The Ultimate life hacks every smartphone user should know


 What's a life hack, you ask? Well, think of it as a trick that makes your life easier. Like knowing where to plug your phone to charge it when there's no charger around. Or knowing how to protect any phone against sand or water damage while on the beach. Or knowing how to use a phone as a metal detector. 

These are just some of the life hacks we're about to highlight in the slideshow below. Know of any good smartphone life hacks we should be aware of? Let us know in the comments!

9 life hacks every smartphone owner should know

1. Have a cable but no charger? Use a TV's USB port

Did you know that many modern TVs and set-top boxes have a USB port somewhere on their side or at their back? Yup, and it is perfectly capable of providing 5 volts to recharge your phone. This hack is useful in case you don't have a wall charger, or in case you're traveling overseas and you don't have an outlet converter. Just keep in mind that the images stored on your phone might be easily accessible by whoever has the TV's remote.
Have a cable but no charger? Use a TV's USB port

2. Embrace location-based notifications

Imagine that you could get a quick nap on your way to work without missing your bus stop. Well, you totally can thanks to location-based reminders. On iOS (left), you set these from the Reminders app, and on Android (right), you may use Google Keep. Set a notification to go off when you're near your stop. Just make sure your GPS and location services are on, and keep in mind that your location is hard to detect underground.  
Embrace location-based notifications

3. Learn how to share your location

Some people are terrible at giving directions on the phone. If you're one of these people, you might want to learn how to share locations via Google Maps (pictured) or Apple Maps. Both services allow you to drop a pin at a desired location and get a web link pointing to that dropped pin. Or if you'd like to share your location for a specific duration, try Glympse. It is a free app that lets you do just that. Again, ensure that your location services are up and running.
Learn how to share your location

4. Turn an old cassette box into a phone stand

Old cassette tape cases can be turned into improvised phone stands. If you have one laying around, be it from an audio or a video cassette, try turning it into a makeshift stand for your handset.

Image via Life Currents
Turn an old cassette box into a phone stand

5. Ziploc bags are your friends

Ziploc bags are good for more than just storing food. The next time you're going to the beach, throw your phone in one to keep sand and water away. 
Ziploc bags are your friends

6. Take visual notes

Next time you park at the mall, snap a photo of the location of your car. Before going to the store, take a picture of your fridge to know what you have and what you don't. When you're in another town or country, take pictures of landmarks in case you get lost and need someone to point you in the right way. These are just some of the many situations where a photo could make a great visual note.
Take visual notes

7. Place phone in a cup to boost its volume

The next time you play music from your phone's loudspeaker, place the phone in a heavy glass or cup. The resonance created by the vessel will boost the sound's volume quite a bit.

Place phone in a cup to boost its volume

8. Load your phone with utility apps

Your phone is full of sensors of all sorts – an accelerometer, a magnetometer, a gyroscope, to name a few. These allow your phone to be used as a level, as a metal detector, as a compass, as a vibration detection tool, and the list of possible uses goes on. These functions are usually enabled using a specific utility app, such as developer Smart Tools Co.'s Smart Tools. Load these on your phone in case you ever need them in the future.
Load your phone with utility apps

9. Use your camera as a flashlight or nightlight

Your phone's camera can make an excellent flashlight. You may download a flashlight app, or use your phone's built-in flashlight toggle button, in case there is one. To turn the bright flashlight into a soft night light, place a bottle filled with water over the LED. This will diffuse the light and create a soft, pleasant glow.
Use your camera as a flashlight or nightlight 
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