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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.