Many of us have a smartphone, a device that has the computing power of a desktop computer and a higher quality camera than was available not that long ago. We also have become used to a $200+ bill every month. Unfortunately, these phones don't come with manuals that detail all the things that the phone can do. That is left to the Internet where sites spell out lots of special applications or shortcuts.
I still use my smartphone to make - phone calls, though I am in the minority. E-mail is falling from favor; it is too slow. Today, texting is the preferred way to contact others with super-short video messages gaining in popularity.
When I began to look at all the things my phone could do I was amazed. Admittedly, at the moment I have no interest in many of these options. But, if nothing else, I have learned that a satisfying retirement journey requires being open to new things, especially in the area of technology.
Depending on the age, brand, model, and carrier (Verizon, AT&T, etc) you use, not all of these will work on your phone. Some require adding an app, many of which are free. Other functions may already be built into your phone. I don't want to list any particular apps because I can't check them all out personally and vouch for them But, everything on list list appeared on multiple references on the web, so they are well known.
If anything on this list catches your eye, check them out by just typing the name of the function in Google search, preceded by the word smartphone. You will find plenty of apps for both Android and Iphones listed.
Some of these features require you to turn on that function. Again, the Internet is your friend. Search for what you want to do by typing in the function followed by your phone model, like direct call samsung galaxy S6.
Manage your thermostat and control your home's lights
Monitor your heart rate
Speak a text, have it translated into words and sent.
Have an e-mail or text read to you.
Measure speed, height, or distance of something
Find out why your check engine light is on
Identify song titles
Block spam phone calls
Use camera as a magnifying glass
Snap a picture with the volume button
Use as a universal remote
Create a Wi-Fi hotspot
Barcode and QR code reader
Correct for color blindness
Use Data saver setting (can cut data use by 30%)
Quick launch the camera
Download booster (downloads large files much faster)
Direct call (put the phone to your ear and it dials the contact on the screen)
Split screen (2 windows open at once...sometimes called multi-tasking)
Leveler & compass
Send a mobile fax
Connect to a computer and use phone as an external hard drive
Transfer files wirelessly from phone to computer
I imagine there are all sorts of applications and special tricks you can share that are not listed above. Fabulous! Tell us what you use, or shortcuts you have found that make your day easier and more fulfilling.
If you don't have a smartphone, and don't want one, tell us why. Is it cost, complexity, no real need in your life? There are an estimated 120 million non-smartphones in use in the U.S. out of a total of over 320 million cellphones, so you are definitely not alone!