What are the best ways to kill time on your phone?

If there’s one thing you’ll always notice in a bus stop, queue or waiting area – it’s that people will be messing around with their phones. 

Over the years they’ve become the default “time killer”, occupying those brief moments when there’s nothing else to do apart from perhaps stare at a wall. It could be a doctors waiting room, a train, a lunch break in the park. Break out your smartphone and you can check social media, watch videos, catch a movie or read the news. Or, if you wish, you could do a lot more.

Mobile gaming

Gaming on mobile phones has come a long way since Snake on the old Nokia phones. Now, internet connections and high-powered smartphone technology has allowed full-fledged titles to be played on the device that fits in your pocket.

Whether it’s free-to-play classics like Clash of Clans or Candy Crush, console titles ported to the platform like the older Grand Theft Auto games or massive multiplayer affairs like Fortnite, mobile gaming offer a range of different experiences that cater to all kinds of tastes.

More recently, modern games built for the PC or consoles of today can be played on mobile through cross-platform streaming, opening up new possibilities for fans of passing the time by gaming.

Online casinos

Online casinos are one of the fastest-growing areas of mobile entertainment. Why? They combine the fun of mobile games like those discussed above, with the potential thrill of winning an online jackpot.

As with a physical casinos most of us are familiar with, the games vary from blackjack and poker to roulette and even slots. It’s simply a case of choosing your favourite and getting started. Needless to say, newcomers shouldn’t dive in at the deep end. Stick to bets you can afford, especially when you’re playing games you aren’t familiar with. Learn a little about what you’re going to play before you actually start playing.

Stream a movie or show

The constant connectivity our phones have nowadays,has allowed streaming services to offer their content to customers anytime and anywhere they are – even more so with the recent arrival and expected expansion of 5G,

With faster connections and most sites allowing for movies and TV shows to be downloaded directly to the device, before you even got out (like BBC iPlayer etc), mobile users can instantly access an extensive library of watchable content that can pass the time with ease. The great thing about streaming is it takes little engagement in terms of user input – you simply prop your mobile phone up, sit back and enjoy the show. 

Many networks are now switching to a “speed based” model, rather than restricting people on how much data they’re allowed to use monthly. That, plus the fact that many streaming services are included in packages so you don’t use any of your data allowance at all. It makes it so much easier to just pick up and watch a show during the commute.

Get informed

No longer are we grabbing newspapers on the way to work. Instead we’re subscribing to high-quality news services, written by trained journalists. These will give us the sort of long-form news updates that are sadly missing in the social-media-centric news cycle – where “shock” and “click-bait” news is fast becoming the norm.

Our mobiles are our one-stop shop for just about anything these days, especially when it comes to gaining information about current events. News apps allow users to read and keep up to date about what’s going on in the world around them, usually for free, while online forums such as Reddit allow for you to engage with content more tailored to your personal interests.

If all else fails, one of the most tried and trusted popular avenues for this sort of time killing is social media. Whether it be Twitter, Instagram or Facebook – a user can quickly be in touch and interact with others, being part of a group whilst waiting for a sandwich. 

However, we’re always open for ideas. Do let me know if there’s any games, sites or apps that you use to kill those idle times – we’d love to hear from you and add them here.