Three Things You Didn’t Know Your Smartphone Can Do

BreakingModern — Used to be, a phone was  just for talking and letting your fingers do the walking. That’s ancient history. Your smartphone is how you reserve tables at restaurant, pay bills and do a million other things.

Bryan Conklin, founder and CEO of the app creation and consulting firm Zylo, calls smartphones  “the medium through which we experience our lives.”

But the last time you upgraded your phone, you might not have released you’ve upgraded that experience.

Here are three suprising things your smartphone can do now.


It’ll Get You Wi-Fi Access

It’s easier than ever to find Wi-Fi access, but sometimes you just can’t catch a break. With just a small tweak to your phone’s settings, you can solve that problem. You can use your smartphone as a mobile hot spot when you’re in desperate need of one. This can also come in handy if the power goes out at your house and you need to connect. You may want to try this out to make sure it works before you’re in a pinch. If your current monthly plan doesn’t include tethering, you may have to change that plan, which may add a small amount to your bill each month.

Unless you’re one of the lucky few who still have unlimited data on your smartphone plan, you may want to limit your tethering activities. Every megabyte of data you use through your phone will come from your monthly data limit. Go over and you may find yourself unpleasantly surprised when your bill arrives.

It’ll Count Your Steps

Before you invest in a fancy activity tracker, check to make sure your phone doesn’t have the feature built in. Android owners can download an app called Moves, which uses the phone’s GPS feature to track the distance it travels each day. iPhone 6 owners have access to automatic step-tracking — a feature that works in conjunction with a variety of apps. Unfortunately, the Android version doesn’t run in the background as the iOS version does, so you’ll have to be prepared for heavy battery consumption while you’re tracking.

For some smartphone owners, however, a fitness band is the best solution. Products like the Nike Fuelband and Fitbit Flex reside on your wrist all day, tracking your steps even when you don’t have your phone with you. These wearables interact with a smartphone app, collecting insight on your activities and encouraging you to be more active.


And It’ll Read to You, Too.

One feature many smartphone owners miss is the ability to have information read out loud. Instead of reading a book or news article, you can set your phone to read out loud to you. On your Android device, this feature is called text-to-speech and can be activated in the settings menu. On an iOS device, this feature is called VoiceOver and can be activated by triple-clicking the Home button.

With text-to-speech, be aware that the voice will sound monotonous. For a better audio experience, consider an app like Audible, which is available for iOS, Android and Windows Phone.

If your current smartphone doesn’t accomplish all of these things, your next one will. Stay tuned.

For BMod, I’m .

First/Featured image credit:LG Optimus F5” by John Karakatsanis via Flickr Creative Commons

Second image credit: © doble.d / Dollar Photo Club

Stephanie Faris

Author: Stephanie Faris

Stephanie Faris is the Simon & Schuster author of two middle grade novels, 25 Roses and 30 Days of No Gossip, as well as the upcoming Piper Morgan chapter book series. A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, she worked in information systems for 13 years. Her work is regularly featured on a wide variety of blogs and websites, both under her own name and as a ghostwriter. She lives in Nashville with her husband, Neil.

Share This Post On

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>