21 Aug Smartphone Life Hacks You’ll Wonder How You Ever Got Along Without
According to a 2018 study by the Pew Research Center, 77% of people in the United States own a smartphone. That averages to 80% of men and 75% of women.
As for the age breakdown, as you likely can guess, 94% of adults 18 to 29 own a smartphone. It drops slightly to 89% for adults 30 to 49 and a bit more to 73% for adults 50 to 64. Of adults 65 and over, nearly half—46%—own a smartphone.
Through the Internet, smartphones make it possible to be in the know about any and everything. “It’s wonderful. Right?” You can read the news, see the weather forecast, try a recipe, listen to a podcast, and get answers to your most pressing questions. As long as you have Wi-Fi, you can use the Internet.
Smartphones help you communicate using a variety of strategies. You’re not just limited to calling or texting like you are with a cellular phone. With a smartphone, you can do all that plus share images and video, instant message, make video calls, exchange email, and communicate on any social media platform.
Multiple Devices in One
Smartphones are all your old devices in one. Remember the days of carrying around a GPS, camera, phone, mp3 player, and e-book reader? Yeah, my bag is feeling heavier just thinking about it. Now all those devices, and more, come standard on the cleverly designed smartphone.
And then there are smartphone apps. According to a 2018 study by Statistica, currently more than 7 million apps are available! And with all the apps available, you’ll love just how much easier it is to do most anything from printing a picture from your phone to finding someone to run an errand.
With loads of benefits to owning a smartphone, check out these tips to get the most out of it, plus a few other uses to make your life easier.
5 Smartphone Hacks
- How many times has the battery on your phone died in the middle of an important call or as you’re taking that one-and-only photo with a favorite celebrity you spotted in the airport? No worries. In the future, you can extend your battery life with low power mode.
- Remember that time you were on vacation and forgot your charger? “Ugh.” Next time, use the USB port in the back of the hotel TV.
- If you’re falling short on data, breathe. It’s going to be okay. Put your phone in airplane mode and turn your Wi-Fi radio on. You can make calls with voice over IP. You can use Wi-Fi hotspots to check your email, upload pictures, or browse the Internet.
- Ever cringe when someone asks to borrow your phone because you don’t want anyone accessing your sensitive data? Use guest mode when someone wants to borrow your phone.
- If you are nearsighted and forgot your glasses, use the smartphone camera to see faraway things more clearly. It captures images in 20/20, so place the phone in front of what you’d like to see clearly and then look through the phone window. “Now that’s better.”
11 Smartphone App Hacks
So now that you have some ideas for your phone, here are a few apps you can download and enjoy right now.
We’ll start with apps that make it easier to get around town. Zipcar lets you rent a car for as little as one hour and for as long as several days. This app hosts a membership service and requires a monthly fee. Turo provides neighbor-to-neighbor car borrowing. Rent by the hour or by the day. Rent your car while you’re travelling instead of storing it at the airport. You can make money with your car while on vacation instead of spending money on daily storage fees. Lyft, Uber, and Kabbee are a few popular rideshare services. They allow you to catch rides with local vehicle owners. You can find them in many spots across the country. Ride apps are not just about vehicles though. There are also apps for bikes. Spinlister lets you loan out your bike or borrow someone else’s for a fee.
In the mood for some tasty food? Check out a few apps that help you access a wide variety of options to satisfy your culinary interests. GrubHub lets you order food through local restaurants. Instacart brings grocery delivery to your door in an hour or less. Plated and Blue Apron are just a couple of food apps that make it easy to enjoy meal prep delivery. Besides food, you can satisfy your thirst. Minibar is an app for delivery of wine, spirits, and beer in an hour or less.
Travel and Events
Eventbrite and Nearify help you find fun activities and events happening in your area. If you’re on vacation and don’t know the native language, Google Translate will help you communicate. You simply type in your own language what you’d like to say in another language. It will translate for you, and then you can play it audibly, so the natives can hear the recording. You can also use the recording to practice saying it yourself. Also, when you’re travelling, use the Smart Traveler app to get travel alerts, warnings, embassy locations, emergency service numbers, and more.
Never get lost again. Google Maps gives you directions to where you want to go. Moovit helps you use public transit effectively. You can figure out connecting routes, learn when transit will arrive, and find stops. Sidekix is urban discovery on the go. It maps your walk based on what you’d like to see along your route.
Smartphones are a favorite bedtime reading device. If you’re one to use it to read before bed, use the Twilight app to reduce the blue light on your phone. That way, your brain will produce more melatonin to help you fall asleep. If you struggle with morning grogginess, use Sleep Cycle. This app studies your sleep to wake you in the light sleep cycle, so you awaken rested and refreshed.
NeighborGoods helps you lend things between neighbors to save money. Do you need a wheelbarrow for a one-time project? Instead of buying one and struggling to find storage, borrow it on NeighborGoods. Poshmark is the place to go when you need to buy or sell clothing. You can even display your closet of trendy merchandise.
Think about the best tips for your lifestyle and start using them right away. You’re busy. You’ve got places to be and connections to make. Let your smartphone do the work for you. After all, it is a phone so getting the help you need should be as easy as calling a friend.
“Mobile Fact Sheet.” (2018) Pew Research Center Internet and Technology. Retrieved: http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/mobile/
“Number of apps available in leading app stores as of 1stquarter 2018.” (2018) Statistica. Retrieved from: https://www.statista.com/statistics/276623/number-of-apps-available-in-leading-app-stores/