It’s hard to find a feature that isn’t being offered on today’s smartphones. From GPS to Near-Field Communications to high-definition displays, today’s phones are highly capable machines with near-endless possibilities. However, because of the massive number of features many users end up with underutilized smartphone features that could have otherwise been put to good use.
Location Based Services
Facebook currently has more than 1 billion users but location based service Foursquare has only 15 million users. Location based services allow users to check-in at their location or receive information about a particular area.
Many users fail to realize that many location based services offer discounts simply for using them. For example a local retailer may give you 10% off your purchase just for checking-in on Foursquare or through Facebook Places.
Look through your friends list on Facebook via Foursquare and its easy to recognize that location based services are one of the most underutilized smartphone features.
When most users install useful apps such as banking, credit card and credit report programs they often turn off push notifications because they are “annoying.” On the contrary push notifications can ensure that your life stays well managed.
For example, I use the Chase credit card app and my iPhone now receives a pop-up message every single time a payment is made. I love this option because it allows me to ensure no improper transactions are being made and because my phone provides me with a mobile record of all transactions made.
I use to hold onto receipts for dear life but now I know within seconds when my bank cards and credit cards have been used.
If you utilize credit reporting many company’s such as Experian can even provide you with credit alert notifications.
Sure you should turn off your Farmville notifications to avoid annoying reminders but for important accounts push notifications are a no-brainer.
Mobile Phone Tethering
The ability to attach a notebook or PC to the internet via a smartphones data capabilities is a great feature, yet many users will opt to purchase a separate 3G or 4G data card. If you are a light mobile data user it could be cheaper for you to simply attach your phone via USB cable to your computer.
Not all phones or all mobile data plans are capable of tethering but for those that are you can save a bundle by simply using your phone as a high-speed modem when you need access and an accessible Wi-Fi network is not in range.
Mobile Phone Tethering is also a great way to avoid network congestion when you are in a heavily trafficked area where many users are taking advantage of Wi-Fi.
Underutilized smartphone features are in abundance, the three examples listed above are simple options you can take advantage of immediately. Be sure to check your phones user guide and read up on new mobile features so you can make sure you’re not one of the millions of people who have underutilized their phone features.
[Image via Smash App]