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9 Secret Things Your Smartphone Could Do

holding-a-smartphone-gowireless-2019The list of things to do on your phone is staggering, with more options being added with each new android and iPhone iteration. Some of the cool things to do on phones are either well-hidden in the operating system, or simply not well-known. Here are nine secret tricks hiding in your smartphone.

Check the Batteries on Your Remote

When you settle in for an intense night of Netflix binging, you don’t want your television remote to die on you. To check the batteries on your remote, point the remote at your smartphone’s front-facing camera and press a button. If you see the remote’s infrared light flashing on the camera screen, the batteries are fine. Alternatively, you can download remote apps for most types of television, so if your remote dies, you can just switch to your smartphone app.

Staying Safe

Walking alone can be frightening, especially at night or in strange neighborhoods. One of the most useful things to do with your phone if you’re concerned about safety is to download bSafe.

Available for Android and iPhones, bSafe allows you to send invites to people on your contact list, asking them to track your location. You can set a timer that triggers a distress call to contacts if you haven’t reached your destination within a set time period, and you can schedule fake calls to make it look like you’re receiving calls as you walk.

Update Siri’s Pronunciation

The iPhone’s Siri is a great personal assistant, but when it comes to complex words and names her pronunciation is often hit or miss, especially if the word isn’t in English. One of the coolest things to do with Siri is teaching her proper pronunciation.

To do so, activate Siri and tell her to pronounce the work she’s having problems with. After she repeats the word, tell her “you’re pronouncing [the word] wrong.” Siri will then ask you to say the name properly, and offer options for correcting her pronunciation.

Measure Your Blood Alcohol Content

Okay, your smartphone can’t check your blood alcohol content without help (yet). You can, however, purchase a portable breathalyzer from BACtrack, which transports blood alcohol content to an app on your iPhone or Android.

Use Airplane Mode to Charge Faster

Need to speed up how fast your phone charges? Enable Airplane mode and the battery will power up much faster.

Turn of iOS Alarms with Your Face

Remember that old insult “your face could stop a clock?” New iPhone models now come with facial recognition software that can do just that. Stare directly at your screen when an alarm goes off, and the phone will turn off the alarm when it recognizes your face.

Google Smart Lock

This is one of the coolest things to do with Android phones to come across our desks in some time. When you’re in public, it’s important to use a PIN or fingerprint scan to unlock your phone. This offers some added security when you’re out and about, but is a bit of a hassle when you’re safe at home.

Google’s Smart Lock feature allows you instant access to your phone if you’re at home. Go to Settings, tap Security, and then Smart Lock. Use the Trusted Places option to enter your home address. When Google detects you’re at home, it will disable the lock screen. Smart Lock can also be set to disable the screen when the phone’s Bluetooth connects to trusted devices (such as your car stereo).

Remotely Control Your Android Phone

This is, perhaps, one of the most important things to do with Android phones, as it helps you locate your phone in the event of theft (or if you’re just forgetful). Open the Settings and tap on Security. Tap on Device Administrators and check the two boxes next to Android Device Manager: Remotely Locate This Device and Allow Remote Lock and Erase. Now if you lose your smartphone, you can locate and block it without losing your data from Google Find My Device.

Use the iPhone Keyboard as a Trackpad

You may not consider this a cool thing to do with your iPhone, but it’s certainly a helpful trick for editing text messages. If your iPhone has 3D Touch capabilities, firmly press and hold anywhere on the keyboard. A mouse-like trackpad will open, allowing you to drag your finger to move the cursor through blocks of text instead of tapping and hoping the cursor moves where you want.