10 Better Ways to Use Your Phone (That You Never Thought of)

Today, you have a device with computing power several hundred times stronger than computers that have sent humans to the Moon, and what are you using it for? At best, you’re just using a few social media apps and ignoring every other feature available.

We’re not suggesting that the only right way to use your phone is to start a multi-billion dollar company or find a cure for cancer. We’re merely suggesting that you could be using your smartphone, well… smarter. With that in mind, here are the top ten better ways to use your phone to make your life considerably easier.

1. Use more voice commands

Use more voice commands

Many people use voice to browse the internet, but this is just the tip of the iceberg of all you can do with this feature.

This is simple, convenient, and safe. For instance, instead of parking on the side of the road (which would be less convenient) or going through the contacts list while holding the phone with one hand (which is both unsafe and illegal), you can just use voice commands. Just say out loud who you want the phone to call.

In a smart home and the right app, you can issue commands like “Turn off the lights” or “Increase the temperature by two degrees.” It’s a simple feature that millions are using, and it will make you feel like you’re living through your favorite childhood Sci-Fi movie.

2. Offline reading

Wi-Fi is available everywhere, and, for the most part, it’s free. This has made people so spoiled that they sometimes forget that you might not always have the internet available. What will you do in these scenarios? Well, one of the ideas would be to engage in some light offline reading.

Just download some books (in PDF or EPUB formats) and keep them on the phone for these occasions. This is an excellent idea for those who love to go camping. You’re not limited to just books. You can also download movies, shows, podcasts, etc.

Similarly, while relying on GPS navigation is the most convenient option, you might also want to download an offline map.

3. Handling your finances

M-banking is already a standard in the business world. Instead of doing things old-school, you can just scan the QR code on the receipt and pay automatically. Connecting your card/payment gateway lets you make your budgeting automatic. This will give you a far more accurate insight into how you’re spending your money.

Financial apps are an entire category worth exploring and could make a difference in your household budget.

If you’re handling your accounts via phone, you need to upgrade your device’s security. Ideally, you would get an antivirus for your phone and check out some mobile VPNs. There are many different options for Android devices, so there are plenty of apps for you to choose from.

4. Remote control

It’s funny how even in the strongest of relationships, all trust vanishes when it comes to the whereabouts of the remote.

Upon a question, “Are you sitting on a remote?” the answer “No!” is never taken at face value. It’s always followed up with: “Get up and let me see!”

While this quirky little episode might be a fun indicator of our culturally-technological zeitgeist, it might soon become completely outdated. How? Well, you can now use your smartphone as a remote control.

If you ask whether a smartphone is more convenient, the answer will always be a resounding – Yes! Let’s be honest, you’re mildly (if not severely) addicted to phone use, and there’s no point throughout the day when you don’t know where it is. This was never the case with the remote.

5. Fitness and health monitoring

This entry is probably the most controversial on this list. Why? Well, because many people are using their phones for fitness, almost everyone knows you can use them for that purpose.

Samsung Health automatically measures your steps throughout the day and many other metrics that you may have been oblivious of. However, this is just a basic app you get when buying a Samsung phone.

There are so many apps, some of which are even gamifying fitness. Apps like Zombies! Run! are an interactive adventure that gives you a simulation of being chased by zombies. The faster and further you run, the further they sound. This is especially great for those who hate the idea of doing cardio because they find it to be too tedious.

The effects are especially great if you connect the device to your fitness band or smartwatch.

6. Translating a foreign language

Translating a foreign language

While many people think they could use their phones for this purpose, they probably haven’t tried it. If anything, they tried it once, many years ago, and remember what it looked like when the technology and algorithm behind it were still crude. Therefore, they’ve formed a negative opinion about it and haven’t tried it since.

The thing to remember is that everything has advanced, from sensors to algorithms for understanding the language. They now keep tabs on your context, keep track of your location via GPS, and have much larger verbal data to rely on.

In other words, with the right app, traveling to a foreign country when you don’t speak the language is no longer as scary.

7. Kitchen timer

Theoretically, you could use your clock feature to set a timer to the exact number of minutes you want to prepare food. However, a kitchen timer allows you to select a parameter regarding the food you’re preparing. You want the:

  • Egg to be soft-boiled?
  • Steak to be medium-rare?
  • Pasta to be al dente?

All you need to do is select this option from the app, and there you have it. Sure, you can still manually set the timer, but it’s not the same. Also, a kitchen timer app can help you set several timers simultaneously.

8. Magnifying glass

Every smartphone camera has a digital magnification option available. After all, just go to your camera and zoom in as much as possible. The quality of your camera will determine the quality of the image.

The only reason why you would download an app is the numerous quality-of-life features that come with it. For instance, there are some interesting display interactions, like frame freeze, etc.

The bottom line is that you can use your phone as a magnifying glass without an extra app. A quality camera would help, nonetheless.

9. Metal detector

Almost every smartphone already has a magnetometer; you could turn it into a (very weak) metal detector with the right app. Sure, the practical application of this won’t be as great, but as a gimmick, it can be incredibly fun.

Imagine a day at a park with your kids, with not many other children around. You could just bury a couple of coins in the sand (as shallowly as possible) and let them try to find them. This elevates the idea of treasure-hunting play to a whole new level.

Remember that these fun games may help your kids bond with others through play. Therefore, it will create opportunities for many interesting social interactions.

10. Tape measure

How often have you wanted to measure something but didn’t have the tape measure on you? Well, now this is no longer a problem. With a smartphone tape measure app, you’ll always have a tape measure in your pocket (literally).

This is effective; you can get a distance estimation via camera calibration. This is ideal when planning to buy furniture. Also, with the help of AR overlay, you get a much clearer picture of what’s going on.

Unlocking the full potential of your phone could turn your life around

There’s a reason why we didn’t list using GPS, camera, and communication to the list. It’s what everyone is using their phone for. Sure, some items on the list are potentially familiar, but the rest won’t be.

The key thing to remember is that your phone has incredible potential, and all it takes is a simple app download (along with a few minutes of adjustment) to unlock it. It’s a shame to let this immense potential go to waste.

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