12 ways to be smarter with your smartphone

In recent years smartphones have taken on an important role in many people's lives. Whether for checking train schedules, planning your appointments, taking photographs, or listening to music and watching videos, these devices are an integral part of modern life.

But if you really think that you're using your smartphone to its full potential, you might want to take a look at these tips and tricks. You might just find a new use for your handy sidekick that you hadn't yet thought of...

1. Emergency contact

Set up your phone so it displays your name and home phone number as a screen saver when in standby mode. This way, if you lose your phone, the person who finds it will have a way to contact you and give it back.

 2. Digital shopping list

Instead of writing out a shopping list you can can simply take some quick pics of what's in your refrigerator, freezer and cupboards. You'll see what you already have and remember what you need to buy.

3. Cable protection

Wrap the spring from and old pen around the end of your charger cable to stabilize it. This will prevent it from breaking.

4. Charge on the go

Most devices now have a USB port that can be used to charge the phone. This can be very useful when you are traveling, especially when you're in a country with different electrical outlets.

5. Bad reception

If you notice that your cell reception is poor, try putting your phone in airplane or offline mode. After a few seconds switch back to normal mode and your smartphone will connect with the closest cell tower.

6. Wake-up call

Having trouble waking up in the morning? Try setting the alarm on your smartphone and then placing it in an empty glass beside your bed. This amplifies the alarm so much that even the heaviest sleepers don't stand a chance.

7. Save your battery

GPS apps use a lot of energy and can drain your battery quickly. To avoid this you can simply program your route, take some screenshots and then use those, instead of running the GPS through the entire trip.

8. Faster charging

Switching your phone to airplane or offline mode will allow it to charge much more quickly.

9. Makeshift stand

If you like to watch videos on your smartphone, you might want to use a stand. In this case, a pair of sunglasses or old cassette tape cover works just as well. (Who knew we'd have a new use for tape cases?)

10. In the dark

If you often have problems finding your smartphone in the dark, you can simply put a few glow-in-the-dark stickers on the case or cover. Another option is to coat the charger cable with luminescent paint.

11. Watch your step

If you absolutely have to text while you're walking down the street, you should probably consider the App Type N Walk. It activates the front camera on your phone and displays the path ahead of you on the background of your smartphone screen so you can see if any danger lies ahead.

12. Secret hiding place

Stick a bill or two in your smartphone cover and you won't be left penniless if you forget your wallet or purse as you're walking out the door. Or, in the worst case scenario, if they get stolen!

With these tricks up your sleeve your phone won't be the only smart thing around. But if you do decide to take a break from your cell phone, it can't hurt either. A little time away from apps and and gadgets can really clear your head and help you think better on your feet!


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