The cell phone has come a long way its early days. From the very first mobile phones with those heavy, carry-along battery packs that emerged in the 1970s, to the large, boxy hand-held numbers from the 1980s, to the smaller but relatively featureless flip-phones of the 1990s, cell phones have evolved quite a bit since their initial inception.
These days, some models of cell phones are smaller and lighter than ever. Others (like most smartphones) are more substantial in size and weight, but are absolutely loaded with features. The prices of cell phones and cell phone service has dropped as the years have gone by, and many cell phone features can save you quite a bit of money in your day to day life as well — sometimes in ways that you might not have expected.
Save on Gasoline — Use Map Features to Plot Your Driving Routes
Gas prices have never been higher and the timing couldn’t be worse. The economy is taking hits left and right, and so is your pocketbook. There’s no need to make your gasoline expenditure any worse than it already is; use the mapping and driving directions features on your phone to plan driving trips both short and long. Whether you’ve never been to your destination before or have many times, mapping it ahead of time with your smartphone could cut miles off your driving route, and hundreds off your fuel bill each year.
Use Your Cell Phone as a Modem to Connect with the Internet
Imagine yourself in a lush, green park on a nice, warm spring day, or on a sunny, tropical beach in summer — surfing the internet with your laptop. Well, you can! All you need is a smartphone, phone service, the ability to tether, and your laptop computer.
Possibly the most overlooked and under-utilized feature of the cell phone is the ability to use it as a portable modem. Your phone can connect your computer to the internet even when WiFi is not available. This is excellent for while you are traveling. From tethering, to Bluetooth, to a wireless network, there are several ways your cell phone can be used as a modem. Once connected, you can use your phone to surf the web via computer from anywhere instead of paying for WiFi at hotels or coffee shops.
There are numerous tutorials available online that can help walk you through this process and get you up and running. There is information available for T-Mobile wireless phones as well as all the other brands.
No Need for a Separate Camera Anymore
Just about all cell phones have a built-in camera these days, and every year the resolution and quality of cell phone cameras gets better and better. Many phones also come equipped with video as well. More and more, the cell phone is becoming an all-in-one device, simplifying your life and saving you money.
Email and Internet Browsing
No longer is a computer essential to browsing the internet or checking your email. In a pinch, your cell phone can help you with both. While you’ll have to contend with a smaller screen and keyboard, cell phone networks are continually getting faster and more powerful, and the screen quality clearer and more vibrant. The touch screen makes writing emails and surfing the web a better experience than ever via your cell phone.
Miscellaneous Money-Saving Features That Add Up
Your cell phone is loaded with features you may not use very often, but they are saving you money daily. Having these tools and features all in one place means convenience as well. Many phones now include alarm clocks, calendars, calculators, weather apps, voice recorders, note pads and even some games. If you think of a feature your phone does not have pre-loaded, don’t despair; there are literally tens of thousands of affordable apps you can buy, or sometimes even get for free.