Remember the good old days when a phone was used for—wait for it—making phone calls? I remember the transition from the rotary phone hanging in my grandma’s hallway to the thoroughly modern cordless phone of my youth. When cell phones first came on the scene, not only could we talk to others virtually anywhere, but we could send rudimentary text messages by manually scrolling through the three available letters per number. Those were the days.
While today’s youth may not know how to make a call on a rotary phone (check out these two teens hilariously trying to figure it out), they can do pretty much everything—including making that call—on their smartphones.
If you’re looking for some alternate uses for tech, here are 55 creative uses for tech, broken down by category.
1. Phone: Surprise! Smartphones are (first and foremost) great for making phone calls. After all, it’s in the name.
2. Video Calls:In addition to talking over the phone, you can also have face-to-face conversations on platforms like Facebook Messenger, FaceTime, Zoom, or Skype.
3. Text: Don’t have time (or inclination) for face-to-face or voice-to-voice communication? Texting is a common method of communication, especially among teens.
4. Social Media: Stay connected with family and friends near and far on different social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. Social media isn’t for everyone, however. Especially not kids. That’s why Troomi keeps their devices social media free. Check them out at troomi.com.
5. Email: Forget about using ancient desktop computers to handle emails. All email accounts, work and personal, can be managed at your fingertips―just make sure you leave work at work.
6. Bank Account Access: With the simplicity of banking apps, you can easily manage your bank accounts on your smartphone. Also use these apps to help your kids learn about money management by connecting their bank accounts to yours.
7. Digital Check Register: Maybe you’re old school like me and carry a paper check register for tracking expenditures. But if you’re like my kids and prefer the tech version, you can find many apps to track expenses. Some of these apps even communicate with your bank to keep track of everything you spend.
8. Digital Wallet: Thanks to smartphones, you don’t need to carry that gigantic purse around or keep that bulging back-pocket wallet with you anymore. You can store all the financial information you need in a digital wallet on your phone.
9. Money Sharing Apps: Platforms like Venmo, PayPal, and Zelle allow you to transfer your money outside of commercial institutions. You can share funds between friends with a few easy clicks.
10. Scan/store receipts: If you need to store receipts for purchases, you can eliminate excessive paper use by keeping an electronic version on apps like Receipt Butler, Receipt Hog, or Receipt Buddy.
11. Trade Stocks: If you’re adventurous, you can try your hand at day trading on the stock market with apps like Public.com, Robinhood, or Tornado. Check out 5 Best Stock Trading Apps for 2022 for more details..
12. Educational Games: Not all the games on tech are strictly for entertainment. There are several fun options for learning while gaming on tech. For example, teachers even use sites like Kahoot!, Quizlet, and Blooket.
13. Learn a Language: With programs like Duolingo, Babbel, and Rosetta Stone, you and your kids can practice your language skills with tech.
14. Translator: And if you don’t have time to learn a new language, there are several translator apps available to help you navigate in a foreign language. Try Google Translate or iTranslate Translator.
15. Library: On reader apps like Kindle, you can read digital books you have purchased, accessed through subscription services like Kindle Unlimited, or borrowed from public library systems around the country. The possibilities are almost endless when it comes to using tech to read your favorite thriller, mystery, or classic. And the benefits of reading never end.
16. Holy Scripture: For those who practice religion, holy scripture is now available for tech. With apps like The Study Bible, The Holy Quran, and Read the Torah – Bible Study, you can study scripture verses daily. Also, apps like E-sword LT can help interpret scripture.
18. Gaming: You can find just about any game for your phone these days. Just ask your kids. But be sure to watch game ratings and limit playing time for younger children.
19. Sports Updates: if you’re a sports enthusiast, you’ll want to check out sites and apps like ESPN, Yahoo Sports, or Bleacher Reports to keep yourself updated on various scores and sports world intrigue.
20. Podcasts: With easy access to recording devices, podcasts have become increasingly popular. You can listen to podcasts about any topic from dealing with mental illness to learning how to shop for clothes.
21. News Outlets: With today’s tech, you don’t have to wait for the daily paper or the evening news. You can access a 24-hour news cycle on your phone with immediate updates.
22. Fitness Tracker: If your choice of entertainment is more hands-on, you can track your physical activity on several fitness trackers like Fitbit or Garmin that connect to your phone.
23. Movie Theater: And if your choice of entertainment involves a large tub of popcorn and a 32-ounce soda, look no further: apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime bring the theater to you.
24. Live TV: If you have a cable or satellite subscription, you might be eligible to watch your favorite live TV shows on your phone as well.
25. Online Shopping: With easy Internet access, you can buy everything from couches and beds on sites like Wayfair to clothing and electronics on sites like Amazon. You can also find any variety of smaller online shops to support right from your phone.
26. Fast Food: Need something quick and easy to eat? Apps like Grubhub, DoorDash, and Uber Eats let you order food online, either for easy pick-up or delivery.
27. Camera: Take all the pictures you want with your phone.
28. Video Recorder: And don’t forget to video the important (or every day) events in your life with your phone. You never know what gems you will capture when you push the record button.
29. Social Media Marketing Tools: It’s amazing what the amateur social media marketer can do with the help of an app. If you want to create professional-looking social media content, check out apps like Canva or Unfold. These apps can take your work from amateur to professional..
30. Video Editor: With apps like iMovie or Adobe Premiere, you can make simple videos into cinematic masterpieces.
31. Word Processor: If you want to create word art, you can use the app versions of your favorite word processing programs.
32. Music:What’s a smartphone without music? Phones now come equipped with music capabilities to create instant dance parties with a little help from a Bluetooth speaker. And with music subscriptions to apps like Apple Music, Pandora, and Spotify, you can listen to anything you want.
33. Metronome: If you’re more into making your own music, you can find a metronome app to help you keep the beat.
34. Instrument Tuner: Forget buying those expensive tuners from the store, try tuning your instrument with a digital tuner.
35. GarageBand: Write your own music on apps like GarageBand.
36. Home Security System: Keep an eye on your home, either from your couch or on vacation. With video doorbells and motion detection cameras, you can monitor the activity around your home from wherever you are.
37. Utilities: You can manage your utility bills from the comfort of your couch thanks to your phone. Just sign up for the available apps and you’re good to go.
38. Insurance: Likewise, you can keep track of your insurance coverage all from your phone. Don’t worry about keeping your coverage cards updated in the glove box― just store them digitally on your phone.
39. Trip Planner; Tech eliminates the need for fat folders of travel itineraries while on vacation. You can keep all your important trip details and documentation right on your phone.
40. Book Travel: You can make all the travel arrangements you need from your phone as well.
41. Compass: If your travel plans include exploring nature, try a compass app to keep you on the right course.
42. Maps: Find your way around town or in new locations with the help of map apps.
43. Calculator: Keep all your figures straight with the calculator on your phone.
44. Weather: Find out what the weather will look like every day with a local weather app.
45. Calendar: Keep your events organized with the calendar on your phone.
46. Phone Tracker: If your phone is connected to other phones, you can keep track of friends and family members through an app like Life360 or Family Locator.
47. Remote Control: Can’t find the remote control? Download an app for your TV and use your phone instead!
48. Flashlight: Don’t stay in the dark. Use your phone flashlight to keep things illuminated.
49. Notebook: If you need to jot down a quick grocery list or note to yourself, use the note app on your phone.
50. Reminder: Set reminders for important events in the future. Then, when the moment arrives, your phone will let you know.
51. Alarm clock: Sleep easy knowing your phone has you covered with a reliable alarm.
52. Voice recorder: Record important messages to yourself, stories to tell friends, or things that are going on around you to keep for a later date.
53. Mirror: Flip your camera view around to check your hair or makeup before going into an important meeting or event.
54. Magnifying Glass: Is the print too small on that label? Whip out your magnifying glass app to see things clearly.
55. QR Code Scanner: Use your camera function to scan QR codes and follow the link your phone pulls up.
Ready, Set, Go
Can you still use your phone to make good old-fashioned phone calls? You bet. But with today’s technology at your fingertips, you can use your phone for so much more. And if you’re concerned about letting your young kids have unlimited access to all a smartphone has to offer, check out the advantages of a Troomi phone today. With a little caution and care, you can let your kids enjoy all the advantages of having a smartphone with none of the dangers or stress.