7 More Unique & Creative Uses for the iPhone
<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/iphone.jpg” />With the advent of smart phones came the argument of whether or not you really want one device that can do everything for you. There were those who would prefer to carry around an iPod, mobile phone and camera, and there were those who would prefer to combine all three and carry only one device. What if you could add a skipping rope, a personal stylist and baby monitor to the list of things that you could take with you anywhere you go?
That’s exactly what the iPhone does for you. A couple of days ago, we showed you just how many alternative uses there are for the iPhone. Today, we’re concluding the list with a few more creative iPhone uses that you might not have thought of before.
Turn your iPhone into your own personal stylist with Glamour’s free Ask A Stylist app [iTunes link]. Take a photo of an outfit that you own, or that you are planning to buy, and ask any one of Glamour’s resident stylists of your choice, whatever question you need to ask about the outfit. You can take the photo or choose a photo from your photo album, choose between several stylists and tell them where you plan on wearing the outfit.
The next step is where you get to personalise it completely, typing up your specific question, and send it in. Within 20 minutes, you’ll get a personal response to your question within the app.
There are a few standout apps that can turn your iPhone into a miniature e-reader. Using Amazon’s Kindle app , you can take advantage of the immense library of books available through the website – both free and paid.
Using an app like Stanza [iTunes link] give you more options in terms of where you can purchase or download your books from. One of Stanza’s standout features is an extensive list of free resources for e-books including the behemoth Project Gutenberg. The entire search and download process takes place directly within the app and couldn’t be easier. The app is highly customisable, choosing between a black or white background, as well as selecting the font type and size. The app also allows you to search within the text of the book, jump quickly from chapter to chapter, and even look up words in Stanza’s native dictionary. And of course there’s Apple’s native iBook app to look forward to, coming to the iPhone with the OS 4.0 update.
Baby Monitor or Security Camera
If you need a quick fix for a security camera or baby monitor – using a combination of a webcam and iPhone, you can have a simple system up and running within minutes. Download Air Cam Live Video Lite [iTunes link] to your iPhone, and download the Mac or Windows software onto the computer with the webcam. The free version requires both your iPhone and webcam to be on the same network, but you can view the live feed from other networks using the paid app. Once the software has been installed on your computer, simply launch it and you should instantly see what is visible on the webcam on your computer. Just be sure, when you’re setting it up, to password-protect your webcam. Launching the iPhone app, connecting to the webcam feed is as easy as clicking a button and entering the password.
There really is no limit to what you can learn using the iPhone. The free series of 24/7 language apps are great if you want to get a basic grasp of German, Italian, French or Spanish [iTunes links]. The free apps include lists of common phrases and an audio pronunciation guide for each expression. Once you’ve learned them, you can test yourself using multiple choice quizzes, flash cards and games.
There is also no limit to the free apps available for children. Use My First Words [iTunes link] to teach your children how to read. The free app is limited to one category of animals, but it’s a great place to start, displaying first the word, then the picture, accompanied by the audio.
The best thing about the app is that you can record your own audio to accompany the words, change the images, and the word itself, and add new entries, so there is no limit to how you can use the app when teaching your kids to read.
If you want to learn sign language, FreeASL [iTunes link] is a great resource for looking up specific phrases. Simply search for the phrase or expression you want to say, and the app will display a drawing of the gestures to use.
iJump Rope [iTunes link] can be a great substitute to a skipping rope. Launching the app, you can choose to hold your phone at your side either in your left or right hand, start the counter, and start skipping. The app will keep track of your progress, and you can choose to set the timer for as long as you need to train.
One of the most impressive free options to turn your iPhone into the ultimate nightstand clock is Nightstand Weather Clock [iTunes Link]. The display includes the time, date and local weather, in Celsius or Fahrenheit. You can use the iPhone’s location awareness to automatically plug into your city’s weather forecast for the day. The app is highly customisable, with 12 different wallpaper options, the choice to use it in landscape or portrait, and it also serves as an alarm clock to boot. Of course, this comes at the caveat of having to leave the app open overnight.
Another nightstand app that deserves a mention, is TweetDesk [iTunes link]. With this app, you can turn your iPhone into a Twitter-powered nightstand clock, featuring the time, date and a slideshow of tweets, either from a list of popular Twitter accounts including the New York Times, E! Online and Guardian Tech. For a more personalised experience, log in using your Twitter account and you’ll see tweets from the people you follow. The app has an inbuilt browser, allowing you to check out the links that people are sharing directly from within the app.
We all know that you can use your phone if you need a reminder for an appointment, or an errand that you need to run. But what if you’re a little absent-minded and need your iPhone to remind you where you parked? Using Take Me to My Car [iTunes link] is easy. Once you’ve parked, launch the app, hit the Park Here button and it will record the exact location of your car, down to the coordinates. Once you need to find your car, launch the app again, hit the Get Directions button and you can find your way back using walking directions from the iPhone’s native map app.
What other creative iPhone uses do you have? Let us know in the comments.
Image credit: Simon Doggett
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