For most of us, it’s impossible to leave the house without bringing our smartphones. They act as our lifeline to both our friends and family and the world around us. But even if you’re already texting and tweeting up a storm, there are still a number of useful apps and functions built into your phone that you might not know about.
We’re here to show you some helpful smartphone apps and features that can improve your everyday life.
1. Use the “Internet of Things” to control your connected home
You may have already heard of the Internet of Things. While the concept might seem complex, in layman’s terms it means it's now possible to use your smartphone to control many aspects of your home — even from hundreds of miles away
Forgot to turn the heat down before you left for vacation? There’s a connected thermostat app for that. Want to adjust the lighting without having to leave the comfort of the couch? That’s controllable from your smartphone as well. You can even watch a security camera feed of your house while you’re on the go for extra peace of mind.
2. Drive easier with crowd-sourced navigation
Thanks to mobile apps and Bluetooth, many aspects of driving have transformed. Navigation apps that crowd-source information from others on the road can provide useful, real-time traffic information, speed limits, safety alerts, and more. Others even let you find info on the nearest available parking space.
Certain makes and models have their own apps with a variety of handy features. Enjoy the convenience of remotely starting your car from your smartphone, get information about engine diagnostics, and much more. Plus, no road trip is complete without connecting your smartphone to your car’s sound system via Bluetooth to play through your phone’s massive library of music or take hands-free calls on the go.
3. Track your health and find ways to get fit
Whether you’re training for a triathlon or you just want to move towards living a healthier life, there are plenty of apps geared around dieting and exercise. Many modern smartphones have features that measure things like heart rate, step count, sleep quality and much more. Third party apps that measure these same statistics with some added functionality are also available. Plus, the increasing popularity of smart watches and other “wearables” that connect to smartphones means it easier than ever to use tech to accurately and automatically track your health.
4. Transfer money from anywhere in the world
Thanks to the Western Union® app, transferring money within the United States or around the world is now possible with just a few taps on your smartphone. Download the app and you'll essentially have our money transfer services in your pocket. There's a whole host of features at your disposal to make the process run as smoothly as possible, whether it is calculating fees or locating the nearest Western Union® Agent location for an in-person pickup.
5. Train your brain
Just because you’re waiting around doesn’t mean that time has to go to waste. There are plenty of apps for learning and self-improvement. Instead of twiddling your thumbs, download a fun game to improve your cognitive skills, your vocabulary, or even your memory.
There are other apps that offer a fun way to pick up a new language with just a few minutes of practice each day. These kinds of “edutainment” apps are a wise way to pass the time on your commute. Soon enough you’ll feel smarter, or on your way to becoming bilingual.