Connecting Your Phone with Other Devices
Date Posted:15 September 2012
Connecting your smartphone to other devices allows you to do a range of different things, such as talking hands-free, storing and transferring files, connecting to the Internet and using a mouse or keyboard with your phone. Here are three ways you can connect your smartphone to other devices.
This is the simplest way to connect your phone. You simply plug the phone’s USB cable (supplied with most smartphones) into your computer, keyboard or mouse USB port, or into an adaptor if their USB ports are not compatible.
Connecting your phone to a keyboard allows you to enter text and navigate your phone’s features using the arrows and the return, escape and tab keys. When you connect a mouse to your phone, a cursor appears on the phone’s screen and you can drag and drop with it just as you would on a computer screen.
A USB connection lets you use your phone as a storage device, allowing you to transfer files (such as photographs) from your phone to your computer. It also allows you to use your phone as a modem to connect the computer to the Internet, if it has no connectivity of its own (this is known as ‘tethering’).
A Bluetooth connection can connect your phone to any Bluetooth-enabled device, including another smartphone. A short-range wireless connection, Bluetooth is ideal for connecting a wireless headset with your phone or installing a Bluetooth handsfree kit in your car.
Connecting is usually a simple matter. Just select the Bluetooth box from the Bluetooth settings screen on your smartphone, hold the device you want to connect near the phone and tap ‘Scan for devices’. When the name of the device appears on the screen, tap it once to make the connection. If this doesn’t work, you can also enter the password provided with the Bluetooth device.
You can also connect to a Bluetooth-enabled computer to transfer data or even to use your phone as a webcam or microphone. Large data transfers are slower via Bluetooth, however, and will flatten you phone battery faster, so make sure you have your portable phone charger nearby, or consider using a USB connection instead.
If you have a home or office Wi-Fi network, you can use your smartphone to connect with any other DLNA or UPnP-compatible device (most new TVs, stereos, etc. are compatible). All you need to do is to download a player app that can stream data from your smartphone (e.g., Twonky for Android phones or Airplay for iPhones), let it scan your Wi-Fi network and then select those devices connected to the network that you wish to include. You can then stream media such as movies or music from your smartphone and play them on any networked device in any room of your home.
Modern mobiles do so much more than just make calls; frankly, they should consider removing the word ‘phone’ from the title and calling them ‘smart devices’ instead. Their ability to connect with other devices via USB, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi is yet another example of their growing versatility and power.