5 Useful Things You Can Do With Your Phone Even When It’s Miles Away

Ryan Dube 26-02-2014

You can play with it all you want, just don’t touch it. Your phone that is.


An Android phone is such a powerful tool. You can use an Android tethered How to Get a Tethered Android Connection On Any Carrier, Anytime There are ways to tether on any Android phone, even if your carrier has disabled tethering. The first method we'll be covering here doesn't require root (though rooted users have more options). Read More for access to the internet or as a standalone wireless hotspot. You can use it to solve everyday problems 4 Cool Android Phone Solutions To Everyday Problems Read More , or to impress your friends 5 Cool Android Apps That Will Impress Your Friends Smartphones are cool. That’s a given. Not all smartphones are equally cool, however – even when the hardware is the same. The apps that you install on your smartphone can turn it into a non-stop... Read More . But did you know that your Android phone can be useful even when you don’t have it on you?

It’s true, even if you forget it at home, you can still use it as a central location to store and access all of your contact information, all of your important photos or videos, or as a wireless IP camera How to Build a Security Camera Network Out Of Old Smartphones There's no better use of old smartphones than by building your own DIY network security camera system -- we show you everything you need to know! Read More to keep an eye on any location of your choice. There are so many things you can do remotely with your Android phone, if you’re running the right apps and putting them to good use.

Let’s take a look at 5 of the coolest apps to make use of your Android Phone without even laying a single finger on it.

Airdroid – Instant Internet Access To Your Phone

Jessica reviewed AirDroid AirDroid - Send SMS, Share Links, Transfer Files & More [Android 2.1+] In the past, we have reviewed many apps that could make your Android phone even more spectacular. We do, in fact, have a great list of the best 100 Android apps we have encountered up... Read More a while back, and since then, AirDroid has only gotten better. Install it on your phone, launch it, and you have instant access to your phone (or tablet) from either a direct IP address right on your own home network, or using and signing into your AirDroid account from anywhere on the Internet.



AirDroid isn’t only a really easy way to capture screenshots of your Android (which is primarily why I use it most of the time), but it also gives you direct access to all of the Contacts you have installed on your phone, SMS message history, screenshots, files and pretty much anything else you have installed on your phone.


It gives you control over your phone as well. You can view all installed apps and uninstall any of them. This is one of the easiest ways to clean up your phone from those old apps you installed and don’t use anymore. AirDroid also lets you launch the camera on your phone, control the flash, take a picture, and enable the camera front-facing camera.



The right side of the Airdroid screen gives you access to your current phone stats like memory use, battery use, network status and more. You can also get access to the clipboard contents, web browser, and more.


It’s probably one of the most functional and useful remote control apps I’ve ever used for Android, which makes it an obvious first choice for hands-free control of your Android phone.

Android Lost – Control Your Phone From Anywhere

There’s similar remote control app called Android Lost that you can download at the Google Play store, which provides the same sort of access and control, but with a much simpler and more straightforward GUI. The Android Lost website lists all of the things you can do with it.


For some reason the app is only touted as a way to find your phone when you lose it, because you can do things like enabling an alarm, vibrating the phone, and other things that might alert you to the location under the couch cushions where you dropped your phone.


However, there’s so much more this app lets you do to control the phone. You can set up SMS or Email alerts for when things change on your phone, or to get a automated log of activity from  your phone like status messages, call log details, and more.

The thing is, the app goes way beyond features that help you find a lost phone. There is a long list of controls – some that are really cool like sending a text message that your phone will speak out loud, automatically setting up call forwarding, record sounds from the microphone, turn on the cameras – the list goes on.



Of course, beyond those really cool control features, the ability to use the software to find your lost Android, even when it’s not lost inside your own house, is pretty impressive. You can even use the app to turn on the GPS receiver in your phone and locate the phone coordinates on a map.


So, if you’re looking more for remote access to files and the status of your phone, I’d recommend AirDroid thanks to its wonderful user interface. However, if you’re looking for the most remote control features that you can find anywhere, then Android Lost is the app that you want to install.

Control via SMS Messages with Agastya

Of course, a web browser isn’t the only way there is to control your Android phone remotely. If you left for work in the morning and forgot your phone on the bedside stand, you can prevent the phone from ringing and buzzing all day by sending an SMS message to it and silencing the phone, using the Agastya app.

Setup is as quick and simple as typing in your email address and choosing a 4 digit PIN number that you can use when you send an SMS message to your phone.


Following the special PIN, you then send the SMS command.

Commands include turning the phone’s ringer off and on, obtaining the last few text messages the phone received, obtaining the last 5 incoming phonecall numbers, or fetching contact information of someone in your phone’s contact list.

Control Your Android Via FTP Server

If FTP is your thing, you can control your Android phone via FTP as well (to some extent).  Most FTP server apps for Android phones do nothing more than give you FTP access to the files and folders on your phone. FTPServer is a little bit different.

Once you install it on your phone, all you have to do is set up an ID, a password and a special port (greater than 1023) to access the phone via FTP. Once it’s running, you can FTP connect to the phone from anywhere on the local network (or you can set up port-forwarding What Is Port Forwarding? Everything You Need to Know What is port forwarding? How can you set it up? Is port forwarding good for gaming? How does it help? Here's what you need to know. Read More on your router to FTP to it from outside your home network when your phone is at home).


Once you’ve established the FTP connection with your phone, you can do the usual file transfers to and from your phone, but you can also run a special “SITE SHUTDOWN” command that the developers included that lets you remotely shutdown your phone. It’s a cool hidden control feature most people wouldn’t even consider when shopping around for an Android FTP server app.

Turn Your Android Into a Remote IP Camera

The last app that is well worth mentioning when you’re talking about remotely controlling your phone is the ability to access the cameras, even when you don’t have physical access to your phone. One of the more useful and automated apps for this is IP Webcam.

Once you launch the IP Webcam software, you can set it up to only run in the background, and enable it to prevent the processor from going to sleep when the screen is off. And when you enable it to Stream on Device Boot, you’ve pretty much configured an automated, streaming IP camera.


You can access your phone remotely by going to the IP address of the camera, or setting up a sort of remotely accessible security camera system How to Build a Security Camera Network Out Of Old Smartphones There's no better use of old smartphones than by building your own DIY network security camera system -- we show you everything you need to know! Read More , that you can access from anywhere. The web interface once your IP camera app is running, gives you a long list of options for making use of the video stream coming from your phone.


You can stream it right in your browser using the Java plugin or your browser’s built-in video viewer, take a snapshot of the camera view, or you can configure it to stream to 3rd party apps like Skype.


There are endless uses for remotely accessing the camera on your phone. You can set it up as an ad-hoc spy device if you suspect your babysitter is stealing from you, run it as a home security system when you’re at work, or just to check in at home every now and then if you’re away and your teen children are home alone.

You never really know when or why you might need to remotely access and control your Android phone, but the apps above provide a wide array of choices depending on your needs. It all comes down to figuring out why you need to remotely control your phone, and then choosing the right app for the job.

Related topics: Remote Access, Smartphone Security.

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  1. Pushpendra
    February 12, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    Very nice article !

    It's very helpful and worth sharing, interesting stuff ?

  2. Colten
    April 22, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    this is really amazing post thanks for the information and also i have one question....

    do you have any idea that how can i read all whatsapp msg of other phone without ever touch that phone trough his mobile number ?

  3. Sean
    April 22, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    can you use a second android phone (S3) as a ip camera to veiw with an (S5) if you don't have wifi/router/or Internet access besides the main S5 phones 4glte ?

    persay do any settings like wifi direct or whatever enable you to do this ?

  4. anonymouse
    April 14, 2016 at 7:57 am

    is there any app? which sends us the image of receipient who is receiving the messages ?

  5. Anonymous
    October 16, 2015 at 2:58 am

    Does this article apply to Android Tablets as well? If so, why are articles usually written about Android "phones" instead of Android "devices"?

    • poep
      April 9, 2016 at 1:54 pm

      There is no difference msot of the time

      • dan
        April 9, 2016 at 2:20 pm

        That's what I thought - thanks for your reply.

      • nabilla
        December 5, 2016 at 4:17 am

        i'm using Airdroid i failed to connect my device with my pc when my device is far away from my pc. is there something wrong with my general setting? my general setting pretty much looks like device name A51w, remote wake up "on", power saving mode "off", dim the screen when airmirror starts "off", keep screen awake "off", require confirmation for web lite "on", remote transfer for file transfer "always allow", and port number "auto". i saw the problem like this in Airdroid 2 causes by "push service". but in Airdroid 4 there's no "push service" button. how do i manage my device to keep connect with my pc though it's far away. please respond to my question as soon as possible. because i really love this app

  6. Eric
    May 18, 2015 at 5:24 am

    I really loved AirDroid but I recently got the iPhone 6 and now I can't communicate with my computer/:

  7. hsatx
    March 1, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Do you have an IOS version of the same topic?

  8. Don Preston
    February 28, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    I might add that IP Webcam is also useful for Android phones that you don't use anymore. Install it on a phone and connect it to your WiFi and you have a permanent security monitor for you home. You can monitor it from your current phone with many apps.

  9. emilymainzer
    February 28, 2014 at 6:28 am

    These are awesome collection of apps, i liked that airdroid and will use it soon. Here are some other interesting security apps that are helpful for your smartphones.

  10. Tom E
    February 27, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    Instead of, I still prefer Lookout. You get lost phone features (make a noise, even when silent; access GPS and tell me where you are), you get some additional features, like when the battery gets below 5%, it turns on the GPS and sends out a "flare" so you will know where it was when it died ... because the battery ran out. So, even though you didn't realize it was lost and now the battery is dead, it still has a reminder of where it was.

    But, some of those features of sound pretty good, too!

  11. Maarten D
    February 27, 2014 at 4:51 pm


  12. Jeff Sweet
    February 27, 2014 at 6:04 am

    What about using MightyText to send and receive SMS messages when you aren't close to your phone?

  13. Pampam L
    February 27, 2014 at 4:02 am

    Wow. Very useful apps. Thanks! need to download these.