Smartphones are getting smarter with every new updated version being rolled out at least once a year for most brands. It is true that most smartphones evolve at a snail pace if you factor in the larger picture and you can expect some mindboggling wizardry only when you shell out a hefty sum of money. Yet, there are many specs readily available in most midrange smartphones and you can always explore the fascinating world of apps or mobile applications to pull off some neat tricks. In this comprehensive guide of phone tips we shall discuss a plethora of cool things you can do with your phone.
Become a Resourceful Amateur Handyman
There was a time when households had every tool that one could have possibly needed to fix almost anything that one possessed. This was when people were less mobile and more dependent on their own skills. While the concept and practice of do it yourself may have become a fad in recent times, it is actually an age old matter of compulsion and convenience. Today, people choose to do it themselves. For centuries, people did not have a choice. As more people rely on technology to get most things done, including usual chores, the availability of tools is becoming a concern. Many people do not have a toolbox in their homes, especially the young who are renting in cities or suburbs. The modern phone can fill in for several tools that you would need from time to time.
You can use your smartphone as a leveling tool. Remember level, a neat little tool with a glass tube inside containing a colored liquid or alcohol and an air bubble to show you if a plane is impeccably horizontal. You can use an app to turn your phone into a level. There are many such apps available. Some phones even come with a preloaded level application. The virtual level also looks like the old school tool in most cases. Whether you wish to find out if your smart television is leveled or you want to understand why a table is wobbly, you can use the phone as a level.
Measuring tape is one of the simplest tools you can have at your home, office or just about anywhere. While it is unlikely you would not have a measuring tape, you do not need to fret if you do not have one as your smartphone can help you measure distance. There are apps that can help you measure distance from one point to another using the camera as the measuring point. You would simply have to drag your phone, not in any abrasive or excessively frictional manner, from the starting point to where you wish to finish and then wait for the app to tell you the distance you have just covered. It is not just distance or linear distance you can measure. You can measure height or width. There are apps that do not require you to drag your phone from one point to another. It can use the lens of the camera to assess the landscape or scope it is picturing and accordingly it can ascertain the distance, width and height of the scope.
The Phone as a Universal Remote
Some smartphones these days come with an integrated app called remote. You will find the app branded as the name of the phone or company and then the use of the term remote. If you do not have such an app preloaded into your smartphone, you can easily download such an app. You may want to download one app for multiple functions or you can install dedicated remotes. Most manufacturers of consumer electronics and electrical devices, including major household appliances, make virtual remotes available for their customers. You can download such official virtual remotes so you can access the specific devices or appliances using your phone.
You can sync the remote of your television with the app on your phone. You can control your air conditioning system or heater and regulate the thermostat settings as and when you want. If your devices are hooked to wireless internet or any smart home automation system then you can enjoy remote access too. Not only would your phone become a remote control device when you are at home or office but you can also regulate most settings even if you are a thousand miles away. Your phone can truly become a universal remote. You can unlock doors, not just of your house but also of your car. You can even start your car with your phone. You can draw curtains, turn on appliances, change settings, dim your lights and even control utilities such as gas, water and electricity.
Use your Phone as a Multipronged Safety Device
There are many apps you can download and run to keep you safe when you are working late or you are stuck in the middle of nowhere with little or no help in sight. Even if you are taking the same route you have taken for years, it may be better to just have a handy safety feature at your disposal so you can alert your loved ones if you are in some kind of trouble. While there are many such apps designed to cater to your safety, some are obviously better than others and you ought to choose the state of the art reliable applications that would be truly effective.
There are apps that can send emergency message and even make calls. The apps can track your location in real time and record audio & video. Some apps use a timer to send an alarm automatically to your family and friends. Not to dilute the significance of personal safety at all times, some of these apps even have an option of a fake call if you wish to excuse yourself from a rather uninteresting situation, say a bad date or just horrible company at a party.
It is not just personal security but also vehicular safety that your smartphone can contribute to. Many smartphones are compatible with augmented reality. You can use a map and project it onto the car windscreen so you can see where you are headed. The global positioning system works in real time anyway so you do not need to look down or sideways to know where you are. You can easily check out your position and accordingly stay en route without any digression. You can also use the same solution to project the speed of your car and other essential facts so you can be completely safe and compliant with local laws. Such solutions are particularly useful at night, if you are driving on dark roads or when it is raining heavily, foggy or even snowy.
Handy Tricks for Everyday Life
Mobile phone or cell phone was invented for portable telecommunication. It was a natural evolutionary transformation of the wireless or cordless phone we used to have hooked up with our landline in the seventies and eighties. Of course pager played its transient role. Today, smartphones can do more than we normally imagine or understand. While some of the features may be over the top and literally an excess for ordinary users, a few can be quite handy during the chores and rigors of everyday life. It is no secret that the smartphone is one haven for microbes, dust and dead skin cells. You would not want to contaminate your hands while cooking, eating or doing anything that demands cleanliness. You can use hand gestures to do anything from receiving calls to playing music. Such a handy trick is useful when you are cleaning or whenever your hands are tied up.
Almost everyone knows that smartphones can be synced with tablets, laptops and desktops. Sending a text when your phone battery has died or using desktop version of some of the apps is not a surprise for anyone. What can be rather useful are apps that make everyday decision making and even some of the rare complicated choices a cakewalk. It is no longer for management and business graduates to run different kinds of analyses and algorithm driven programs to understand the merits and demerits of certain options. There are applications available today that can do a pros and cons assessment of different things you must do. Whether you wish to buy a car or you are choosing between a hatchback and a motorcycle, you can factor in various local elements, use publicly available data and also your personal inputs to find out which solution would be best suited for you.
Cool Tricks for the Adventurous
Since smartphones can be synced with home automation systems including the security alarms and other fixtures, you can script a horror show if you want. The fun aside, there are many cool but useful things you can do with your smartphone. You can use an app to monitor heart rate. Make sure you choose a reliable app and that must be calibrated to measure your heart rate, not just a generic count based on irrelevant factors. For instance, you must choose the right age, height, weight and the kind of motion that would be used to factor in the fluctuations in your heart rate. Some apps can accurately monitor your heart rate in ten seconds or so. All you have to do is place a fingertip on the lens of the camera.
Speaking of the lens in integrated cameras of contemporary smartphones, they can be literally turned into sci-fi gadgets if you have the right apps. You can transform your phone to a thermal camera that you would normally see in crime series and other dramas on film and television. Of course you would have to go for an attachment. This is an accessory and it costs money but you can choose to explore the temperature snapshots of your home, office or immediate surroundings to have unprecedented fun. Imagine tracking footsteps and figuring out people by their heat signature. The normal lens of your camera may also be turned into a microscope but only if it has a waterproof case. You can place a droplet of water on the lens and it would take the round form atop the cap. This becomes the facilitator and you can get up close to objects, closer than half an inch. This is more like an amateur microscope.
Just as you can hook up a thermal camera, you can use an accessory to accept payments through debit and credit cards. You do not need point of sale machines. There is no swiping necessary. You can raise funds or receive donations for charity. You can also run your own small business and accept payments in the traditional way if someone is unable to pay online at the moment. There are some noncommercial ways to have some fun with the humble camera of your smartphone. You can scan and digitize the old negatives you may have. You can click pictures of a photo or an image you have and initiate a reverse search for images to find out more about them. These don’t even need any accessory or additional devices.
From automating some of the usual features to customizing the entire user interface, including sound and vibration settings among others, the modern smartphone offers impeccable control and it can do some amazing things. Block a person or a whole group of people. Limit how you would use your phone. Secure each app and maximize every useful setting or feature. The contemporary smartphone is indeed fascinating. It is all you need to stay connected, to be entertained and to have some fun beyond the ordinary. All you have to do is be aware of the specs and features. You must also be willing to explore the possibilities. New apps are being rolled out every day. While many may not appeal to you, some can be rather interesting and they can be the coolest thing you would have done with your phone, ever.