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5 Things You Didn’t Know Your Smartphone Could Do

5 Things You Didn’t Know Your Smartphone Could Do

Here are 5 things you didn’t know your smartphone could do.

1. Replacement for Your Wallet While some women like carrying around a fashionable purse, I prefer leaving my apartment with as little as possible. There are applications for storing credit card information (Visa, AmEx, and Mastercard have their own apps) and banking information (Bank of America, Capital One, PNC and others have their own apps). And if you have discount or membership cards, there are apps for storing their information as well.Applications to download: PayPal Mobile and CardStar. PayPal Mobile (free) lets you send money on the go from your iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Symbian phones. CardStar (free) lets you keep all of your frequent shopper cards in one place if you’re an Android, Windows, Blackberry or iPhone user.

2. Take Measurements Using some basic geometry, the iPhone can take measurements for you so you don’t have to whip out a tape measure. It’s particularly useful when measurements are out of your reach (like figuring out how high the ceiling is) or when you’re out and about and don’t have a measuring tool handy. While none of the applications are as accurate as using handheld measuring tools, your phone is a quick and easy way to make approximations.Application to download: Point and Measure ($1.99).

3. Identify Things I admit one of my greatest limitations is not being able to accurately identify objects. For instance, I’ll recognize an individual and not remember her name, or see a picture of a famous landmark and not be to recall what it is. Google Goggles is becoming my new secret weapon -snap a photo of something and Google uses the image to perform a search. While it won’t ID a passerby on the street, it’s great for identifying products, famous landmarks, storefronts, artwork, and popular images online, like celebrities. The algorithm behind the recognition technology is improving, so hopefully soon I’ll be able to snap a photo of a woman on the street wearing shoes I’m coveting and find out who makes them!Application to download: Google Goggles, only for Android phones (free).

4. Universal Remote Control With all the electronic devices in our homes today, keeping track of each one is a big task, and keeping track of all the remotes to control them, an even bigger one. Universal remotes are a solution that’s been around for some time. Now you can add a simple infrared device to your iPod Touch or iPhone, download a corresponding app, and turn your iPhone screen into a Universal. Universal remote dongles are generally in the neighborhood of $70 and can be a cost- effective alternative to other universals on the market.Applications to download: Power A. POWER A Universal Remote (free) is a tried and true one that comes in the form of a thin case that you can leave on your iPhone at all times. It’s easy to set up as most apps are preloaded and the buttons are intuitively organized.

5. Advanced Camera While the camera on your phone suffices for everyday pictures, you can get SLR- quality photo with the purchase of an add-on. Some companies offer adapters that let you use your camera lenses on the iPhone, while others offer their own lenses.Application to download: none needed. Photojojo offers an adapter for your Canon or Nikon lenses ($249) or different lenses to add on to your camera (starting at $20).

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