This application is able to find your position and to display it within a map of where you are. If you get lost anywhere, just look on your app and you’ll see where you are. Moreover, the app includes a search function that helps you to easily find locations of which you only know the adress. As I moved to Berlin, I recognized the importance of this app for myself: Everytime I am searching for a place in an area that is unknown to me (which happens frequently in Berlin), I just use the app to get to my destination. Without it, I would have to ask people how to get there and it would take me much longer.
2. Internet browser:
This function might not be knew to you: The internet browser on a smartphone is similar to the version of an ordinary computer, just a little smaller. It has got the same features: An adress array for the websites, different tabs and a favorite homepages folder. Even if some websites are not really compatibel for the little screen of smartphones, there is an increasing number of homepages that provide a “mobil version”.The reasons for having constant access are numerous, but I just tell you an example from my experiences: Just today I sat in the subway thinking of what to cook for today and tomorrow. As a means of not losing time I decided to go to the supermarket directly after getting off the subway. As I am lucky having a smartphone, I just googled some recipes and found something good. Thus, I directly went to the supermarket buying all the ingredients I found on a website. Without smartphone, I would have gone home, started my computer, searched for a recipe, gone to the supermarket and then finally gone home. My phone saved me from this time-wasting and complicated procedure.
3. Camera and video function:
You are going down the street and suddenly you see something very interesting that you’d like to capture and share with somebody else. Unfortunately, you are not always taking your camera with you. Damn! The camera of a smartphone migth help. Unlike to its old fashioned antecessors most products of the smartphone generation include high quality cameras. If you really want to make brilliant, artistic photos, a smartphone camera cannot compete with an expensive reflex camera. But if you just want to take some spontaneous snapshots of something (e.g. a mindmap in class, something you see in a shop window or an advertisement in the subway) a smartphone camera is more than suitable. For me, this function is helpful to capture images of the whitheboard after the lectures.
Whatsapp is a messaging app that makes it possible to exchange messages without paying for them. This works as the app connects each other via internet connection. It mainly functions like your E-mail account but without needing email-adresses, it is more similar to text messages. The great advantage: If you have friends from other countries you don’t have to pay high message fees for staying connected. Moreover, it is possible to send pictures and videos via Whatsapp.
Smartphones offer lots of possibilities to play: There are numerous games available for Iphone, windows phone & Co. The most famous are Angry Birds, Doodle Jump, Draw Something, Monopoly and logic games. To prevent boredom and bridge long car journeys, just play!
Several banks provide for their costumers a banking app. The prerequisite for using this app is an online banking account. If you have one, just download the app and log in with your online banking acess information. To protect your banking account you have to choose a passwort to open the application as well. This application makes it easy for you to check your bank account whenever and wherever you found. For example, if you are on a shopping trip without having checked your bank account balance, you can do it easily with your smartphone and don’t have to search for a bank store.
You want to use your laptop or netbook while your on the way. The problem: W-lan hotspots are not everywhere accessible. The solution: A smartphone! Unless you are in the middle of nowhere without any mobile internet connection, you can use your smartphone as a hotspot for your laptop. You just need to allow your phone to be used as hotspot and then log in with your computer. I used this function while sitting in the train and having to do a presentation.
8. Microsoft Office:
This is a feature that is mostly installed in smartphones using the latest version of windows software called “Windows Phone”. The app includes the use of word, excel and powerpoint. It makes it possible for you to view .ppt-, .xls- and .doc-documents, to create them directly on your phone and to share them via E-mail or save them on the online platform “Skydrive”. The Microsoft app also includes a programm called “OneNote”. This programm is very similar to “Evernote“: It helps you creating notes that are directly saved to your online account. Thus you have access to them everytime you have access to the internet. I like this app because I use it for saving interesting information that I found out on the way and when I get sudden flash of inspiration at night, I pull out my smartphone to save my thoughts.
Even if a lot of older mobile phones also have a MP3 function, the music quality of smartphones is as good as that of ordinary MP3-player or Ipods. Moreover, smartphones are also able to display MP4 documents in high quality. As music and videos need a lot of memory capacity, you can expand your storage space with exchangable memory cards. While long car journeys or in the subway, you can kill time while watching a film or video or listening to music. There is no need for take along an additional MP3-player.
10. Translation apps
It is unusual to always take along a big dictionary to be prepared for every “linguistic emergency”. But it might happen that you don’t understand an expression in another language. In this case you can easily use a translation application. I prefer the “leo.org“app which I often use during my french lectures.
Besides all those advantages, there is also a disadvantage: The intense use of a smartphone calls for charging the battery everyday.
Nevertheless, I think that the attractive advantages of a smartphone predominate.