Smartphones are versatile devices. Whether you use an iPhone or are a member of the Android camp, chances are your smartphone plays a role in your life on a daily basis. However, many people don’t realize just how powerful their smartphones are, and many don’t take time to explore all that their devices can do. While they’re great for making phone calls and sending text messages, smartphones provide valuable creative tools and can let you spend your free time more productively. Here are a few of the ways you can do more with your smartphone.
Some people are naturals when it comes to staying organized, and others have tried and true systems for ensuring they stay on task and don’t miss important deadlines. Most of us, however, could afford to be a bit better in terms of organization. Instead of trying out a paper-based system or using one that’s tied to a desktop or laptop, take a look at organizational tools available on smartphones. For some, simple checklist tools are sufficient. For others, more comprehensive tools are a better option. Regardless of what you choose, smartphone apps are convenient since most people have their phones with them at all times. Anytime you need to change your schedule, your phone will likely be at hand.
Learning something new can be tremendously rewarding, and many people enjoy reading books to learn long after they’re left school. Smartphones are opening new avenues of learning. Whether you’re learning a foreign language, new technology, or nearly any other subject, memorization will probably play a key role. Online flash card programs provide a powerful way to study subjects and learn topics any time you have a few free minutes. Interactive tools can automatically reload cards you’re struggling with and spend less time on cards you’ve already memorized well. Many apps also let you use flashcards other users have uploaded, making it easy to study new subjects. Explore what subjects are available to make your idle time more productive.
Connect Your Home
Because smartphones have become ubiquitous, some devices now use smartphones as control interfaces. Home alarm systems, for example, often provide smartphone interfaces, letting you turn your system on or off or respond to alerts. Home automation is taking off, and smartphones let you control your home lighting and other electronics while you’re away. Control your heating or cooling using your smartphone; if you’re arriving home from work early, tell your smart air conditioning system to begin cooling your home before you arrive. You can even upgrade your home doorbell system and install a two-way communication system that lets you talk to guests when they ring your doorbell.
While no smartphone camera can match professional-grade cameras, modern smartphones can take pictures at high resolutions and capture fine details. Although selfies and other images are fun to take, smartphones also let you explore the more artistic side of photography and give you a great tool for getting started. Both first- and third-party photography tools offer editing features, letting you try out HDR photography and modify your images without having to turn on a traditional computer. When you become an expert at smartphone photography, you can ensure that you’re always able to take pictures when the mood strikes.
Smartphone web browsers let people access news and entertainment anywhere a mobile internet connection is available. However, many people don’t take advantage of digital versions of books, which let you carry around an extensive library anywhere you go. By storing these books on your phone, you can access them even when you don’t have internet access, letting you read while riding a bus, taking a train, or even flying. Mobile reading apps can also save your progress, allowing you to resume reading right away, and bookmark tools let you access your favorite passages with a few taps. A number of large publishers provide online storefronts, which let you access and download books while on your smartphone or computer. These tools often let you sync your downloads as well, so you can read on your tablet while at home and your smartphone while away.
Are you a fan of chess, checkers, or backgammon? Your smartphone can serve as a worthy opponent, helping you pass the time while improving your skills. Thanks to the processing power of modern smartphones, you can face off against a world-class digital opponent or dial down the difficulty for a more even challenge. Some programs, including popular backgammon programs, can measure your play and give you suggestions for when you play against human opponents. Other programs let you play live games against human opponents online, letting you enjoy the fun of matching up against a human wherever you are. Many programs even offer tutorial modes, letting you learn games in an interactive manner instead of having to decipher rules in text form.
The earliest smartphones often had relatively low resolutions and somewhat imprecise touchscreens. Today’s devices, on the other hand, often feature resolutions higher than desktops and laptops and let you enjoy precise inputs. If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at drawing, smartphones give you everything you need to get started. Furthermore, smartphones can also serve as excellent tools for manipulating photographs, enabling you to crop images, apply filters, and even edit elements with a few taps. For more demanding work, you can also attach a Bluetooth mouse or writing pad, letting you perform desktop-caliber work no matter where you are.
Nearly all smartphones have video capabilities, letting you shoot high-quality pictures anywhere. Capable of shooting at high frame rates, today’s smartphones provide smooth and detailed video with the press of a button. Although smartphones can’t match the quality of profession cameras, entire films have been shot with iPhones and other devices, and proper lighting can yield surprising quality in a compact package. Thanks to online distribution, it’s never been easier to share your video with the world. If you’re interested in video blogs and similar types of video, your smartphone provides ample editing capabilities to reach your target audience, and learning how to make the most of smartphone’s video capabilities lets you capture once-in-a-lifetime moments even without a standard video camera.
It’s easy to forget the primary purpose of smartphones: to make phone calls. However, in addition to standard phone calls, smartphones provide an array of communication tools. Text messages have become popular, and those who haven’t tried them out yet might enjoy the more casual style of communication they provide. Social media communication tools let you interact with friends on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms, and voice communication tools can help you save on international calling rates. Modern smartphones also let you try out video chatting, letting you see friends and family members while communicating, which is especially great when you or loved ones are overseas.
Whether you write for work or for pleasure, your smartphones can serve as a valuable tool. Although virtual keyboards can work for short writing, you can also attach a Bluetooth keyboard for writing longer documents. Choose between full-sized wireless keyboards for all the convenience of desktop writing, or use a portable design to save space. Although smartphone screens are small, modern devices provide high resolutions, letting you read back what you’ve typed and edit your documents. In addition to saving files on your device, you can also use cloud-based tools that make your documents easy to access on your laptop or desktop once you’re back at home or work.
Smartphones are great for staying in touch, and being able to access your email and run web browsers helps you feel connected anywhere internet connectivity is available. However, smartphones are far more capable than many people realize, and taking a bit of time to explore apps and find out how to take advantages of everything your smartphone has to offer can help you explore new venues and make the most of your free time. Whether you want to explore new creative venues or if you just want to make day-to-day life a bit more convenient, your current smartphone is probably far more capable than your realize.
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