It’s no surprise cell phones can be used as a GPS, a music player, a camera, an alarm clock and more. Smartphones have come a long way in recent years and, as phones have gotten better, apps have become more innovative, making our lives simpler.
But even if you fully utilize your phone, you might not be aware of some of the lesser known tools available in the app store. Think you’ve got every app under the sun? Here’s a look at seven super helpful, surprising tools you didn’t know your phone could handle.
If you’ve ever hung a photo or picture on the wall, you know the importance of aligning it perfectly. Without a level handy, you might use the naked eye to determine whether a picture is straight. But why risk it? No one’s eye sight is that perfect, especially up close, since your perspective is so skewed. Rather than risk hanging a picture awkwardly or making unnecessary holes in your wall, download an app that can turn your phone into a level.
Once you’re ready to complete a project, place your cell phone on top of a picture frame laid flat against a wall (or another object). A bubble will then appear on the phone screen, which helps you gauge whether an object or surface is leveled. Move the object up or down as needed until the bubble is centered.
2. Thermal Imager
Thermal imaging cameras range in price from a few hundred dollars to over a $1,000. If you have a smartphone, you can get thermal images for far less thanks to cheap thermal imaging camera attachments available for Android and iOS devices. Once you purchase a camera attachment, download the app that supports your particular attachment and get started.
This attachment transforms your smartphone into a powerful thermal imager. Use the camera whether you’re at home, work or outdoors. You’ll be able to identify temperature and thermal images in detail, and make out objects when you’re in complete darkness, fog or smoke.
3. Credit Card Scanner
Do you run a small business and service clients away from your home or place of operation? If so, you might accept checks or cash if you can’t process credit cards while on the road. These are acceptable methods of payments, but checks aren’t always reliable, and depending on how much a client owes, you might feel uncomfortable walking around with cash in your pocket.
If you prefer accepting credit or debit cards, get a credit card scanner for your smartphone and complete credit card transactions while on the move. This process is simple and fast, and it’ll be easier to maintain an accurate record of transactions between you and customers.
4. Measuring Tape
Measuring some furniture? Need to know the dimensions of a box, photo or frame? If you need a tape measure, but one isn’t available, download a measuring tape app to your smartphone and use it whenever you need to determine the length or width of an object.
This is how it works: point your smartphone at the edge of whatever you’re measuring and then tap the screen to start measuring. Move the device slowly from the start point to the end point of an object, and then tap the screen to stop measuring and get your reading.
5. Remote Control
How many times have you needed to change the station, but the remote was on the other side of the room? With a smartphone, you can turn the channel or raise the volume on your TV without leaving your favorite chair.
For this to work, you need a smart TV or a device that connects to the internet and has Bluetooth capabilities. You’ll also need to download your smart TV’s app to utilize the remote control feature.
If your smartphone has a temperature sensor, there are also apps that function as a thermometer. These apps can determine the temperature around your smartphone, whether you’re inside or outside.
With so much power in the palm of your hand, you might wonder what you did before the existence of smartphones. With so many tools and features available for free or at a low price, these devices are making our lives easier and more efficient than ever.