Can I Do THIS With My Phone?
Smartphones are pretty handy things – use one for a month and you'll probably wonder how you lived without it. We all know that we can take photos, check our emails on the go and get instant access to YouTube with our phones these days, but what else can you do? Here are some things you might want to consider when you're shopping around for a new phone.
Can I Make Video Calls?
The answer to this one is generally a resounding 'yes' – Apple have offered their own 'Facetime' app for iPhones since iOS 4, and there are many third party apps that can give you the same functionality regardless of whether your friends are using iOS or Android. Skype, Tango and Fring are some of the most popular offerings – and Fring will even allow you to video chat with up to 4 people at once. So if you can't bear the thought of talking to someone without seeing their beautiful (or 'interesting') face, your phone can have you covered.
Can I Make Music?
Listening to music is all well and good, but what can your smartphone offer you if you're a budding Rockstar or bedroom producer? Quite a lot, as it turns out. Apple's Garageband has arguably set the bar for mobile music apps, but search around on the App Store or Google Play and you'll find all sorts of apps to turn your phone into a synthesiser, sequencer, sampler, sound recorder, guitar, drum kit and more besides (Caustic 2 on the Android platform is one fine example). So next time you have a burst of inspiration for your next work of genius, you can use your phone to make sure the moment doesn't go to waste.
Can I Play Games?
The days where Snake is the pinnacle of mobile entertainment are long gone (though you can still download it if you're feeling nostalgic for your indestructible old Nokia). Mobile gaming has truly taken off in the last few years, with games such as Angry Birds and Temple Run becoming worldwide sensations, while the likes of Infinity Blade II and FIFA 13 are pushing the boundaries of what smartphones are capable of. If you'd have told your friend you'd be able to play a full-fledged FIFA game on your phone five years ago, they'd have probably laughed at you. And you're not just limited to playing for fun either – thanks to the availability of numerous online casino apps (18+ of course) and mobile web browser friendly sites like Jackpot Capital Casino.
Can I Watch TV?
It seems like TV companies are increasingly getting on board with the idea of watching their programs on your phone, with numerous channels now offering their own apps for you to catch up on shows you may have missed. The catch is that, in order to use them, you'll probably have to be signed up to either the appropriate cable network or a separate subscription service such as Netflix or Hulu Plus. That's not always the case though – in the UK, the BBC offer a version of their iPlayer for free.
Can I Track My Lost/Stolen Phone?
We all get a bit scatter-brained misplace our phones at times, and that's to say nothing of the fact that smartphones make attractive targets for criminals. Thankfully, there are services that you can use to help you if your phone is lost or stolen – Apple's free Find My iPhone app has you covered if you're an iPhone user, and there are numerous versions available on the Android platform as well. Just be sure to install and set up your chosen app as soon as you acquire your precious new device – it won't do you a fat lot of good if you've already lost your phone...