Do you know what your phone can do? Sure, it can call and text people, and access the internet even when you’re not connected to wifi, and it sure can wake you up in the morning with those annoying alarm sounds we all dread to hear, but do you know what else it can do? Because there’s a lot more to the phone in your pocket than many people tend to think about.
So, the phones we all use on a daily basis have a lot more features to them than we first realise. Indeed, most of the time the manufacturers, as well as the people selling the phones to us, won’t even tell us about these features, and it’s up to us to find them out for ourselves!
And if you’re curious about the power behind the little screen you might currently be using to read this article on, here are a few of the surprising phone features you might want to get to know a little more about.
Your phone is capable of a lot, and knowing just what features are available to you might just improve the way you use it!
A New Emphasis on Digital Wellness
Digital wellness is a fairly new term, relating to the amount of screen time-related issues that people are experiencing these days. Some people never seem to get off their computer or are always on their phone both at home and at work, and this could lead to a variety of issues, including eye exhaustion, a lack of sleep and sleep quality, and in some cases, even seizures.
There are plenty of digital wellness features hidden in your smartphone. For example, simply opening up the ‘Health’ app on your phone can tell you all about the way you sleep, and how long you spend in bed, and connecting this to something like a smartwatch can lead to even more detailed data on what happens when you’re not conscious.
You can also make good use of ‘Do Not Disturb’, which comes on every phone, to ensure you’re not being kept up by notifications when you’re asleep or it’s past a certain hour. And ultimately, in your settings section of your phone, you can find out just what apps are taking up the most of your time. If you feel bad about any of the usage hours you see here, this could be the motivation you need to cut back.
The Hidden Utilities
Many phones have hidden utility apps that come preinstalled. Something like a spirit level definitely isn’t a typical software you would think about downloading, but if you open up the ‘Measure’ app on your iPhone, you’ll be able to find one right there!
You can use the ‘Passbook’ to store all of your tickets. You’ve even got a whole ‘Compass’ app on your phone too, if you’re ever lost in the woods and need to find the way out.
The Power of AI Companions
AI is something we’re using more and more on a day to day basis. It’s been in our phones for a long time, thanks to the invention of Siri by Apple, but now it’s in our homes and our other systems, such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home. But the AI in your phone, which you may often forget about if you never utter the phrase ‘Hey Siri!’ whenever you have a query, is capable of a lot more than you may think.
Example: Siri can read out your texts if you ask it to. Let’s say you’re driving and you can’t get to the phone, but you heard the notification pop up, just ask for Siri to tell you what’s been said. Plus, you’ll be able to reply to the person in exactly the same way. That saves a lot of time and ensures your focus is always on the road ahead.
Of course, AIs like Siri have their drawbacks too. It needs to be able to hear you clearly, so if you’re in a noisy environment, you won’t be able to make use of it (but you can still type questions into it!). Otherwise, ask Siri to open up your files for you, text your loved ones, and simply search the web for anything you’re curious about.
There’s a Lot More in Your Settings Than You Realise…
And finally, it’s time to delve into the settings of your phone, straight from your home screen, and see what’s really there. You might find a new update waiting for you in the alerts at the top, and you can read through a handy guide on ios how to update if need be, and make sure you read the new terms and conditions of the update before you press agree!
Similarly, we all know about ‘Location Settings’, and we all know how to turn those off or tweak them to ensure an app doesn’t access information about where we are, but do you know this goes a little bit deeper?
If you’re very serious about your privacy and you’re using an iPhone, you need to find a tab called ‘Significant Locations’, where your phone will let you know all about the locations you visit on a regular basis and how it’s been tracking you to and from these places. Be sure to clear out this history and turn the option off – when the phone asks if you’re sure, say yes!
For any Android users out there, go to the ‘Advanced’ section in the ‘Locations’ tab and choose ‘Delete Location History’, to ensure there’s no tracking evidence on your physical whereabouts as well.
There’s a lot more to your phone than meets the eye! Make sure you know all about the hidden apps, the settings you might need to turn off, and just how much AIs like Siri can do when you talk to them. You never know just how helpful a phone can be until you really experiment with it.