Quirky things you may not know your smartphone can do

WHEN you've had a smartphone for years, discovering something you didn't know it could do is very exciting.

It's just like when a major update occurs and all your icons look different, or when you buy a new screen protector and phone cover ... it feels brand new!

If you're feeling like your phone has lost its edge, here some things you can try to bring it back to life:

  • Use your phone to identify music playing around you. Google Now on Android phones and Siri on Apple's IOS can listen to music playing on the radio or over a speaker and identify it.
    • Android phones: Tap the microphone box inside the Google search bar on the Android home screen with the music playing.
    • IOS (iPhone): Hold down the home button to open Siri and she will listen to the music around you. She identifies songs via Shazam.
  • Customise your font and use the volume up/down buttons to increase or decrease text size on Android phones. To change the font go to Settings > Display > Font style and pick one of the options. In Display you can also activate a screen saver, choose a wallpaper and optimise your screen for reading.
  • Use your Android phone as a remote control. With a bit of configuration Samsung's Peel Remote can connect up to your TV, saving you from the messiness and confusion associated with lost remote controls. Simply download Peel Remote, open it and follow the instructions. Other Android phone such as the LG G3, LG G4, HTC One M9 have this capability.
  • Take photos of just about anything around you and get information about what it is, what it says and more. You can even translate or copy text.
    • Android phones: Download Google's Goggles app through the Play Store
    • IOS: Unfortunately Google Goggles isn't available on the iPhone but you can try the app, CamFind, by downloading it from the App Store.
  • Display contact information on your lock screen (just don't display your mobile number!). That way, if you lose your phone, someone can contact you without needing a password.
    • Samsung (and possibly other Android) phones: Enable this on your Samsung phone by going to Settings > My Device > Lock screen > Lock screen widgets > Owner information.
    • IOS: There isn't an in-built capability, however if you are willing to pay $1.99 you can buy an app called ICE (In Case of Emergency) at the App Store. It adds emergency info such as your name, medical conditions and an emergency contact to your lock screen.
  • Use your phone as a speed gun. It can measure the speed of anything travelling past the phone's sensors. This is particularly useful for athletes.
    • Android phones: Download Speed Gun for Android phones.
    • IOS: Download SpeedClock at Apple's App Store.
  • Every now and again, google the top apps of the year for your iPhone or Android phone. Download a few new apps and have a bit of fun experimenting with your smartphone's capabilities.

Listed tips are tested using iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S4.



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