Making the Most of Your Smartphone

Date Posted:11 July 2012 

Whether it’s for business or pleasure, a smartphone is now an indispensable companion for many people, providing communication, information and entertainment at the touch of a fingertip.

Everyone knows smartphones provide access to the Internet, music, videos, GPS, and organising and scheduling tools, but did you know smartphones are capable of even more than that?

Here are some of the more unconventional ways that people are making the most of their Smartphone’s portable power.

Voice memo

This allows you to record voice memos on your smartphone, just like an audio note taker. Ideal for lectures, interviewing or recording that million-dollar idea before it disappears from memory, voice memo is an often-overlooked standard iPhone feature, and is also available in the form of many third-party apps.


Some smartphones have an LED flashlight mode, and there are plenty of flashlight apps you can download. This feature turns your phone into a handy torch; very useful if fumbling for your keys, changing a fuse, or trying to find your way on a dark night.


There are a number of microphone apps that turn your iPhone or smartphone into an actual microphone. Just plug the phone into a sound system via the earphone jack and you have an instant PA system wherever you are.

Fitness coach

There are now smartphone apps available that use GPS technology to track your running or jogging sessions and accurately measure your distance and time, and even monitor your heart rate.

Bill payer

Available on some smartphones and likely to be on all in the near future, NFC technology allows you to use your smartphone to pay at the checkout, just as if you were using a credit or debit card.

Pocket guitar

This amazing app turns your iPhone into a virtual guitar, with virtual strings you can strum and a choice of acoustic, electric, bass and ukulele effects. Just like a real guitar, except it’ll fit in your pocket.

Your phone as a heater

Yes, you heard right, a heater. This iPhone app heats up your iPhone’s onboard processor to create actual warmth for your hands on a cold day. Naturally, it won’t get hot enough to damage your phone, but it does draw a lot of battery power, and so should only be used if you have a portable phone charger handy.

Spirit level

If you’re putting up shelves or need to measure how level a surface is, the Handy iLevel app turns your iPhone into a virtual spirit level. You can also upgrade to the Handy iCarpenter, which includes a virtual ruler and protractor.

Sleep machine

This neat little app turns your iPhone into a soothing sleep centre. If you have trouble getting to sleep at night, just plug in your headphones and drift off to the soothing sounds of crickets and other night noises, or a selection of sleep-inducing music of your choice.

Baby monitor

Another iPhone app with a very practical use. Just place your iPhone in the baby’s room and, if the application detects sounds or movement from the baby, it’ll give you a call on your landline phone, or any other phone number you program.