5 Things You Didn’t Know Your Android Smartphone Could Do

While smartphones still can’t make my morning coffee or do any of those crazy things we see in futuristic movies, technology just keeps getting better. We have more and more features than ever before.

When you think about a smartphone, the general features or tricks come to mind. Playing games, browsing the web, taking photos, or even advanced things like learning the name of a song with Shazam or SoundHound. Those features are nice, but below we’ve decided to share five or so slightly more advanced things you probably didn’t know an Android phone could do.

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Nearly everyone these days has a smartphone of some sort. They have awesome features like doubling as a flashlight, or being your own personal WiFi network. Then there are things that make life easier and more convenient, like using the phone to open your car doors, or even measuring the speed of moving objects. We cover those and more in the list below.

Become a Mobile Hotspot for WiFi

One feature that millions of users still don’t know about is making a WiFi hotspot, or sharing the connection from your phone to nearby devices. Essentially you can use that fast AT&T or Verizon 4G LTE network to act as the internet connection on your Laptop, home PC or even an iPad, while out and about.

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Read: How to Use the Galaxy Note 3 as a Personal Hotspot

If you head to Settings > Tethering & Hotspot and enable the hotspot feature, your phone will share its connection with nearby devices. As a reminder, many carriers charge extra for this, so double check before you start streaming movies to your laptop.

Start Your Car

Home automation is pretty popular these days, but technology isn’t stopping there. It is also attacking the automotive world head on. These days we can actually use our Android or iPhone devices to start our car. That isn’t all, either. You can lock or unlock the doors from hundreds of miles and miles away. You can even open the trunk or check vehicle status information.

Viper SmartStart comes to mind, but other car and alarm groups are also diving in head first with this type of technology. The Android app needs a bit of work, but still works great for those using a newer Viper Alarm system.

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For more details or to check it out yourself head to the Google Play Store.

Measure Speed & Distance

Have you ever wanted to measure the distance of a hole while golfing, or for other activities? Smart Tools is a group of Android apps that can measure the distance between two objects, and they even have an app to measure the speed of moving objects. Smart Distance will measure the distance, then, once you know how far things are, the Speed Gun app will give you the speed of any moving object.

Tape Measure or Bubble Level

If you’ve ever needed to measure something while on the go and only had a smartphone, or want to quickly level a frame while hanging a picture, we have that covered too. Smart Tools entire pack has a measure tool, or you can get the free measure tool app as well.

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Bubble level apps are a dime a dozen, but getting one with multiple angles, locks, and alerts once you’re level isn’t as easy as you’d think. One simply titled Bubble Level is a good choice, as is iHandy Level Free. These are a few more simple apps that work as useful tools for a variety of uses.

Google Goggles

Instead of heading to Google search and typing in what you’re looking for, imagine being able to search the entire web with an image. This isn’t anything new, but Google Goggles is an app that will scan an object using a phones camera, then search Google for more details. I’ve tried searching wine bottles, landmarks, to even scanning and finding more details about a painting from an Art gallery.

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This also doubles as a barcode and QR code scanner, and Goggles will even translate text from one language to another, which is extremely helpful if you’re traveling abroad. Books, paintings, CDs, business cards and more can all be scanned and recognized. It’s quite powerful and useful all at the same time. Get it from the Google Play Store.

Others

There are also tons and tons of health and fitness related advanced features our smartphones have. For one, you can use the camera or flash for a heart rate monitor, a feature that recently made the highlight list of the new Samsung Galaxy S5.

I personally use my phone to check and board flights with Google Now. Users can set their home DVR, control their BitTorrent downloads, ordering pizza, or even paying for my food and gas using Google Wallet or ISIS Mobile payments.

We’d love to hear what kind of advanced features or neat little tricks you do with your phone in regards to real-world tasks, so drop us a comment below.

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Comments

  1. Daniel Ramirez says

    There is also a built in feature that i just found because it needed an update. Its called Beepn’ go. It uses one of the dots that looks like a sensir on the top of the phone and sends lightwaves to ANY barcode scanner. You can actually scan any card into the app and scan it. I personally use it for my school id to scan and pay for my food. I love galaxy and that app is only compatable with galaxy s4, s5, and note 3. The beam that it sends is called a Mobeam

  2. James Bixler says

    All this is simply blowing me away. I’m finding that I’m going to have to change my habits and know what I can do with the new smart phones. I’m not even settled into my new S5 yet and I have had it now since the first week it was released. Been in the tech game a long time now. But now! I’m paranoid and find myself wanting to curl up into a fetal position.

  3. Steven9761 says

    As well as a brilliant app called PHONE (it allows me to make phone calls on my S4 Mini), another one I find useful here in the UK is the First Bus app. This allows me to check bus routes, timetables, latest traffic news on the entire First Bus network – whether I’m in Glasgow, Aberdeen, or wherever. I can also buy prepaid bus passes that i show my phone screen to the driver as I board. This saves time ficdgetting in pockets looking for paper tickets, or even loose coins to pay by cash, meaning that the journey becomes that little bit speedier.

    I also love the latest incarnation of Google Translate, whereby I open up its built-in camera for instantaneous translation of foreign languages (although this is so far limited to mainly European languages).

  4. Dana says

    Outstanding. Everyone I know says I need the Apple Iphone. I very happy with my Samsung galaxy s4. Seems to have more abilities that I can take advantage of for free. Thanks Android!

  5. bc says

    It’s all piecing the way to the NWO. Essentially eliminating all non-personal/non-electronic means of Commerce.

    • karl cray says

      That it is my friend….heres an interesting post i wrote last night….this is all linked/stemmed from the Facebook apps privacy policy. Who is part of the “daa” or direct advertising act network. Any browser you use keeps track of what you look at. How long u were at the site. What you looked up after. And all other personal information (phone, email, Facebook web address, pictures and what sites you have been viewing). Not only that donno if anyones aware but your phone has a built in “devise only” GPS system. Which records your location at all times. EVEN when location mode is off and even with no signal. The app is pretty damn hard to find. And when you do find it its pretty much impossible to delete. Mine runs through “QUALLCOM izat.”) What’s yours? Also most people don’t know they’re phones are automatically synced with they’re google or iMac account. If you read their privacy policy youll see that most of the time all your texts, pics, contact and other personal information is set from the factory to automatically send all your info to thier servers. If someone, some company or some government entity wanted to stalk you im sure it wouldn’t be hard…. The NSA just admitted they were spying on all american citizens. Our cell phones are just the tip of the iceburg I’m sure…….all true. People have no idea what they are doing to themselves. Even us just writing these comments are putting keywords we say (nsa, nwo) into a databank so later on when they start the real police state or depopulation agendas the thought police can go back in time and say we are terorrista. My phone is virtually un-linked to me now though. Not 100% but I’m getting there. I suggest you do the same. First I would find what app is running your devise only GPS and stop that. Its hard to do but when they start they’re bs at least I’ll know they dk exactly where I’m at at that moment. Be safe. Killuminati!

      • emily says

        What Antivirus or clean up apps would you recommend for a sg4. Any suggestions or privacy tips are greatly appreciated. TY

      • WendeeMcCee says

        @Karl Cray – THANK YOU for your post.  Many of us have questioned the possibilities of our privacy, identity and security being tracked and/or at risk.

        The details and allegations made in your post are written as if to affirm this and have clearly created cause for concern.

        You’ve written a post that appears to show you have a knowledge, insight and expertise that so many of us don’t.

        But, what’s clearly missing from your detailed account are specific instructions on how we, too, can “UNLINK” ourselves, like you say you nearly have.

        So, it’s no wonder people are asking to hear more from you.

        You took the time to write an in-depth account of your knowledge, so please extend your expertise further and honor us with a reply.

        HOW can we, like you, “unlink” ourselves? 

        Thank you!

  6. benny says

    All these are spectacular,but most apps deplete battery usage very fast,if you are out and about that is,the ones for home use are the most helpful.

  7. applesucs says

    Agreed…android is the best thing that ever happened. If some apple people were just given a teaser for a month I don’t think they would ever go back. S6 coming soon,save your pennies, or in this case your whole piggy bank, but it will be worth it.

  8. Pradyot Kumar DebRoy says

    It is a revolution of modern technology and ley man also will be helpful for their devolvement

    • Clement says

      Please I have tried downloading the scanner into my Galaxy Grand 2 from Goggle play store but it doesnt work. It is an android fon n its one of the 5 things an android fon can do. Is it not compatible or that its not meant for the G.Grand 2 brand. Thanks.

  9. Linda says

    These phones battery doesn’t hold up long enough. Because if I get standard about 3 or 4 hours on street corners in a dangerous areas I want be able get help on time.

  10. pam says

    Anyone one have a Droid Maxx ?Cheetah apps r they good? What can I use for my phone? I have a bunch of apps that came with this phone. How do you get any privacy? I’m a virgin with a smartphone and I need all the help I can get. I don’t know what to do because I never hear about my phone. HELP please

  11. Keith says

    I have a Sony xperia z2. It has a stamina and ultra stamina mode. On ultra stamina, a half battery will last 15 days on standby. It shuts down everything except calls and texts. Just like an ACTUAL phone. 😁😁

  12. Carla Casillas says

    I have a Galaxy Mega…I totally love it.
    The only problem is that my battery drains super d ast. Even after I close all my apps…it still drains fast.
    Any suggestions?

  13. Bhaskar.Thota says

    Samsung galaxy SII series my mobile its a very good applications using for web in this phone ………..
    Guntur

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