white noise, and ambient background sounds. You can also set a timer to create a playlist with soothing, peaceful music or lullabies. For older kids who are beyond lullabies and dancing sheep, an app like Night Light Lite lets you pick from a variety of sounds, such as beach waves and running water, and night light colors to help them get to sleep.

As an additional gaming console, add a player to your iPad.

Sony’s PS5 and Nintendo Switch may be on your children’s holiday gift list, but an iPad with Apple Arcade games like NBA 2K21 Arcade Edition, or The Oregon Trail is a great choice for variety and fun. If you have more children than gaming devices, it may be worth converting an old iPad to a gaming device.

The iPad also gives your children a larger screen for playing multiplayer games. And you can even add a PlayStation or Xbox wireless controller to the iPad for your kids to play without hogging the TV or your phone.

Your kids will love their smart home hub.

You don’t need to buy Apple’s HomePod or HomePod Mini to put an Apple smarter speaker in your kids’ room.

You can turn your old iPad into a smart home hub that lets your kids play music, turn on and off the lights, and even control the temperature in their room with the tablet.

You can turn your iPad into an intelligent home hub for your children’s room by following these steps:

  1. On your iPad, go to Settings.
  2. Scroll down and tap on Home to toggle on This iPad can be used as a Home Hub.

If you want to give your kids control just over the smart-home devices in their room and not everywhere in the house, you can set limits on what they have access to in the Home app.

Your iPad can be used as a learning tool

Here if your children are starting to hog the computer at home for schoolwork, an iPad could be the ideal tool for them. Even better, you can turn your iPad into a dedicated education tool. Pair And A mouse to make the iPad feel like a computer.

If you’re worried about your kid becoming distracted with messages, games, alerts, and social media, you can use Apple’s parental controls to set limits and what they can and can’t do on the device.

Here are some apps to help you get started with the school year.

  • Duo lingo
  • Ever note
  • Khan Academy
  • Photo math
  • Quiz let
  • Todoist
  • Udemy

Your iPad can be used as a monitor to check on your baby.

Most baby monitor devices make it easy to check on your little one from your phone or computer. They are expensive. You can make your iPad a baby monitor for a much lower price.

Baby-monitor apps like the Cloud Baby Monitor can let you check in on your kid. You can also get motion and noise alerts, just like popular baby monitors — the Owlet Smart Sock Plus is a popular one. The iPad is not the right choice if you are looking for a monitor to keep an eye on your baby’s oxygen levels, temperature, and sleep quality.

Here’s our guide to the best iPads right now. And here’s the latest Apple event information if you are looking for new gadgets. Or if you’re thinking about keeping the old iPad, here’s what the iOS 15 has in store.

Here are the best ways to trade or sell your iPhone 2021

Here are some tips to help you get the best price for your phone.

The new iPhone is here! You may be looking for a new iPhone 12, a budget-friendly iPhone SE, or the iPhone 11 Pro or 11 Pro Max last year, but you want to get rid of your old model in order to finance the purchase. This guide will show you how to sell your iPhone at the highest possible profit.

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Option 1: Sell your phone to a buyback service

Are you looking for an easy and quick solution? You might consider selling your device to a buyback service. It is not without risk. If the iPhone isn’t in its original condition, such as if it is broken, you might not receive the full price quoted by the buyer. However, it reduces the hassle and time involved, especially when compared to trying to sell it on eBay or Craigslist.

There are trade-in options such as those offered by Apple or Best buy (see next section), and then there is the buy-and-sell market like those listed below. Before you spend a lot of time hopping from one to another to get quotes, head to Flipsy, which compares US trade-in values at multiple buy-back stores. It will show you the price, lock duration (how long you have to return the phone), and the price based upon the condition of your old device. Flipsy does not go beyond the phone model, storage, and carrier. SellCell is another price-comparison service for anyone looking to score top dollar for an old iPhone.

You can also visit individual marketplaces by clicking here. What criteria were you looking for? For starters, I looked for a TrustPilot “TrustScore” rating of at least 4.5 stars based on at least 500 user reviews. Also, I looked for speed and ease in obtaining a quote. My subject was an unlocked 64GB Apple iPhone X in “good condition”. These are my thoughts at the time of writing. Your mileage may differ.

 

Buyback Boss

Super-easy to use

With Buyback Boss, it was easy to obtain a quote. There was only one thing that took some time: selecting the condition of your phone. You’d expect to see a “good” option somewhere between “fair” and “mint.” Instead, it says “used”. They’re all in use.

Trustpilot: 4.8

iPhone X quote:$280

 

Decluttr

Lightning-fast quotes

Decluttr is the most efficient buy-back website, with its fastest quote-generator. Enter the model and brand of your phone and click the button to get an instant quote. You may need to click several times to change the carrier or the condition of the phone. Decluttr’s best option, “good”, is the best you can choose. It might not be equivalent to “mint or excellent” elsewhere.

Trustpilot: 4.6

iPhone X quote:$292

 

Gadget Gone

Top dollar for your phone

Gadget Gone might not be as well-known as Swappa or Gazelle, but it has the highest Trust Pilot score among all the services I looked at for selling Apple devices, , and it offered me the best cash for my iPhone model.

Trust Pilot: 4.9

iPhone X quote: $280

I’ll give an honorable mention to Swappa, which has a sky-high Trust Pilot score (4.9) but isn’t really a buyback service. It’s more of a marketplace that connects buyers and sellers. It’s like eBay but with a greater focus on Apple products, such as your iPad, iPhone, or other Apple products. You will need to create a Swappa account before you can connect your PayPal account. Your asking price will include a fee but no additional PayPal fees.

Worth the effort? Maybe: Swappa suggested a price of $426 to sell my iPhone. However, Swappa also noted that the same phone had sold recently for $345 — still higher than most buy-back service prices. However, a marketplace almost always nets you a higher profit (see below).

Option 2: Sell your phone and get credit towards a new model

Do you want to get rid of the middleman? Start by going straight to the source. This could be the manufacturer or a large-box retailer. The largest retailers usually offer good trade-in options for new devices. Take Apple and Best Buy as two of the largest fish in the pond.

Apple

Straight-up Apple Store credit

Apple’s iPhone trade-in program offers an easy way to better afford a new iPhone, as phone trades net you Apple Store credit.

Here are some examples of the estimated trade-in values for selected models. All models must be in “good” condition.

  • iPhone 6S Plus: $80
  • iPhone 8: $140
  • iPhone X: $250

These rates are quite affordable, but it is worth shopping around. According to Flipsy, the lowest price you could get for an iPhone X from a third-party provider is $320 at this point. Apple’s trade-in program doesn’t take into account how much storage you have. An iPhone X with 64GB of storage will get you the same trade-in value as one with 256GB. This is absurd.

Best Buy

Trade for a store gift card

Best Buy also offers a trade-in program. At press time, a 64GB iPhone X would sell for $300. The 256GB model does not increase the value, taking a cue from Apple. Curiously, Best Buy’s trade-in program does not accept unlocked iPhone trades. Only those from the Big Four carriers are accepted. For my quotes, I chose AT&T.

Your Best Buy phone trade-in results in a Best Buy Gift Card. This is fine if you plan to purchase your next iPhone from Best Buy, but not ideal for those who were looking for cash.

This is the key message: Shop around. You can find many services that will purchase your iPhone, or trade it in for you. However, it might be better to sell it yourself.

Option 3: How to Sell Your Old Phone

Although selling an iPhone by yourself is the best way to make money, it can also be costly and involve many hassles.

Craigslist

Good if you want cash, bad if you’re risk-averse

Craigslist is probably the riskiest option, but buyers will pay cold, hard cash for iOS and Android devices. Finding customers is not the biggest problem here, it’s getting them there. Expect to be thrown off your feet.

If you do decide to use Craigslist or another in-person option to sell an iOS device, make sure you meet your buyer in a well-lit, public place (many police departments offer their parking lots as transaction sites). To ensure a smooth transaction, it is important to make sure that the buyer knows the price, condition, and wireless carrier of the device before the meeting. This is especially important if the phone has not been unlocked.

Facebook Marketplace

Also good for cash, and with a bit more seller protection

This is a huge step up from Craigslist. Not only are your listings completely free, but Facebook also removes much anonymity from any transaction that involves your Apple gadget. Any interested buyer can view their profile. You also have control over where and who your listing is seen. This has been a great way to sell lots of items. I have had some last-minute cancellations but most transactions went well.

eBay

Safe for buyers and sellers alike, but be prepared for fees

If you are willing to do a little bit of work, such as listing, shipping, and paying a small fee, eBay is probably a better place than Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace to sell your used phone. It offers purchase protection which makes it easier to buy from strangers.

The downside? Fees. eBay charges 10% sales fees for products sold through its website. PayPal charges 2.9% for international orders.

Search for your model to find the “sold” listings.

There is a risk that buyers will be remorse if you sell your iPhone on eBay. Although eBay provides protection for both buyer and seller, customer service tends to favor the buyer in case of a dispute. Scammers know how they can take advantage of this. Documenting everything, including taking screenshots or photos of the phone’s IMEI numbers, can help to reduce your risk. You should also get signed proof that delivery.

How to Sell Your Old iPhone Right Now

Your old phone is losing its value every day. Your old phone can lose up to 30% within 24 hours of the new iPhone’s debut.

You should be aware that selling your smartphone right away can result in you being without a phone until the new one arrives. Many of the above buy-back and trade-in services offer a grace period (also called a “price lock”) that allows you to sell your smartphone within 30 days. This gives you enough time to receive and purchase your new phone, and have everything transferred over (including your SIM card).

Here are some things to consider before you decide to sell your iPhone.

Whether you sell by yourself or trade to a third-party company, make sure you prep your iPhone properly before selling it. Here are some tips.

  • It’s important to back it up Using Apple’s I Cloud or a third-party cloud storage service, you can back up all your important data, including contacts, photos, and videos.
  • Turn off Find My: Apple’s Locate This security feature, formerly known as Find My iPhone, must be disabled before you sell your iPhone. Otherwise, nobody will be able to reset or use it. Open the Settings app on iPhone to turn off Find My. Settings > [Your username] > Search My Turn it on.
  • It can be wiped Delete all connected apps, services, and accounts (like your iCloud) Next, open the Settings app and go to General > Reset > All Content and Settings Erased to erase all data from your iPhone. After this, you can go to General > Reset > All Settings to restore your iPhone to its factory settings in case of an emergency.
  • Take out the SIM card Make sure you have your SIM card handy. This will allow you to keep your current number and service.

The best condition for your phone will get you the most money, but it can still be worth it if it is in good shape.

Even if your phone isn’t working, it may still be possible to get something for it if it is damaged. Repairing a phone screen that is cracked is not worth the effort. However, if it has a very minor crack, you might consider selling it instead of trading in. For a fair price, an individual might be willing to overlook minor screen damage.

Are you familiar with the sell-old-to buy-new process for a device or phone that is no longer in use? Which option did you choose and how was it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

More phone advice

  • Best places to sell your used electronics in 2020
  • Here are all the MagSafe accessories Apple announced for the iPhone 12
  • Best cell phone trade-in options for iPhones and Android phones
  • The two Apple Watch features that changed my mind about smartwatches
  • Best phones of 2020
  • iPhone 12 trade-in and switcher deals: Freephone at AT&T, save up to $800 at Verizon, and more

CNET’s Cheapskate searches the internet for great deals on tech products, and many other items. Follow the Cheapskate on Facebook or Twitter for the most recent deals and updates. You can find more great deals on the CNET Deals Page. Also, check out our CNET Coupons Page for the most recent promo codes from Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, and other retailers. Have questions about Cheapskate’s blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page.

 

Get a pair of Au key power banks for $9 each with our exclusive code

Fast-charge your iPhone, Android, or any other USB-C device on the go.

If you’ve ever shopped for a portable power bank or charger, chances are you’ve seen Aukey, which makes a wide variety of charging accessories made for keeping your phone, tablet, and other devices juiced up on the go. Today, you can take advantage of an awesome two-pack deal that gets you a pair of fast-charging 10,000-mAH power banks for just $9 each ($18 total) using code CNET974821 at checkout. Normally $60, the two-pack is already on sale for $20 via online store Until Gone, but our exclusive code slashes an additional two bucks off at checkout. Nice!

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These Aukey Basix Slim portable chargers are small enough to easily fit in your pocket, and if you have a long commute or travel frequently, they’re invaluable for keeping your phone or tablet from running out of battery before the end of the day. Each charger can juice up a standard iPhone or Galaxy phone with about two full charges, give or take, and these can even recharge gadgets as big as an iPad Mini. Basically, take one of these little guys out the door with you, and you won’t have to worry about having to ask a stranger to use their charger before the night is over.

If you’re wondering why you can’t buy this and other Aukey chargers directly from Amazon these days, it’s because Aukey and a few other brands have been booted from Amazon for reportedly soliciting positive user reviews for gift cards. But since our experience with the quality and value of Aukey accessories has been positive, we continue to recommend its hardware, especially when it’s on sale for this cheap.

Best M1 Mac Mini deals: 512GB model at the lowest price yet

You can save up to $149 right now on Amazon on the step-up model with an SSD.

The Mac Mini, along with its more mobile cousins the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, was one of the first Apple computers to ditch Intel silicon in favor of Apple’s new M1 processor. (Now you can also get an M1-powered iPad Pro.) Our tests of the M1 machines show a substantial performance boost over their predecessors, and now we’re seeing discounts sprout up for the new models.

You can find discounts on the M1 MacBooks, but the Mac Mini remains the least expensive MacOS computer. The baseline model of the M1 Mac Mini costs $699 and features 8GB of RAM and a 256GB solid-state drive. The step-up model costs $899 and doubles the storage capacity to 512GB. Amazon is currently offering a $50 discount on the baseline model and a $149 discount on the step-up model. For the 512GB model, you’ll see an initial discount with added savings tacked on at checkout to hit the lowest price we’ve seen yet for it.

One benefit of paying full price and buying from Apple, however, is you can customize the machine and add more RAM or a higher-capacity SSD, whereas the models sold on Amazon and other retailers are fixed configurations. And unlike in most other desktops, the Mac Mini’s RAM is not user-upgradable. Apple’s M1 system-on-a-chip integrates the CPU, GPU, RAM, and other components for greater power and efficiency, but the downside of this integration is the lack of DIMM slots that would allow you to add additional RAM after purchase.

It’s worth noting that the Apple Store offers students an educational discount, but you’ll save only $20 on the price of a new Mac Mini, though some upgrades are discounted, too. For example, doubling the RAM to 16GB costs $180 with the education discount instead of the usual charge of $200.

Also at Apple, you might find a refurbished M1 Mac Mini. Apple has started selling refurbs of the M1 Mac Mini on its Certified Refurbished Mac page. Currently, you can get a refurbished M1 Mac Mini with a 256GB SSD for $589 with a $110 discount, or the step-up model with a 512GB SSD for $759 with a $140 discount. Refurb inventory changes rapidly so you may not always find an M1 Mac Mini listed. It’s worth keeping an eye out, however, because you can lock in substantial savings. Rick Broida, CNET’s Cheapskate emeritus, is a big fan of refurbs — particularly Apple’s, which are often as good as new.

Keep reading to see the best US prices currently available for Apple’s Mac Mini. We update this page regularly and give prices that are accurate at the time of publication but note that they fluctuate.

MAC MINI DISCOUNTS, COMPARED

Model w/ CPU and storage capacity List price Best price (current) Best price (all-time)
Mac Mini w/ M1 chip, 256GB SSD $699 $649 $600
Mac Mini w/ M1 chip, 512GB SSD $899 $750 $750

 

 

M1 Mac Mini with 256GB SSD: $649

Save $50 vs. Apple Store

The baseline Mac Mini features Apple’s new M1 chip, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. Amazon is selling it for $50 less than its $699 list price, which is half the discount offered earlier this month.

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M1 Mac Mini with 512GB SSD: $750

Save $149 vs. Apple Store

The step-up Mac Mini with a 512GB SSD is $149 off at Amazon. It selling for $30 less than its $899 list price and you can save an additional $120 at checkout — to drop the price to the lowest we’ve seen yet for this model. Most users will benefit from the added storage space; 512GB is the smallest SSD we’d recommend for any desktop.

Best Apple iPad deals: Save $50 or $100 on the new M1 iPad Pro

You can get an iPad Pro based on Apple’s new M1 chip for as little as $749. The lower-cost and still highly capable iPad Air is also discounted.

Apple unveiled new iPad Pros earlier this year, which are the first non-Macs to receive Apple’s M1 chip. The new iPad Pros are available in the same sizes — 11 and 12.9 inches — as the models they replace, but they offer more memory and storage in addition to the M1 goodness. The new iPad Pros come with up to 16GB of memory and up to 2TB of storage. A Thunderbolt port is also on board, and the 12.9-inch model boasts Apple’s Liquid Retina XDR display.

Right now, you can save $50 on the new 11-inch iPad Pro and $100 on the 12.9-inch model. There are also sizable discounts on older models if you don’t need the power of an iPad Pro. The eighth-gen iPad is only $299 at Walmart, and you can save $60 on an iPad Air and $100 on the iPad Mini.

 

11-inch iPad Pro (128GB): $749

Save $50 vs. Apple Store

The new 11-inch iPad Pro features Apple’s M1 chip and comes with storage capacities ranging from 128GB to 2TB. The baseline 128GB model costs $799 from Apple and is currently $50 off at Amazon. Some of the higher-capacity models are discounted between $50 and $100.

 

12.9-inch iPad Pro (128GB): $999

Save $100 vs. Apple Store

You can save $100 on the larger, 12.9-inch iPad Pro with the M1 chip. The baseline model with a 128GB SSD has a $100 discount to hit the lowest price we’ve seen yet. The higher-capacity models are also discounted by $100.

 

10.9-inch iPad Air (64GB): $539

Save $60 vs. Apple Store

Apple’s 10.9-inch iPad Air with 64GB of storage is $60 off at Amazon, which is less than last week’s $100 discount. For most users, a 64GB drive is skimpy and will fill up fast. You can save $99 on the 256GB model in either green or space gray.

 

10.2-inch Apple iPad (32GB): $299

Save $30 vs. Apple Store

The eighth-gen iPad features a 10.2-inch screen and is powered by the A12 chip. With a list price of $329, the 32GB model is the most affordable iPad and is currently selling at a $30 discount in the gold color at Walmart. (Note that some of our staff don’t see that offer, so it may depend on your location.)

7.9-inch iPad Mini (64GB): $300

Save $100 vs. Apple Store

We’ll be honest: This one is only for those willing to pay a premium for the smaller screen. You’re basically paying more to get the same basic specs as the 10.2-inch iPad, but with a more portable 7.9-inch size (albeit with 64GB of storage and a spiffier screen). The 64GB model is selling at a $110 discount. The 256GB model is $100 off, too.