Most of us can’t live without our smart phones or tablets. We use them to stay in touch with friends and family, to check email, to keep tabs on social media, to read the latest news, to get direction, and much more. Most of us feel strange leaving the house without a phone or tablet (or both).
Yet for all that you know that your phone does for you, you might be surprised to learn that it can do even more. Here are a few things that you may not know that you can do with your smart phone or tablet:
Watch Live TV
You may already use your smart phone or tablet to watch TV and movies online through streaming services like Netflix or Hulu, but you are still missing out when it comes to sports games, awards shows, and local news casts, among others. Fortunately, there are several apps available that let you stream live TV on your phone or tablet.
With the right app, you can watch any of the channels you get at home. Shop for satellite TV deals to get the most channels for your budget, and you’ll enjoy total entertainment freedom wherever you are so long as you have the right app.
Control Your Lights and Thermostat
You’ll need to install some smart devices at home to work with your phone or tablet to make this one work.
With the WeMo Light Switch or the Philips Hue Personal Wireless Lighting Kit, you can sync your phone or tablet and use the app to turn the lights on or off, dim or brighten them, or even change their colors.
The programmable Nest thermostat also comes with an option to adjust the temperature through an app. You can make sure the house is warm in the winter and cool in the summer when you come home.
Start Your Car
More and more cars are being made with remote start technology. You can either use the fob that the car comes with to start it, or in some cases, you can use your phone or tablet. The Viper SmartStart is just one of many apps that provide this feature. Check with your dealer or the manufacturer to find out what’s available for your car.
Keep an Eye on Your House
Nest is a big name in smart devices for the home. Besides its popular thermostat, Nest also offers a home security camera that you can control with your smart phone or tablet.
You can log in through the app to get a real time view of what’s going on in your house. Not only can you make sure that no thieves have broken in, but you can also make sure that your teenagers aren’t throwing a party while you’re out or you can figure out how your dog is getting into the biscuits while you’re at work.
Block Prying Eyes
You may already have a screen protector on your computer at work, but you may think that the only screen protector for your phone or tablet are the thin films that keep the screen from shattering. But you can actually get a protector for your phone or tablet that blocks out the information on the screen from prying eyes.
You can also install an app that will block others from accessing what’s on your phone. The screen will look like a regular phone setup, but users won’t be able to access anything on the phone.
Check for Drafty Windows
Drafty windows can cost you a lot of money. They cause your heating and cooling system to work over time, driving up your energy costs. With the FLIR ONE Personal Thermal Imager, you can use your phone to find any leaks around your windows. Just hold the phone near the window, and the energy will be converted into easy-to-read images on your phone.
You can save a lot of money with this device by not having to call a service professional every time you think there’s a problem with the windows. You’ll also be able to fix problems earlier, minimizing your energy loss.
Get to the Bottom of Your Check Engine Light
The “check engine” light is the last thing that any car owner wants to see. It could indicate anything from a simple blown spark plug or faulty wire connection to a major problem with the engine. The only way to find out is to take your car in for a diagnosis, which can cost hundreds of dollars because the technician has to hook the car up to a special machine.
A device called Automatic can hook up to your phone to help you diagnose the problem yourself. The device connects to your car’s computer and feeds the information back to your phone. You can even get information about your driving habits, which is useful for finding ways to cut back on fuel usage.
These are just a few of the many great things you can do with your smart phone or tablet. Make sure that you are getting the most out of your smart devices by trying out some of these or other features. You’ll feel like you have your own digital personal assistant with all your device can do.