Spending a lot of time staring at your phone is an unpopular opinion in 2023, but the truth is that there are so many ways this could be productive. You never know if the person staring at their phone reads Hamlet, trades stocks or checks out their new fitness plan. Sure, they’re most likely browsing social media, but you shouldn’t be too hasty to jump to a conclusion. Here are the top eight new ways to use your phone to help you broaden your mind on this topic.
Your phone can become an ultimate fitness tool. Find any program you want, track progress on different platforms, and use a tool to monitor calories.
If you invest more and get a fitness band or a smartwatch, you can push this further. This way, you can track all your biometric data and improve your overall health.
The best thing about this approach, for health purposes, is that doctors can’t track your health between checkups. They can only observe your current symptoms, but what if they could access your historical heart rate? The same thing can be said about your fitness progress. What if you could show results to your trainer?
By using a VPN, you’ll significantly elevate the overall level of your cybersecurity. All your interactions and conversations will get an extra layer of encryption, and you’ll be much more effective at hiding your IP (and physical address). You would be surprised at what real-world threats can befall you if you’re reckless and let your address fall into the wrong hands.
Another thing to understand is that so much amazing content is behind a geo-restriction. With a VPN, these restrictions don’t apply to you. This is even more important than you think since sometimes these restrictions apply to content you need for work. In other words, the right VPN is essential for remote workers.
It’s also important to find a VPN that you can use on all your devices. You have a VPN on your computer, but what about your phone? Check out the reviews of some services that have been tested and find the right one for you.
If you have a smart home or, at the very least, start investing in smart appliances, you can control your home via a phone. Not only can you set your thermostat and control your garden irrigation from work, but you can also control your Ring video doorbell from your phone.
Naturally, this requires a strong connection, but most homes already have them. Otherwise, you’re faced with a potential delay, which, in some scenarios, could be especially inconvenient.
The thing is that smart homes save a lot of money and elevate convenience to a whole new level.
You also get access to far superior statistics and insights into the functioning of your home. Predictive maintenance also becomes more accurate, which is incredibly important from a homeowner's standpoint. It reduces costs, increases security, and reduces downtime on multiple functions.
You can improve your language learning by downloading an app like Duolingo (which has 40 million monthly active users), but there are also more conventional ways to handle this issue. You can find an online course that you’ll attend via your phone. The number of courses is high, so research before committing to one.
This means that the biggest challenge is finding the right one, so make sure you look into reviews and their curriculum. Remember, the majority of these courses are not that expensive, which means that you can take several, and even if you make a mistake, it won’t be too costly.
The biggest problem with VR lies in the fact that the majority of people don’t have a VR headset. In fact, you don’t need one if you have a mobile device and a cardboard headset. Sure, it would be ridiculous to assume that your phone screen resolution can recreate the combination of a $600 headset and a GTX 4060 TI, but the performance doesn’t have to be the same. Sometimes, just giving you a foot in the world of VR, with a market size of $9.2 billion in 2023, is good enough.
For an AR, you only need the right app. Now, there are professional apps and entertainment apps; you can just choose whatever you want.
Did you ever want to own a microscope? We’re not talking about a lens that can show you things on a molecular level but a decent magnification (let’s say 60x).
The biggest problem with a microscope is its immobility. Whenever you want to see something through it, it’s not around. How could it be when it’s back at home or the lab? However, what if you had a gadget like a clip-on microscope lens that you could clip onto your smartphone or tablet and effectively turn into an improvised microscope?
This is amazing for science enthusiasts, but it’s generally a fun thing to do. You can see tiny objects and details up close, which is great when trying to assess the quality of a material and compare it to the magnified image you’ve seen online.
You can make so much art with your smartphone. Granted, the screen is smaller, and the precision of drawing with your finger is not as high. After all, there’s a reason why designers and artists spend thousands of dollars on drawing boards. Either way, you can make amazing sketches with nothing but your finger.
A phone is great for all other types of art, as well. Here, you can write stories and even make preliminary recordings of the music you’ll recreate when you get home or to the studio. You shouldn’t underestimate how many great ideas fail because you fail to use the moment of inspiration. With a phone in your hand, this will never be the case.
Also, keep in mind that a phone makes it possible to monetize your art. You can use it to see how your photography, stories, and songs are doing on various marketplaces. You can even coordinate a marketing campaign for these products from your phone.
Speaking of ways to use your creativity to make money via your phone, why not start a podcast? Sure, everyone knows that a podcast takes expensive equipment (as a hobby it can cost around $100-$350, while for a business it ranges from $500-$5,000), massive time investment in editing and recording, and a great program.
However, if you don’t have the resources to do this by the book, you shouldn’t let this elitist gatekeeping rule keep you from it.
Remember that while your phone can be a recording device, you can always buy an external microphone. Ideally, you would get a directional microphone, and there are some pretty inexpensive options for you to consider. Getting headphones that you can slot into your phone is another great idea.
From this point on, you need a good background, and since your mobile device is… well, mobile, you can move wherever you want with it in a matter of seconds.
Regardless of whether your goal is to lose weight, learn a new skill, or make money, your phone is a platform that can make that happen. Don’t listen to people blaming technology for the younger population becoming less focused and more antisocial; phones have nothing to do with that. It’s the reckless approach to this technology and the lack of basic technological literacy that’s the problem. Fortunately, now you know more.
I am a UK tech blogger and have been in the industry for over ten years now, running Mighty Gadget and its sister sites and contributing to other sites around the web. I am passionate about all tech, including computers/networking, mobile, wearables, and smart homes. I am also a fitness fanatic, being both a keen runner and cyclist, so I cover as much fitness tech as possible.