Top 20 Amazing Things You Could Do with a SmartPhone

by Vishal Toshiwal 5

Top 20 Amazing Things You Could Do with a SmartPhone

The smartphones have come long ways from just providing multitasking support for apps running in background to the camera centric use. Gone are the days that smartphones were just reachable to handful of people that can afford a $500 smartphone, now with companies like Xiaomi is revolutionizing the flagship phone markets in various countries with its affordable pricing. Even though, with the reach of such flagship devices on their hands, consumers are not able to make a better use of their smartphone as most of them doesn’t know what a smartphone can really do, Or say they don’t know what amazing things a smartphone can do. To carry the spirit of smartphone forward, we have some interesting things to note in the below list of amazing things a smartphone do.

Here is the list of top 20 amazing things you could do with a smartphone:

Control Devices at Home with Infrared Equipped Phone

There are some devices in the market like Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8 that features an in-built infrared blaster, which allows these devices to control a set top box or your smart TV. This in-built feature is a very handy tool that continently connects your other smart devices. Companies like Samsung preload the IR blaster apps that extend the infrared signals, placing remote controls products functions on your smartphone. And if that’s not enough, there are some apps available on Google Play Store that makes excellent use of the in-built IR blaster on a smartphone.

Turn Car Ignition ON

Viper StartSmart

Home automation is pretty popular since quite a time now, but smart cars are still in the future. You thought so, right? Well not exactly, if you know about the revolutionary Tesla cars, you might not be able to get detailed stats about your driving behavior or condition of your car. Although you can start your current car with your smartphone, no matter if you have an iPhone or Android, the app is available on both of the smartphones. And to do that first you need to install a device on your car called Viper SmartStart. It will allow your device to control our car and perform functions like Turn on/off ignition of your car, locate your car, or even open/close the trunk of your car.

Using Phone as a Wallet Replacement

There are preference to carrying a wallet, as most males would like to carry as less as anything while travelling while it is opposite for most of the womens as they like carrying around a fashionable purse. Nonetheless, whoever wants to enjoy hassle free roaming and leaving there plastic cards at home can just install an application which allows storing of credit cards and banking information for convenient transactions via a smartphone.

There are number of official applications available from organizations like Visa, AmEx, and Mastercard as well as banks like Bank of America, Capital One, PNC and others have their official apps available for download on various smartphone platforms like iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, and Blackberry phones too. Or you can opt for services like Paypal or CardStar that has application on all popular mobile platforms.

Create a Wifi HotSpot Anywhere

This is not something new that a smartphone can do but it is as useful as it gets. With Wi-Fi hotspot feature you can turn your Android device into a Wi-Fi modem as other devices with Wi-Fi facilities can be connected to your Android smartphone. To enable this feature you need to follow these simple instructions. Go to settings > Wireless and Networks > Tethering and Portable hotspot. There you need to first setup a wi-fi hotspot and then enable the Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot. But be aware that these connected to your wi-fi hotspot will use the data plan on your device to get internet accessibility, so you might want to watch out for data limits.

Scan Passport Data with NFC

Scan Passport using NFC
Image: PhoneArena

There are many countries which issue passports with embedding RFID chips as it allows storing of data with every passport issued by the country. These chips store data about the document’s owner, which also includes the photo and a scan of their fingerprint. Apparently, this information can be accessed via some smartphone apps made for the sole purpose, although, it doesn’t work with all the passports. To know more about the countries that installs these kinds of RFID chips on passport, you can head over to this XDA-Developers thread.

Setup Facial Recognition for Better Security

If you are looking for a better security lock for your smartphone, then Facial Lock might be something that you should try. To set up a facial recognition lock, Go to Settings, Security > Screen Lock and choose Face Unlock (for Samsung: Settings > Lock Screen > Screen Lock> Face Unlock), and then you just have to snap a correct positioned photo and you are good to go. Though, if you are worried tat someone might use your picture to unlock your smartphone, then you can simply set a “Presence Check” as it will require you to blink while unlocking via facial recognition. And you can also setup a backup PIM or take multiple shots to improve the facial unlock tool.

Converting Photos & Videos into a Beautiful Movie

Google+ - Short Movie

This process is a bit more complicated than the other amazing uses cases of a smartphones, though, the output will be much more fun than any of the things you can do with a smartphone. The devices running Android 4.3 and later can easily create short clips by editing together videos and photos that are stored on the device.

Go to the Google+ app and turn on the auto-backup option from the settings, which will allow app to automatically save the photos taken via smartphone camera in a private folder on Google+. Now you need to tap on the video camera icon on the top alongside the “Photos” section on top. From there, choose which images you want turn into the short clip, then, easily alter the style, theme, and background score as Google+ does the rest input.

Use Camera to Measure Distance

If you thought a smartphone camera can only be used to take photos, then it might surprise you that as the same camera can be used to measure distance via the same module. You might think that how accurate is this thing work? Well it’s not that accurate, and sometime not entirely true measurement shown, as it all depends on how good the algorithm is, as measurement is possible through camera via certain trigonometric calculation between user and the visible object.

To get the distance, you just have to enter the height, at which you are holding the smartphone, aiming crosshair at the base of the object. Few apps like EasyMeasure (iOS), Smart Measure (Android), and Auto Distance (Android) are some of the apps available for this purpose.

Tap Phone to Share Contacts, Photos & Music

You aren’t a crazy Android fan if you are not aware of this amazing service called Android Beam as it allow Android smartphone users to share their photos, apps, contacts, music and even certain particular information like favorite places on Foursquare or even the tagged songs form Shazam- just by touching two devices.

Though, these things can be done only between NFC-enabled devices, placing back to back , and then tapping to send. You can check if your phone is NFC-enabled under “More” in settings (for Samsung devices, Settings > Connections) and then turn on either Android Beam or S Beam just right under the NFC option.

Identify Songs Easily

Sound Search for Google Play

There are popular apps available on the different app stores (Android, Apple or Blackberry) that can perfectly identify song as it is playing, but did you know that Google and Microsoft also has this song identification tool available on their respective platforms. Microsoft’s song identification feature is build right in Windows Phone 8, you just need to tap on the search button while music is playing, and then tap on the music icon to find out which song you just heared on a TV show, movie, or any even a radio. And just like that Google’s similar service is available on Play Store which goes by the name “Sound Search”.

The service takes form of the app widget, which gives convenient accessibility to search about songs without even leaving the homescreen. Though, it can only identify the songs which are available on Google Play, but there is an outcome here as users would be able to purchase the song straight from the widget.

Monitor Heart Rate & Count Daily Steps

If wearable devices are not your thing, and you still like to monitor your health as in your daily activities like distance travelled, steps taken as well as monitor your heart rate over the day, then your smartphone might be able to help you with that as some devices comes with heart rate monitor, and motion sensors that can prove helpful in examining your health data. And these sensors are put to use by popular apps like Azumio, Runkeeper , Runtastic, Nike+ Running etc. Some of these apps also use GPS of your smartphone to track your steps taken and distance travelled.

Scan & Sync Business Cards

CamCard - Scan Business Cards

This is something very useful for professionals as they have to maintain contacts among different genre and mostly people like to exchange physical business cards. But if I told you there is a better option for this business information exchange which involves nothing but your smartphone.

There are many apps available on the Google Play Store that cater to this solution, but we recently tested an called CamCard that has everything you need to manage your business contacts, it is your ultimate tool, as you will not need to carry physical cards with you, you can exchange your information as well as the person you meet for business, can send his/her business details via the CamCard app.

Maintain To-Do Lists & Sync between PC & Phone

Accessing and managing your physical list has not been so easy, that’s why you need to understand what a smartphone can do. Even though, you have been a smartphone user for quite a time now, and still wondering searching for a best way to manage your work lists or personal stuff, then Wunderlist is just the service you need to sign up.

It is an amazing to-do list managing service that has apps available for all mobile platforms as well as has Web and PC apps available for better synchronization between all of your devices. It is one of the most beautifully designed task managers you will come across. Its clean UI and Muli-platform functionality makes it a pretty great service at no cost. Though, you can purchase premium account, which has some dedicated tools for business at $4.99 per month.

Use LED Flash as Torch in Emergency

Well it’s hard to get excited for a flashlight app, but the purpose here is purely personal, the LED flash of your smartphone can be used as torchlight whenever needed. But unfortunately you will have to open camera app and search for flash options and then enable it, which is kind of long way to just use LED flash as a torch.

You may have recently read a story about, a popular flashlight app goes by name “Brightest Flashlight Free” has been deceiving its users by seemingly sending precise location and device information to third-party advertisers. The Android developer of the same app settled charge with FTC (Federal Trade Commission) back in December 2013, since then Google has been practicing more secure transactions among the apps it also on Play Store. But there are some pretty good flashlight apps like Power Torch that charges few bucks for their apps, but at least it will be secure than the free app that got attention of FTC.

Access Office PC anywhere anytime

TeamViewer 5

This is the simplest way to access office PC from anywhere, as now a day’s many offices allows employees to work from home or some job demands work from outside the office. The easiest way to access all those files stored on PC is your smartphone as you might be aware that a smartphone is PC itself with a better portability than any other device.

This Teamviewer is the best thing that can happen to the above mentioned professionals as the popular desktop sharing app can be remotely controlled via the apps available on various mobile platforms. It is a very powerful tool for individuals as well as can prove efficient for business organisations. The software also allows users to share presentations and has functionality of Video as well as audio conferencing.

Record Under Water Videos / Action Videos [Water Proof Phones or which support high FPS Video Recording]

Currently, there are only few smartphones available in the market that are IP certified for water resistance. And this market of water proof phones are dominated by mostly two smartphone vendors, Sony and Samsung, as Sony Xperia Z Ultra was the first smartphone to get IP-rated certification which varies with the level of water that a device can go and be alive. For example, Xperia Z Ultra has IP-58 certification which means it can be immersed in 1.5 meters of freshwater for up to 30 minutes and is dust proof also. Whereas Samsung Galaxy S5 is IP67 certified smartphone, which has a high resistance for both water and dust. These types of devices can be used to take under water videos or shoot action videos as their camera boasts high FPS video recording. And if you own this kind of smartphone, you would not necessarily need special camera to shoot during occasional events or while travelling to beach or riverside, which is a an amazing use of smartphone.

Figure out why Check Engine Light is ON

In most countries, People rely on their vehicle to drive around in town or home to work, and it is highly likely that owners would want their vehicles to perform better. Now as we know for a fact that we are living in a Smartphone’s era, the owners would also like that their car remain efficient enough so that they don’t always have to rush their cars to garage for service.

Automatic Dongle

The good news here is that you and I don’t need to take our car to an expensive mechanic for every issue. It wouldn’t be very cost effective to the monthly budget, will it? So, a solution has arrived by the company named Automatic, with their dongle installed in your car, any issues appearing on your car will be pushed to the apps on your iOS or an Android phone. If it’s a minor issue that you can fix right away and clear that check engine light, then it would save you from a trip to the shop. Moreover from an issue that might have caused big problems in the future, if not would have been resolved now.

With the Automatic app on your Smartphone, you can also track your driving patterns, giving you feedback on your acceleration and breaking habits. It will eventually help you in being a better driver as well as save a few bucks and maintain the gas mileage of your car. It can even alert emergency authorities in case of a disabling crash. Isn’t that the best usage of your Smartphone?

Measure your Muscles

Skulpt Aim

There are times when you think that your body is not increasing at all or sometimes you think you have put a too much weight. As any health expert would say that the bathroom scale isn’t the best way to monitor your weight progress at the gym. Muscle weighs more than fat, and it might be good on occasions that you have gained a pound or two, but how would you know if the weight gained is fat or in muscle?

Well, this simple tool called Skulpt Aim helps you get most of the gym routines you have to be working. With this device, you can track your fitness by tracking your body fat percentage over the application that shows that data of your body. It also recommends on the basis of your body composition that which exercises you should do. It uses small electrodes to measure individual muscle groups and areas. All that information is sent to the smartphone with the proprietary app installed. This will give you an overall picture of where you are making progress and where you are not.

Watch Live TV

The person who stays alone and don’t think it makes sense investing on a television? Or do you often end up missing your favourite show or news because of the erratic power supply? If you have a smartphone and a good data connection, this should be the last thing to worry about. Today, there are various apps capable of streaming live TV on your smartphones.

Though, only app will be free; the service won’t be. All channels come with a daily, weekly or a monthly subscription. For seamless streaming, you would need fast, uninterrupted data connectivity-ideally over 3G or Wi-Fi. Keep in mind that streaming videos consume a lot of data, and you might end up getting huge bills. So, it is better to have an unlimited data plan if you are thinking of watch live TV on your smartphone. Your options to watch live TV includes, Zenga TV, ditto TV, mimobiTV and MunduTV are some of the popular apps. Note that, not all of these apps have all channels.

Vishal Toshiwal

Born in West India, raised in the North and currently chasing dreams in the southern part of India- Vishal is an entrepreneurial spirit, a tech enthusiast and a writer by profession, who is busy taking pictures when he is not writing. He would love to talk to you about the latest movies, TV shows and DC/Marvel comics. As a personal rule, he doesn't let a day get by without at least one dessert. Because, why not?

  • MANJIT SARMA

    Thanx for sharing these awesome tips, but some r not supported by all handsets like, – Android Beam!

  • diveek

    Done some!

  • Kaushik Medhi

    Oops I don’t have a SmartPhone ! But will definitely try all if I have 1 in the future 🙂

  • Informative!

  • Jitendra Sakariya

    Cool tips & tricks.
    I have used NFC feature iNew V3-E smartphone in 2014. But still there’s No much devices available market to use it in our country.
    It’s vastly useful in developed countries, like subways, railways, parking, employee records, gadgets operations, to check product details, Payments vua NFC, etc.