The iPhone has been around for a long time – at least it has in tech years. In that time, creative users and inventors have come up with all sorts of ways to celebrate the functionality of Apple’s smartphone. From highly practical things like first aid and mobile payments, to music and photography, there are many ways you can put your iPhone to use with either apps or accessories. Today we’re taking a look at fifteen things you probably didn’t realise you could use your humble smartphone for.
Yes, you already know that the iPhone has replaced your point and shoot camera, but did you know you can push the abilities of the iPhone by attaching extra-large lenses? There’s the PhotoJoJo SLR mount and the Quattro metal case which has interchangeable lenses.
2. Use your iPhone underwater.
Some people just aren’t content with using their iPhone on dry-land; they have to be able to use their favourite gadget underwater too. There’s a whole blog about the subject, unsurprisingly called “Underwater iPhone”. Also, if you can afford it, you can send your iPhone to the USA for a Luiqipel coating to make it completely waterproof.
3. Take credit card payments.
Many people use their smartphone to help run their business, and there are apps like PayPal and Square to help you receive electronic payments. However, what if your clients don’t use any of these services? Don’t worry because you can plug in a credit card reader from iZettle.
4. Replace your SatNav.
If you don’t want to leave an expensive SatNav device on your dashboard, you can use your iPhone to navigate in your car. You can pick from the following apps, TomTom, Garmin, CoPilot, Sygic, and Navmii GPS Live UK. The best of the lot is probably TomTom which will set you back £49.99.
5. Manage a webserver.
If you’re responsible for keeping a webserver up and running, you should know about SSH. There are several SSH clients available on the iTunes App Store, any of which will give you command line access to your servers.
6. Become an FTP server.
Yes, if you want to move some files around via your iPhone, or if you’re finding online file sharing a bit too risky, then you need to be an FTP server. By using this app other devices can connect to your iPhone over a WiFi network and download or upload files.
7. Save Lives!
Yes, if you never got around to taking those first aid courses you always meant to, don’t worry as you can grab the St. John’s Ambulance app.
8. Create Music.
With the iPhone (and iPad) you are totally spoilt for choice with musical composition applications. You can also find lots of DJ’ing apps. Plus there are numerous accessories that let you use your iPhone as a guitar amp.
9. Rent a Car.
If you live in London and need a car, but don’t want to worry about the added costs of fuel, maintenance and congestion charges; then the 21st century car rental service, Zipcar is the answer for you. The iPhone app for this service lets you see nearby available Zipcars and lets you book a car for a specific time and date. It even lets you unlock the car you’ve reserved!
10. Control your desktop.
VNC is an age-old protocol for letting you see the screen contents of a remote computer on your own computer. Remoter is a VNC app for iPhone that will let you see and control the desktop of your Windows, OSX, or Linux computer.
11. Learn a language.
You can even use your iPhone to teach yourself a language. There is a free series of language apps on iTunes: German, Italian, French or Spanish. While these will provide the information needed, you’ll still have to have the self-discipline to keep at it!
12. Keep Warm!
Have you ever played an iOS game that made your iPhone become hot to the touch? Well, there are a bunch of applications on the iTunes app store that run your iPhone processors to the max, specifically to make it create heat to warm your hands (or anywhere else you care to stick it!), and here’s one of them.
13. Use with professional audio recording equipment.
Whether you’re a musician, journalist or podcaster, you’ll need a high quality microphone and the ability to transmit your recordings to the Internet. There are cabled dynamic microphones and microphone docks, specially made to fit the iPhone’s data port; as well as some lower quality units that plug into the headset socket.
14. Store your loyalty cards.
If you’re sick of all the loyalty cards over-filling your wallet or purse, then your iPhone can help you. The KeyRing app lets you scan your loyalty cards into its memory. Then, the checkout assistant can just scan a reproduced barcode on your screen.
15. Scan documents.
Because your iPhone has such a good camera, it’s a realistic possibility to do away with your flatbed scanner. You can easily scan multi-page documents into your iPhone and have it create a PDF based on those images. Read more about the best of the best here.
Image credit Yutaka Tsutano