Number 12 is a clever hack if we do say so ourselves.
If you’re only using your phone to make calls and send texts, you’re making a huge mistake. Your mobile phone can do way more than you might know. From helping you hang a picture to checking your heart rate, here are some of the clever ways you can use it.
1) Make Text Shortcuts
Sick of typing out long sentences all the time? Hey, we’re all busy people.
Head to Settings > Keyboard > and then Text Replacement on your iPhone. You can make your own shortcuts for things you say often. For example, you might want to program it so that ‘CML’ is a quick shortcut for ‘Call me later.’
2) Hydrate Yourself
Keeping hydrated couldn’t be easier with Plant Nanny. Download the app for your Android or iPhone and get regular reminders to drink some water!
We all know that water is crucial for our health, but do you drink enough?
Bonus: The more you drink, the more your virtual plant grows and grows. Adorable.
3) Use Augmented Reality to Drive
Using GPS on your phone is nothing particularly new, but did you know you can use augmented reality to drive around? The Hudway app works with a dash-mounted screen to provide an interactive map. The future is now.
4) Hang a Picture
It’s not just the big things that your phone can help you with – it’s those small, everyday problems too. For example, hanging a picture so that it’s straight can be harder than you might expect. Using the Bubble Level app which is available for both Android and iPhone devices will help you get the job done.
5) Check Your Flights
Ever wondered what flights are going overhead? Don’t bother Googling it. If you have an iPhone, there’s a quick way to find out. Ask Siri to tell you and you can see which airlines are flying near you at any given time.
6) Measure Your Heart Rate
Are you the health-conscious type? Did you know you can monitor your heart rate using your phone? Just download the Cardiio app on your Android or iPhone to get started. (Of course, it’s worth noting that this is not for medical use. If you have a medical condition, see your doctor!)
7) Make it Charge Faster
Need some juice fast? If you want to speed up your charging, there’s a simple trick that you can do. Just switch your phone to Airplane mode. That way, you won’t be using power as you charge up your device. It might surprise you how fast it charges!
8) Improve your Sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep could be the key to improving your health. We already know that your phone’s backlight can interrupt your rest.
Try out Night Shift mode in your display settings, which reduces the level of blue light emitted from your device, to supposedly help you wind down.
9) Protect You on Your Walk Home
Worried about walking home alone at night? Aren’t we all. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Downloading the bSafe app on your Android device or iPhone might be the answer. You can invite certain contacts to track you as you walk home, which means that they can see exactly where you are and how long you stay there.
10) Correct Siri’s Pronunciation
If you’re an iPhone user, there’s one thing that you’ll know for sure – Siri can mess up words from time to time.
If you find that the AI says a word incorrectly, you can correct it in mere seconds. Just say ‘You’re pronouncing [insert word] wrong.’ You can then tell Siri the right way to say it, which it will remember for the future.
11) Control Your Home Lights
Is there anything more impressive than controlling your house lights with your smartphone? We don’t think so. At the very least, it makes for a cool party trick.
If you have an Echo, you can use your Amazon Alexa app to link to your smart bulbs and control your lighting with the touch of a button.
Bonus: You don’t even need to be in the house!
12) Check Your Remote-Control Batteries
There’s nothing worse than running out of battery on your remote control. Luckily, you can use your phone to deal with just that issue. Point your remote control at your selfie cam and see whether the infrared light flashes on your screen. If it doesn’t, it might be time to replace your batteries.
13) Play Videos on Your TV
If you happen to have an iPhone and Apple TV, there’s a neat trick you can try…
The next time you’re watching a YouTube clip on your phone, simply slide the control panel up and press the ‘Screen Mirroring’ button. Your TV will start playing whatever you happen to be playing on your iPhone. Nothing could be easier.
14) Scan QR Codes (without an app)
You probably know that you can scan QR codes using a scanner app on your phone, but did you know you could do it without? It’s true. On an Android phone, you just need to open the Google app, while on an iPhone, you can use the Camera app to do it. Simple.
15) Search Pictures by Category
Scrolling through all your photos to find that one perfect snap can be something of a nightmare. We’ve all been there.
Luckily, there’s a quicker way to get the job done. Just go to the Photo app and then use the search function. Type in whatever you’re searching for (cat/selfie/dog/food…) and you can find it fast.
16) Sort Out Your Car Problems
Let’s not beat around the bush – breakdowns are the worst. The stress is so real.
Did you know that there’s an app that could help you with just this issue? Seriously. If you get the Automatic Pro app for your phone, you can plug an adaptor into your car’s ODB-II port and diagnose whatever’s wrong with the engine.
17) Shake to Undo
Always messing up when you’re typing? Here’s a quick trick for iPhone users that may be of interest. The next time you want to go back, just shake your phone quickly from side to side. It’s like magic – the text you’ve written simply disappears.
18) Make Custom Vibrations
Is your phone always on vibrate? We hear you! There’s just one problem – a single vibration can mean anything from an email or text to a social notification.
You may not realise it, but you can actually customise the way that your iPhone vibrates. On your phone, head to Settings > Sounds & Haptics > Text Tone > Vibration to assign a custom vibration to a contact.
19) Check if You’ve Had Too Much Alcohol
Not sure if you’re over the limit? The BACtrack breathalyzer could be just the thing you’re looking for. The snazzy little gadget attaches to your smartphone to check your alcohol blood content. Why not take it with you the next time you head to the pub? It might just save your life.
20) Start Your Car
Fancy unlocking your car with your phone? It’s easier than you think. Just download the Viper SmartStart app (which is available for Android or iPhone!) and get started. The app links to your key so that you can remotely unlock your vehicle. It’s so James Bond.