Smartphones. What can you do with them?


So you have a smartphone.  Be it Android, Apple or Windows Phone 7.  Or some other platform.  Now what?

Smartphones are becoming more and more popular, as they become cheaper to produce and more popular, and people are following their friends and buying something similar to them.  Now, this isn’t a post about the differences between the platforms, I’m not even remotely going there as I believe in each to their own.  I am writing this as an Android enthusiast however.

So now you have your shiny new bit of tech, what can you do with it?  Some people like just to text and call, some treat it as an extension of a PC.  Well, I hope here to explain some of the ways you can use your new bit of technical wizardry?

The basics:  Yes, you can make calls.  And you can send texts.  But don’t think for a moment that you are stuck with the apps that came with your phone.  You can get different diallers for calls that arrange your contacts in a different way.  For texting, you can go with GoSms, Chomp, Handcent… find what works for you!

Internet:  Yes you CAN browse the net on your phone.  I do it all the time, in fact, I use my phone more than my laptop as I don’t have to fire the phone up, and sometimes its just a quick bit of info that I’m after.  Also, you really, really don’t have to stick with the browser that comes with your handset.  To name but a few, Firefox, Opera mini and mobile, Skyfire, Dolphin.. all bring a different twist and different features.  And some,  and whisper this quietly in case Google are listening, have bookmark folders…

Apps:  I’m sure you have all heard of the sensation that are apps.  They are everywhere, from the rude, to the fun, to informative, to extremely geeky.  You can also access them through your laptop or pc too at the various appstores (or marketplaces or whatever the manufacturers like to call them). So stock up on them, try them, play with them and see what you like!

Internet content:  So your handset comes with facebook.  Have you ever thought that there can be other ways to access your facebook feed?  Or are you a twitter user (a lot of CoolSmartPhone guys are on there!).  Have a look at Tweetdeck, Foursquare, Tweetcaster, Seesmic etc etc… go on, give them a twirl!

Music: Yes you get a music player with your handset.  Its ok, but again, ther are other options.  Doubletwist, Poweramp, Winamp…  and there are music streaming options.  Ever though of Spotify?  For a tenner a month (or free on certain 3 plans) you can download all the music you want.  And they have a free option.  Moreover, there is Amazon music, and Google music coming soon.  Physically owning music?  Soooo last century…

Maps.  at a recent stag night, I counted half a dozen Android phones and an iPhone.  And only one of us knew how to use Sat Nav on them.  Google Maps is incredibly powerful and comes with free navigation!  who needs a TomTom?

Radio:  Like radio?  like listening to various stations? Or do you have rubbish reception where you live?  I use TuneIn radio, but there are many others.  Great sound and great choice!

Games:  From time wasters, to big in depth playfests,from free to paid – gaming is something that is getting better and better on all platforms.  Ever heard of Angry birds?  No?  soon you will regret that you have…

Book readers: From Aldiko, to Moonreader and many more, you can read books on your handset.  Kindle?  Nook?  why?!?!

Pretty stuff: So you look at your phone and it looks pretty.  Lots of eye candy.  Ever wondered of you can change it?  Well you can.  Your phone comes with a launcher, whether its HTC’s Sense, or Motorolas Motoblur (or whatever your manufacturer provides).  But have a look in the market and you will find such pleasures as ADW launcer, WP7, Launcherpro, Regina and PB shell.  More and more are coming.  And you can change these in ways that you never even originally though of!

Your software:  Have a look on CoolSmartPhone for the excellent post about ROMs.  You can change your software, you can get rid of all the wonderful software that the networks have decided you need (commonly known as bloatware… and that is being polite), you can use your handset in the way you want.  But research carefully, it doesn’t come without risks!

So, have a look at forums, articles, blogs, try new apps, have a poke around.  You will find that your money has bought you a device that is very powerful, flexible and adaptable!  Have fun…

  • Younggrant3

    used my defy instead of my satnav on our last trip wont bother with the satnav again phone wins hands down

  • Pete

    And how about Geocaching? I’ve also got nifty android app that adds gps co-ords to photos taken with my Canon DSLR….

  • Danjus

    Let me tell you, with my new G2x and swype, I’m writing my texts much faster then on computer! I had google docs setup, and whenever I have time, I would continue or start new texts for my blog. The only thing faster is voice recognition. Great thing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1060687931 Terran Brown

    I love mine…. last night I was listing to the JFK ATC and watching the flights in and out live with another proggy….

    I do far more with mine than phones….. OBDII for my car, plane watching ( as above ), ship watching, email ( my biggest use ), working with images ( flickr for example ) social networking and loads more….

    I’ve always been a smart phone user its just the new ones take it to a whole new level and past the point of needing a PC…..

    T

  • Sparklecomet

    i want to buy a smart phone JUST for gaming!!! and i am waiting for LG Optimus 4X HD but i hope that it’s not too expensive, because HD and Quadcore 1.5 GHz is really something for and Xbox, a wii or a desktop computer for games.