5 things you (probably) didn’t know your smartphone could do

by Dirk and MarjanBe inspired08/02/2017

5 things you (probably) didn’t know your smartphone could do
We use our smartphones mainly to call, text, listen to music or surf on the internet and social media.

But they’ve got quite some other tricks up their sleeve. Like these 5 examples…

  1. Use your smartphone as a level

    Just about every modern phone is equipped with a gyroscope, an instrument that ensures your screen direction turns when you turn your phone sideways, for instance. 

    That same gyroscope is perfect to be used as a level. To check if that new picture you just put up on your wall is straight and level. Both Apple’s App Store and Google Play have tons of apps you could use to that purpose.

  2. Control other devices via Infrared

    This one is only for the Android users out there, because Apple’s iPhone doesn’t come equipped with an infrared module. Such a module can theoretically be used to operate any device that is controlled with infrared commands: your TV, your TV-box, amplifiers, surround systems, …

    Of course, you still need the right app for your device, but there are apps out there that turn your smartphone into a universal remote control.

  3. Automate life

    There are so many apps out there it’s hard to find something you can’t do or control with your phone. But what if you could have apps collaborate for you? IFTTT (or: If This Then That) makes that possible. With IFTTT you could make sure you smartphone automatically switches to wifi when you arrive home or in the office. And that wifi is turned off again when you leave. Or: that every message you put on Twitter is automatically posted to Facebook.

    Nice, but there are more practical uses as well, like smart lights at the office or at home that automatically turn on when the sun goes down. Or garage doors that automatically open when you arrive in your car. Or the heat turning up when you leave the office and head for home. IFTTT itself lists hundreds of pre-made and user-made app combination for you to try, or you can just get to work and make your own combinations.

  4. Recover erased pictures

    You’ve probably, at some point, erased pictures from your computer by mistake. Who hasn’t? But that doesn’t have to be too bad.

    In Apple’s Photos app you can click on ‘Albums’ in the bottom right corner, to find a folder called ‘Recently removed’. Open this and you’ll see every picture you’ve removed in the last 30 days. Click a photo and you can opt to put it back in its original location.

    If you use an Android phone, you can opt for Google Photos. Click the ‘hamburger’ icon top left (three horizontal line above each other) and go to ‘Trash’. Click and hold an image until it’s selected. Then click the arrow icon top right.

  5. Block incoming calls

    Do you get harassed by people calling you and trying to sell you something at the most inopportune times? The remedy is simple: block that caller.

    On an iPhone, you can click on the phone icon and choose ‘Recent’ at the bottom right. Here you see an overview of the most recent calls you got. Click the ‘i’ behind the number you want to block, scroll all the way down and select the call blocking option.

    Android phone have more than one way to go about this, depending on the type or brand of your device. On HTC devices, the procedure is about the same as on an iPhone. On Samsung phones, you can go to the phone settings menu and find a list of blocked numbers where you can easily add new numbers. Of course, there are apps for call blocking as well, such as TrueCaller.

    Are you really receiving a lot of unwanted calls or text messages, have a look at our FAQ.

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