Most of us know how to use our smartphones for obvious things like phone calls and apps, but did you know that your smartphone can help you redecorate your house or create a romantic dinner? We look at 5 new ways to use your smartphone that you may not have thought about.
Often, the best way for you to learn to use your new smartphone is to read the manual. No one reads the manual. Well, maybe some do but I don’t; I prefer to throw caution to the wind and haphazardly start pressing buttons and downloading apps. If I’m unable to figure out something on my own, then I usually hit up friends on Facebook or find a video on YouTube – there’s always help on YouTube.
The problem with self discovery when it comes to your smartphone is that you pigeonhole your knowledge; you get stuck doing the same things, playing with the same apps and just making plain ol’ phone calls. But, we found cool things that you can use your smartphone for, and we don’t mean for a door stop or selfies.
Measure Your Dimensions
Using Advanced Ruler Pro for Android, or Visual Measure for iPhone, smartphone users can measure the distance and height of an object making home decor projects much easier. Measure twice, cut once is the standard and with these apps your measurements will be much more accurate thanks to advanced calibration functions and your phone’s camera.
iPhone users also have the Acoustic Ruler Pro which uses sound reflection to measure distance, much like how bats determine their flight path. With one iPhone you can measure distances up to 4 feet, or up to 82 feet with two.
What The Heck Was That?
Just as fun to say as it is to use, Google Goggles is the ultimate travel companion. Using your smartphone camera, scan an unidentifiable object – such as a landmark, artwork, product, bar code, QR code and more – and Google Goggles will identify it for you. Goggles can read text in eight different languages and translate it into other languages, which helps travelers avoid eating those God awful things I’ve seen on menus.
I’ve tried it a few times and the accuracy is getting better but the program still has a few hiccups. There seem to have been recent updates, as well. Google Goggles can be downloaded for Android and iPhone.
Gain Control Of The Whole World
You can control the world, even if the world is just your living room. There are products, such as thermostats and security cameras, that can be controlled and monitored from your smartphone. You can use your smartphone as a remote control for things like PowerPoint and Roku and to start your car. In fact, there are car makers currently that are adding built-in technology that allow you to start your car as well as locate it in a parking lot or structure.
Paint The Town Red
Having just decorated our bedroom on a budget, my need to decoratively fix the rest of the house is quickly growing – and there’s an app for that. Sseveral, in fact. ColorSmart by Behr will allow you to browse through their selection of colors, photo match colors, share your projects on social media and more. It’s available for Android and iPhone.
Ikea, a house favorite around here, has a new augmented reality app that allow you to virtually place their furniture in your room before you head to the store. All you do is scan the page or pages of the Ikea 2014 catalog, place the catalog where you would like the furniture or item placed and the app will create a 3D model of the item as it would look in that location.
Set The Mood
Your smartphone can also help turn you into the ultimate romantic. Set the mood or prepare for a party by using your smartphone to control the color of your lights. Philips Hue will allow you to use a timer to gradually increase your bedroom lighting for a cheerful wakeup, recreate the colors of a sunset, sunrise or a summer day, or create the perfect healing light for what ails you.
You can also use apps to help you write a romantic poem, cook the perfect steak, or find the best and most romantic proposal that’s sure to boost your hero status on all social media.