Wednesday, November 4, 2015


All smartphones are not created equal and you may find that you're longing for a feature from a more expensive device. Sometimes, it's possible -with the right app or accessory, you can add features to your device, to tide you over till your next upgrade, explaining

Wireless Charging

This is a convenient feature to have be cause you don't have to fumble around with plugging cables in. There are a bunch of phones with this feature built in and thanks to the Qi standard gaining in popularity, you'll easily find wireless charging pucks and stands that'll work with any Qi compatible phone. But what if your phone doesn't have Qi charging built in at all? On some models, you can add it -either by way of a wireless charging adapter (a slim strip that fits under the removable back cover) or a charging case itself.

Remote Viewfinder

Imagine using one smartphone as a viewfinder for your other smartphone.This is especially helpful if you want to place your phone at odd angles from where you cannot see the display. Or if you want remote access to the controls to take an image (this can even work from room to room). Some Samsung flagship phones (from Samsung Galaxy S4 onwards) have this feature built into their camera interface. Other smartphone users can add this feature using a few apps like Remote Shot, Camera Remote or Remotegram. IOS users can check out Remote Shutter or WiFi Camera. All these apps are similar in the sense that they allow you to use one phone as a remote over Bluetooth or WiFi. Note that you may need to try a couple of them out -not all apps work flawlessly with all smartphones.

Make More Noise

Smartphone speakers are generally quite tiny ­ you can't blame the makers because of the race to go smaller and lighter. If you're lucky, your phone may have stereo speakers, but they'll never be too loud. Some manufacturers build in the ability to `daisy-chain' their phones so that all of them can play the same music with one device as the music source. Well now, you can do the same with a free Android & iOS app called Just put the app on all the devices you want to sync and the one with the music can be the host.

Universal Infrared Remote

IR or InfraRed lets you use your smartphone as a universal remote control for appliances like TVs, set-top boxes, media players and even air conditioners. You can add an IR blaster to your phone in two ways -get a 3.5mm IR blaster or use an IR blaster that works over BluetoothWiFi. The 3.5mm IR blaster works over a distance of up to 15 meters and needs a dedicated app to control devices. The other option is something like Orvibo Allone (US$ 50 + shipping) that connects to your phone over WiFi. It has multiple IR emitters that can be used to control up to 15 home appliances. Gesture Control With gestures, you don't need to touch the screen to perform certain actions.
Using information from the proximity sensor and front camera, some phones can flip through photos, let you switch between apps, silence a call and so on.
With a free (ad-supported) app called Wave Control, you can add similar fea tures and more to almost any Android phone. Some of the gestures on offer include musicvideo playback and call control. For the ability to launch apps with a gesture, you need get the pro (ad free) version for `189.

Add-on Flash

LED flash on a smartphone is good to have but it cannot match the performance of a Xenon flash. A xenon flash is not typically used in smartphones because it uses more power. However, you can add a xenon flash using an accessory like the Asus Zenflash (`1,599). The Zenflash works with Asus phones that support USB OTG. You connect the flash with the phone's microUSB port and stick it to the back of your device. It is currently compatible only with Zenfone 2 and Zenfone 2 Deluxe. For selfies, Lenovo has the Vibe Xtension Selfie flash (shown here). It fits into your 3.5mm jack and works with many Android smartphones.

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