Four tech projects for your phone or tablet

Make your own touchscreen gloves

It’s cold, but you want to use your smartphone. You can avoid cold hands with a pair of conductive gloves, and it’s easy to make your own. All you need is conductive thread – available on Amazon – and a needle.

Four tech projects for your phone or tablet

Sew a few stitches into the tip of the glove’s finger, keeping them close together for tapping accuracy. On the inside of the finger, leave a bit of loose thread or some knots – your finger needs to touch the thread. It’s neater than cutting a hole in your glove’s finger, and warmer, too.

Design your own ringtone

Buying a custom ringtone is wasteful, with dodgy TV ads advertising the latest One Direction track for £1.99. However, there are free apps that let you capture snippets of songs or record sounds to make your own. Ringtone Maker is the most popular choice on Android; while it’s free, it plays ads unless you pay for the premium version.

iPhone users can use iTunes’s ringtone library to capture sound snippets and set them as ringtones. If you want to edit your sound clip, check out free audio software Audacity.

Refresh an old tablet to CyanogenMod

If you have an old Android tablet or smartphone kicking around, or are tired of a skinned edition of the OS, refresh it by switching to CyanogenMod, an alternative version of Android. At the time of writing, this isn’t easy – luckily, we’ve written a full guide with all the steps to rooting your device and installing CyanogenMod.

However, the developers have unveiled an easier, one-click installation app, but it doesn’t work for all devices. If your device is supported, you could save yourself some work. But don’t forget: rooting your device might void your warranty, and there’s a chance you could brick it.

Make your phone context-aware with NFC

If your phone has NFC, chances are you haven’t used it. With the help of a few stickers – only a few pounds on eBay – and the NFC Task Launcher app, you can make your phone context-aware.

You can put your phone automatically into Drive mode when you pop it in the windscreen mount, or put it into silent when you pop your phone onto your bedside table – it’s child’s play to set up.

Simply create a task in the app, tap the phone to the tag to write to it, and the next time you touch your phone to the tag, the task will be carried out instantly.

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