First, there was the phone at home; then the cell phone which made and received calls; then came texts; then lists of contacts and simple games on a tiny screen; finally there was music and a camera. All these were phones with additional functions attached. But then came the smartphone, a computer with a phone attached. Nothing has been the same since.
Manage Your Life
Nobody can get far without a calendar, and Android apps can make the most of your calendar’s facilities. When dates appear in your emails, you can arrange to have them automatically placed on your calendar, which can then be shared with anyone you choose. You can set reminders if you might forget.
Android apps can usually integrate seamlessly with any system which runs on Google’s Chrome. Information is kept in the cloud and downloaded to your computer or phone as and when you need it. Some apps are immensely powerful ways to plan, organize, and record every aspect of life at work or at home, although for many people a straightforward notepad app will be more than enough.
At the simplest level, everyone needs a reliable alarm clock to get them up in the morning. Android comes with a basic alarm but an Android alarm clock app can offer much more, with your choice of music to wake you, an instant weather forecast to face the day, and a gentle sleep function to help you doze off at night.
Information at Your Fingertips
Your camera is useful for much more than photos of the kids. If you want to recognize a logo, a strange word, or an unusual object, point your camera and send the image to Goggles. In seconds the answer will come back identifying it. It can also translate foreign signs, recognize famous landmarks, and interpret QR codes (those little boxes full of dots).
Goggles can’t yet recognize living things well, but an app from Cornell University can identify up to 400 species of North American birds.
Keep in Touch
It’s easy to send someone a picture you have just snapped, or upload it from your phone to a social network for everyone to enjoy. Did you know that you can also take a picture and with a few taps have it sent as a postcard home from your holiday?
Increasingly you are able to communicate with your home, as more and more everyday functions are linked to your phone through the internet. You can set your TV recorder, turn your heating up or down, switch on the kettle, and watch your pets from anywhere in the world. Soon you will be able to do much more
Stay in Control
An Android smartphone can take over your life…if you let it. There is so much it can do and it is only limited by the imagination of app writers—who are a very imaginative bunch. Just decide what you want to do, and somewhere there is (or soon will be) an app that can do it.
Billy Lawrence shares his tech knowledge with an online audience. He writes for tech sites as well as lifestyle blogs sharing tips and how-to’s.