10 Amazing Things You Didn’t Know Your Smartphone Could Do

In today’s modern digital landscape, smartphones have transcended their initial role as mere communication devices, evolving into multifunctional tools that cater to various aspects of daily life. While most users are well-acquainted with the basic functions of their smartphones such as making calls, sending messages, and browsing the internet many remain unaware of the myriad capabilities and features that lie beneath the surface. From enhancing productivity to fostering creativity and simplifying everyday tasks, smartphones harbor a wealth of hidden functionalities that can profoundly enrich the user experience.

1. Mobile Photography Mastery

Today’s smartphones feature sophisticated camera systems that rival traditional digital cameras in terms of image quality and versatility. In addition to capturing stunning photos, modern smartphones offer a plethora of advanced photography features and editing tools. Users have the flexibility to experiment with manual camera settings, including exposure, focus, and white balance, enabling them to achieve professional-looking shots. Furthermore, built-in editing apps allow for the enhancement of photos through adjustments in brightness, contrast, saturation, and more.

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2. Mobile Wallets and Contactless Payments

The era of fumbling through wallets for cash or cards is a thing of the past—smartphones now function as convenient digital wallets, facilitating seamless transactions. With the integration of mobile payment platforms such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay, users can securely store their credit, debit, and loyalty card information on their smartphones. This enables them to make contactless payments at participating retailers, streamlining the checkout process and enhancing security by eliminating the need to carry physical cards.

3. Personal Health and Fitness Monitoring

Smartphones have become indispensable tools for monitoring and managing personal health and fitness goals. Integrated sensors and health-tracking apps enable users to monitor various metrics, including step count, heart rate, sleep patterns, and calorie intake. Additionally, specialized fitness apps offer personalized workout routines, dietary recommendations, and progress tracking features to assist users in achieving their health and wellness objectives.

4. Augmented Reality (AR) Experiences

Advancements in augmented reality technology have facilitated immersive and interactive experiences that seamlessly blend the physical and digital realms. Numerous smartphones now support AR applications and games that superimpose digital content onto the real-world environment captured by the device’s camera. Whether it’s exploring virtual museums, navigating interactive maps, playing AR-enhanced games, or trying on virtual furniture, the possibilities for AR experiences on smartphones are virtually limitless.

5. Mobile Document Scanning and Management

The era of bulky scanners and cumbersome document management processes is a thing of the past—smartphones now provide convenient solutions for scanning, storing, and sharing documents on the go. Leveraging the camera function, users can capture high-quality scans of documents, receipts, and notes directly from their smartphones. Furthermore, dedicated scanning apps offer features such as automatic edge detection, perspective correction, and OCR (optical character recognition) for converting scanned text into editable digital formats.

6. Increase Your Phone’s Charging Speed with a Single Button Press

App(s): All Mobile Phones
How: Airplane Mode
Why: Faster Charging Times

Widely known for its function that enables smartphone and tablet users to continue using their portable devices while airborne, ‘Airplane Mode’ offers another significant benefit. It serves as a miracle button for anyone needing to charge their phone in a hurry. Activating ‘Airplane Mode’ stops the device from accessing a network, thereby accelerating the charging process. Gain a few extra minutes of super-powered charging before heading to the movies or meeting a friend at Starbucks by switching to ‘Airplane Mode,’ even if you’re not flying anywhere.

7. Translate Foreign-language Signs With Your Camera

App(s): iOS 15
How: Long-Press, Select, and Translate`
Why: Better Comprehension and Communication

For those who have traveled to places where they don’t speak the language, getting lost due to incomprehensible signs is all too familiar. Imagine how much easier life would be if every confusing sign suddenly made perfect sense. Well, that’s the reality with iOS 15. Take a picture of any sign causing confusion, then edit the photo as usual. Highlight the text and scroll to the ‘Translate’ tab. You’ll reach your destination in no time, with time to spare.

8. Activate Back Tap Functions

App(s): iOS
How: Tap The Back Of Applicable Smartphones
Why: To Create Shortcuts For Different Commands/Settings 

iOS users can access frequently used commands or hard-to-reach settings by activating the ‘Back Tap’ tool on their smartphones. This tool allows for easy access to functions such as opening the camera app, taking screenshots, and turning on the phone’s flashlight. Anyone operating on iOS 14 or above has access to this new function; you just need to locate it. To find the ‘Back Tap’ menu, navigate to ‘Settings > Additional setting > Gesture shortcuts.’ Once there, users can select the settings or commands they want easier access to.

9. Navigate YouTube With Gestures

App(s): YouTube
How: Two-Finger Tap
Why: To Navigate Videos With Ease

Many begin with just one video and end up spending hours lost in a rabbit hole of unintended clips. Since so much time is spent on YouTube, users may as well maximize their experience. Moving a video forwards or backward in 10-second increments can be done by tapping two fingers on either side of the screen. This technique also works for navigating sections (chapters) within a video. This two-fingered tip should theoretically eliminate the annoyance of fumbling through a clip for the desired spot.

10. Discover Exactly What Your Phone Knows About You

App(s): iOS
How: Checking ‘Frequent Locations’
Why: Check Location History

Cellphones are no longer just phones; they can do almost everything and more. If a mobile device’s location settings are activated, they act as personal GPS trackers. In other words, they know where you are. Discovering what’s known about you isn’t challenging, but it isn’t always reassuring either. To uncover the truth, navigate to the phone’s ‘Settings’ menu, proceed to ‘Privacy > Location Services > System Services,’ and finally ‘Frequent Locations.’ Here, you (and ‘They’) can see where you’ve been and how much time you’ve spent shopping at Abercrombie & Fitch lately.

Smartphones transcend their role as mere communication devices; they serve as powerful tools that empower users to streamline tasks, unleash creativity, and enhance everyday experiences. By delving into the hidden capabilities and features of their smartphones, users can unlock a world of possibilities and harness the full potential of these indispensable devices in their daily lives.

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