Now that Android phones seem to be everywhere, it helps to take a quick look at some of the unusual things they can do, in addition to the most mundane task of all, making a telephone call. The fact is that with each passing year, smartphones get smarter and smarter, to the point where calling them phones seems like a misnomer. When you own a device that can make videos, take photos, do word processing, utilize thousands of apps to accomplish virtually any personal chore, diagnose car troubles, instantly turn speech into text, and act as a versatile emergency alert device, calling it a telephone is like calling a car a storage device because it has a trunk. Among the hundreds, possibly thousands of things your Android phone can do, here are five that somehow seem to travel under the radar of public consciousness. Nevertheless, they are highly useful and anything but trivial.
A Traditional Word Processor
You can turn your phone into a word processing laptop with the addition of a small USB OTG device. This OTG (on-the-go) hardware allows you to connect a standard-size keyboard to your Android, thus freeing you from the confines of those hard-to-use onscreen, universally-despised typing pads. The connecting hardware costs less than a cup of coffee at your favorite bistro.
To turn your phone into a mobile financial assistant, all you need to do is download the financial planning app of your choice. Some products focus on one particular area, like budgeting, investing, saving, or tracking a specific expense category. One of the cleverest ones lets you see exactly what your future student loan payment will be based on how much you borrow for school. Using a student loan calculator is a smart way for young people to get a handle on their finances and help them estimate their monthly payments for education loans. Combined with other simply planning applications, like ones that help you set aside a percentage of each paycheck or that predict your weekly grocery bill, all support the same goal, which is assisting people who want to control where their money goes from month to month.
Under your settings tab and somewhere, depending on the model of your device, under the screen backlight controls, you will find a tab labeled flashlight. This thing eats up a lot of battery power, but it’s a useful emergency light if you’re ever stuck in the woods or locked in a dark cabin.
Car Repair Diagnostician
You can download a dirt-cheap app but have to cheat by also purchasing an also very cheap device that plugs into your car’s under-dash. Connected via Bluetooth, the device sends data to your phone that reveals the state of the engine’s health. This is a real money-saving technique because you can find out exactly what’s wrong with your car before taking it to a repair shop. The app also gives you an estimate of the total repair bill.
A Voice-to-Test Assistant
If your Android was manufactured within the last three years, you’ll find a V2T, voice-to-text, app under one of the settings sub-tabs. After you get used to it, and learn to speak very slowly and clearly, it will turn your spoken words into written, on-screen text.