6 ways smartphones still simplify our lives

I barely remember the years before I owned a smartphone, specifically, the days before I had this phone. Some people don’t realise just what a bigger screen and a processor similar to a PC can do. Never mind the screen and processor, apps have saved my life from ridiculous clutter, missed appointments and declined cheque card transactions. Many of us take these advantages for granted, but some of us still use our phones for their native tasks only. I send one SMS per week, max.

Our use of cellphones vary so much from their native purposes that some use tablets as phones. There’s so much more I could speak about with regards to how much simpler my life has become because I make full use of my phone, but these are essentials.

1. Cloud Storage (Google Drive, Dropbox). I don’t think I could live without this. Cloud storage apps are simple; they allow you to access and upload documents to your allocated cloud space making accessing documents much easier. The best part is that it’s available on all my devices. A neat trick is to store a copy of your ID, residential address and any other important documents. That means that in a pinch you’ll have access to them whenever and wherever you want.

2. Tethering (USB and Wi-Fi)

An ADSL connection is expensive, I know. The installation costs plus monthly line rental fee just don’t work out for a single lady in the ‘burbs. I bought a TV instead. Tethering is perfect for those of us unwilling to pay the Telkom fees who have medium internet needs (I suggest you check what your data costs are first). It’s perfect for travelling.

3.VOiP calling and Instant Messaging

Gone are the days where we’re forced to pay R0.60 to communicate and then be limited to a mere 140 characters. That’s only in the Twitter realm now (By the way, Twitter is a great place if you’re looking for like-minded individuals). Most of us have Wi-Fi at work and at home, so why not use Viber to make calls? Viber is much like Whatsapp, but for calls. Viber calls are made through VOIP and there is no logging in hassle, it’s quick and has it’s own unique ringtone.

4. Banking apps

I hate the bank. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t. I am also rather absent-minded and that is exactly why banking apps are the revolution for me. The FNB app allows transfers between accounts that are instantaneous and you can buy airtime, above the standard payment options. If I can’t do it online, it’s something I will never get down to doing. FNB is not the only bank that has an app any longer, both Standard Bank and Nedbank have jumped on the bandwagon, it’s one of the few things you’ll get free from a bank.

5. Receipt Scanning

I don’t know about you, but I hate hoarding receipts. I find them everywhere and stuck in every single bag I own, yet we’re still supposed to keep these thin-papered reminders of spending gone over budget. I almost always use an app like Shoeboxed to categorise my receipts and keep everything under control. That way, even if I’m still doubtful I can shove them all into a box deep in my cupboard, never to be spoken of again. Also, it’s a great way to keep track of how much you’re actually spending. I’ve had those ‘Where did my money go?’ days and they aren’t great.

6. Navigation

Simple and effective. I remember being a varsity kid and dreaming of owning my own GPS. Does anyone know if the market for those still exists? Navigation is something I take for granted so often. I’ve even found myself navigating through a suburb on foot. Granted, once I ended up at what was definitely not Melrose Arch, but mostly, it has saved me a lot of time and hassle. If you’re lost or looking for something in particular it might be a good idea to add the petrol stations and/or restaurant layer to the Map.

If I were to make a list of all the money and time I’ve saved because of smartphone functionality we’d be here all day, but I need to get back to Triple Town.

[Image credit 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]



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