Smartphones have been around for quite a while. Take a look around you at any point and chances are that you see at least a few people with their faces in their phones. They have made our lives so much easier. We can keep in touch with friends and family around the world, they can entertain us, we can read books with our phones, we can call a taxi with apps, and we can even access the world of the Internet!


With so much connectivity and so many uses, it’s no wonder they’re called smartphones. It’s a big upgrade from when we used to carry around heavy bricks with antennas that were only capable of displaying a single line of text and had horrible battery life. But as we grow used to new technology, we become less impressed with new advances… they’re almost expected to happen.

In the future, our phones will be capable of far greater things, but let’s take a moment and think about some of the things that our phones that can do now, that you may not even be using. I say this because even now, in 2016, it amazes me how many of my social media friends are not taking full advantage of their smartphone’s features.


Use it as a Hotspot

Many people don’t know that you can use tethering to connect to the internet with other devices. Tethering used to be almost a taboo word. Carriers frowned upon it. Users installed 3rd party apps after hacking their phones to make it work. But now, many carriers have embraced the fact that users may occasionally need to use their smartphones as high-speed Internet for their other devices. Many plans now include a set amount of mobile hotspot usage. My Sprint plan includes 3GB per month. If you’re in a spot where there’s no free WiFi for your laptop, then turn on tethering mode on your mobile phone and use the 4G LTE connection to access the Internet on your laptop. Just make sure that it’s available on your plan first.


Our phones really are Swiss army knives, aren’t they? Flashlight apps are very common on modern smartphones, and some manufacturers even provide you with one as default. Utilizing your smartphone camera’s flash as a portable torch is convenient and useful, just make sure it doesn’t drain your battery too much! If you have a Smartphone Galaxy S7 or Note 5, pull down the quick menu at the top and hit the Flashlight button. I use mine all the time!


Booking Doctor Appointments

While we use our smartphones to keep track of our calendars (hopefully), did you know that services like Doctors App can let you book face to face appointments with a doctor? It’s true! It’s a new level of convenience that beats out waiting in lines or struggling to get an appointment time that’s suitable for you. Of course, your doctor won’t be able to run tests on you (yet!), but it’s a great way to get some valuable advice for your problems.

See also: How to Never Lose Your Smartphone Contacts Again

Remote Control

Tired of having a remote for every device in your TV setup? Well, now you don’t have to! Assuming you have compatible devices, you can access your TV and connected devices using a smartphone app. No more reaching for the remote or asking your friends to pass it over, now you can stay in control using just your phone! Xfinity, DirecTV, and other carriers have apps available. And many Smart TVs do as well.


A Mirror

Your phone’s front-facing camera can act as a mirror! It’s a convenient little pocket mirror and you can even play with lighting settings to make sure you’re looking your best no matter what. You don’t even need to install an app because it’s built into your phone’s default camera application. Convenient!


Fitness Buddy

Your phone can act as both a pedometer and a heart rate monitor with special apps and technology. It makes a great accompaniment to your daily jogs because not only can it monitor your progress, but it can also record it so you know how much you’re working out, and you can also listen to your favorite music while jogging! If you are using a Samsung Galaxy device, setup the S Health app to get started. You can also sync such apps with your smartwatch to create a full fitness program.


What is one thing that you use your smartphone for that some may not have thought of?