The Features You Didn't Know Your Smartphone Had!


Oh, how far has the humble smartphone come in such a short space of time? There was once, and not too long ago, a time when phones were very basic indeed, even if it didn't seem that way at the time. Remember when the main function of your phone was to actually, you know, call people? It seems like that has taken a backseat these days, with the focus being more on modern technological advances. This makes your smartphone more like a personal computer in your pocket.

You already probably think you have got a good thing going on. All your favourite apps take pride of place on your home screen. Your most dialled numbers reserve a place on your speed dial (is that still a thing?). Your loved ones find themselves with emojis next to their names in your contact list. Your phone is wrapped up in the best iPhone 6S case you could find. It's all good fun, right?

Not all phone features are created equal, though, and some of them are flying under the radar. You want to get the most out of your smartphone, don't you? And we're here to help you. With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the features you didn't know your phone was capable of.

Automate Your Life

How often have you thought to yourself that your life would be much easier if somebody would just take over and manage it for you? We've been there before, don't worry. Now, thanks to smartphone technology, that dream can become a reality. Automation software is certainly not a new phenomenon - at least not in the world of business - but now it's gone one step further than before.

There are automation apps designed to make your life much easier than it already is. And heaven knows; we could use all the help we can get. Most of them come with built-in functions, but you can create your own too. So you can, say, set your mobile data to automatically switch off when your phone identifies a WiFi connection. You can tell your phone to turn itself off after a certain time. You can even sync things up so that your Facebook profile picture automatically changes to your last Instagram upload. Why do it yourself when there's something else to do it for you?

Change the Android Interface

If there were to be just one criticism levelled in Android's direction, it's that things don't look quite as pretty as its Apple counterpart. It's one frustrating aspect of owning an otherwise fantastic piece of technology. As far as we're concerned, some Android phones are far more than just runner-ups to the mighty iPhone. And yet, the home screen leaves a lot to be desired.

For a while now, Android users have voiced their displeasure of the default launch pad. Little did they know that the answer was staring them in the face all along. A quick trip to the Google Play store and search for 'launcher' could be the answer to all your problems. Well, maybe not all of them, but at least as far as your phone's interface is concerned.

A particularly good choice would be the Next Launcher 3D. It resembles the standard Android interface but allows more customization options. One of which is the ability to turn your home screen 3D - and why wouldn't you want to do that?

Identify Those Great Unknown Songs

Is there anything more infuriating than an absolute belter coming on the radio, only for the DJ to make no mention of the artist or song name? That tune - that could well have grown to become your favourite - is lost forever. You'll never know the joy of hearing it again. All you have is the memories of those few minutes you spent together.

At least, that was until music discovery apps like Shazam came along. There's a reason they became instant hits - because they were incredibly useful. I bet you didn't know, though, that most modern smartphones now come equipped with that same built-in technology. Now, all you need to do is ask Siri (or the voice recognition software of your choosing) what's playing and they'll tell you what's up.

Pair Up with Other Devices

From the moment we discovered this was a possibility, our lives have never quite been the same ever since. Most advanced smartphones now come with the ability to sync with your other devices. It's that same old concept of having your iPod link with your iTunes library. Now, though, that technology has gone further than we ever expected it would.

With the use of infrared signals, you can control all your other devices from your handheld smartphone. Believe me, this one is a game changer. If you thought you were lazy before, wait until you uncover this little beauty. Forget about manually browsing the Netflix and YouTube apps on your smart TV, now you can search away using your phone. Yeah, that's right. You heard me; control your television with your phone.


Play Your Video Games

One of the biggest unveilings of Sony's Z2 and Z3 ranges were the ability to sync up with your PlayStation 4. The rate at which smartphones have gained incredible power is astonishing. Now, we're at the point that your phone can handle intricate video games.

If you've got one of Sony's latest smartphone offerings, say hello to a world of remote gaming. All you need is a special link to hook your PS4 controller up to your phone and you're ready to go. Your phone acts as your screen, and everything else remains the same.

Now You're Speaking My Language

There was a time that the world was divided by the language barrier. We'd travel abroad with our (mostly useless) translation pocket books. We'd stumble through awkward phrases that didn't make much sense. We'd hire a translator to speak on your behalf. Not anymore. Technology has become such that your phone can now automatically translate your voice to any language in the world.

Stuck in a shop in Spain struggling to get your message across? Load up one of these translation apps, say what you have to say, and let them communicate for you. Pretty great, if you ask us.

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