Cell phones these days have gone smarter. It is now the “Smartphone” because its use has gone much beyond the traditional instrument for making calls on the move. It is now a portable computer, with a versatility, utility and power which easily surpasses the Personal Computer. It is, therefore, no wonder that they have a price tag to match their smartness. But you are smarter than your smartphone! You could easily make the smartphone pay for itself (and even make it earn extra) by using its full potential. Here’s how you can do it.
1. Discounts and Deals on the Move
You could download great apps like BarCode Scanner, Pick2Shop, RedLaser, PriceGrabber, Coupon Sherpa and TheCouponsApp. These apps can give great discounts depending on their particular features. For example, The BarCode Scanner lets you scan the barcode on the product to compare prices at various merchant outlets to give you the best deals. Some apps integrate with GPS to indicate merchant outlets in your area and the prices offered, of the product you are looking for.
QRC, or Quick Response Codes, are little codified squares on products. Scan them to get notifications of discounts, freebies and other promos on the spot. The UPC code can be typed in most apps to compare prices in online stores.
TextSave App notifies you of instant discounts when you send in the text saved at outlets. This is mostly at restaurants.
Foursquare is an App which gives an immediate discount on your smartphone once you “check-in” at the establishment which is covered by it.
With an average spend of $2273 per US resident per year on food and consumables, the savings could be substantial.
Most smartphones have an inbuilt basic calendar and scheduler. You can do away with the tedium of planning and scheduling your day, week or year manually by entering it in bulky and cumbersome planners. Use the smartphone to do this. It can also plan meetings, send invitations, and set alarms and reminders. More sophisticated apps can even plan projects on your smartphone. You could save $10 to $35 on a conventional planner.
3. Unmatched Music Player
The smartphone has enough space to store all the music you can think of. In fact it has more capacity than the average iPod or MP3 player. A 16GB iPhone 4S priced at $199 can store 8 GB music which is the capacity of an 8GB iPod costing the same. You can also save your music using apps like iCloud and Google Music and access music stored on your PC. Youtube and Pandora are great resources for streaming music. So forget about buying an MP3 player or iPod and save $50 to $400.
4. GPS/ Navigation
You can do away with the traditional map which is so difficult to handle and understand. You need not even have the traditional GPS. Your smartphone can be used as a GPS instead. Google Maps on Android O/S can plan your route on a map and also show your location at any moment on the map. So that’s another $100 to $250 you save on a traditional GPS.
5. Saying “Cheese” – The Camera
Smartphones have almost done away the traditional camera. With higher resolutions than ever before the smartphone camera offers great opportunities to capture those great selfies and other memorable moments. And what’s better still, you can instantly edit and send your pictures to social sites and e-mail. A basic point and shoot digital camera costs $70 to $150 – so that’s what you save.
6. You are in the Movies now – The Video Camera
Your smartphone’s video camera may not match the resolution of the traditional high definition one; but it sure beats it hollow in terms of its portability, its ease of editing and instantly sharing on the net on social sites and Youtube, or uploading on Cloud. More and more smartphones are HD enabled, too. You save – $150 to $500 for an HD video camera.
7. Ring in the Change – The Landline
With your smartphone able to connect seamlessly across the country’s networks and even internationally; and with apps like Viber, Google Talk and Skype, connecting you even without a computer, do you still want to spend $30 to $40 on a landline? With a decent data plan and good connectivity, I think not. Get rid of your landline and save $360 every year.
8. Alarmed? – The Alarm Clock
Forget about jumping out of your skin, let alone out of your bed, by the jangle of the good ole alarm clock. Or some boring tune on your clock radio. Set a wide range of pleasant tunes on your smartphone’s alarm feature. You can set the alarms at different times for different days, or at different times on the same day. You could also set the alarm in different time zones. Using your smartphone instead of the traditional alarm clock or clock radio saves you around $10 $30.
9. The Hotspot – The Modem
You can set up a Wi-Fi zone with your laptop or computer by tethering them with your smartphone. This is great for limited surfing and e-mails but takes up considerable data if you stream HD video. So if you are a prudent user, you can save about $90 to $200 by ditching your internet provider, the cheapest of which is about $100.
10. The Gaming Zone
Gaming on the go was never easier. Besides the large number of mobile games apps, PlayStation –like gaming consoles are also being incorporated into smartphones to give you the never before experience of gaming on the move. These consoles cost much less than the handheld consoles, saving about $50 to $250.