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More Than a Selfie Taker – Here are Some of the Amazing Ways You Can Use Your Smartphone Camera

If you were to break your phone’s camera, how frustrated do you think you would be?

So, you couldn’t take a selfie anymore – would that really be the end of the world?

The short answer here is yes.

Well, not really yes, there are plenty of worse things that could happen. But it wouldn’t be great, because the smartphone camera is about so much more than just being your selfie sidekick. And today, we really want to talk to you about smartphones and their cameras because we’d happily bet that your phone’s camera would be one of the most used parts of your smartphone, even if you aren’t into the whole selfie thing.

One of the most useful things you own

The smartphone is easily one of the best inventions in recent times.

It’s essentially the perfect palm-sized assistant. The palm-sized assistant you didn’t really know you needed – that is until you leave it at home one day and realise just how much you use your phone.

Think about it.

If you left your house without your wallet 10 years ago, it would have been a disaster. Nowadays, you can pay using the cards stored on your phone or you can take money out of your account at an ATM using your banking app.

If we think back 20 years ago (please say you’re old enough to remember), you might remember how tricky it was to find out information about anything. If you had a pen and paper on hand, you could make a note of what you were wanting to know and wait until you got home to find out the answer. But now, all you need to do is whip out your phone, open up google and get your answer in seconds.

And if you wanted to capture any of those special moments, like a friend’s birthday, your kid’s first kinder concert, or perhaps just a night out with the girls, you needed to make sure your digital camera or even your film camera was juiced up, had free storage and was on you at all times. These days, grab your phone, swipe down to the camera shortcut, open it up and fire away.

There’s a reason we rarely leave our homes without our phones.

How you can use your smartphone camera

Of course, your phone’s camera is perfect to help you really capture those special moments, but did you know that there are literally hundreds of different ways you can and probably already do, use your phone’s camera?

Well, buckle up, because we’re going to tell you about a handful of them now.

1. Picture taking, memory making

Now, we can’t talk about the smartphone camera without recognising its ability to take high-quality and sometimes breathtaking photos.

The rise of the smartphone camera – which has been driven by the arms race between brands to differentiate their phone from everyone else’s – has meant that we now have cameras in our smartphones that can produce such amazing imagery, they rival the photographs of professional photographers (though, don’t tell them that).

Many smartphones have both a front and back camera lens to take pictures or make videos with, and some even have triple or quad cameras as well.

Unless you do dabble in photography, the need for a separate camera device is now redundant and the hassle for you is too. You don’t need to lug a camera around, worry about it being charged or getting that film developed, just keep your smartphone on you – like you already do.

2. Keep an eye on your home, property, kids or pets

If you’re security conscious and want a way to keep an eye on things, your smartphone can do wonders here. To do this, you will actually need two devices, so if you have a spare smartphone that no one is using, that would be perfect.

All you need to do is install a security camera app on your old phone – there are lots of different kinds out there that offer similar things, like local streaming, footage storage, and motion detection.

Once the app is set up on your old phone, you just need to set the phone up in the position you need it and then you can use your current phone to access the footage it picks up. Even if you’ve made the jump from Android to iPhone or vice versa, there are apps that can facilitate this.

This can actually save you a lot of money, you don’t need to fork out for a security system, and you can make use of that old phone.

You could even use this as a baby monitor as well!

3. Check in to venues

During the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve seen the rise of the use of the QR code – finally. QR technology isn’t new, but it has certainly been underutilised.

In Australia, in recent times, we’ve been making use of the QR technology to make it fast and easy to check into places and also as a way to make social distancing easier by allowing you to place food and drink orders at restaurants.

Without your smartphone camera, this wouldn’t be possible.

4. Unlock bonus deals and information

While we’re on the topic of QR codes, this technology has also made it possible for companies to offer discounts, information, and exclusive content.

One of the ways QR codes were most commonly used pre-covid was as a way to access bonus information as a reward for purchasing something, like in a PlayStation game or a DVD.

As QR codes are starting to be used more and more, you might even notice that some companies are using them in their advertising to make it easier for you to find out more detailed information!

5. Translate any language

Language is so much less of a barrier now thanks to the invention of the Word Lens app.

The app could translate any foreign language in writing all through the use of your smartphone’s camera. It could read signs, books, whatever you needed, and it could do this in real time.

This incredible tech makes it a piece of cake to travel confidently and get over those language barriers that once may have stopped you in your tracks.

The app was released back in 2014 and was acquired by Google to develop the Google Translate app which is free for both iOS and Android users.

6. Make your docs digitalised

Now while you can take pics of your documents and store them in your phone’s gallery or even a secured app, another great option is digitising your docs using your phone’s camera and a scanning app.

There are lots of different apps you can use for this function, each offering you various ways to store, organise and file these documents.

Scanning the documents instead of taking pictures has the added benefit of text recognition, which can make it a lot easier to search through the pages.

7. Make visual lists and reminders

While we’re technically taking photos here, we’re not taking them to capture moments. Rather, we’re suggesting that you take pictures of things you like – such as the wine label of a delicious variety you’ve just tasted; things you use regularly but never really focus on the little details of – like the exact shade of foundation you use; or the things that you think might make a good present for someone – hint hint.

You can create albums in your phone’s gallery dedicated to all sorts of topics to make these visual lists as well.

8. Find out almost anything

Is there anything Google can’t do? Apparently not, because you can use the Google Lens technology to identify objects, landmarks, types of dogs, flowers or almost anything you can think of, that are in a photo.

To do this, you need to use Google Photos to open up an image, and then there is the Google Lens button which will help to recognise those objects in the pictures.

There are also lots of different identification style apps that help you to pinpoint more information about something you’re looking at – for example, if you’re keen on learning which plants you’re walking by each day, you can use PlantNet – all you need to do is snap a pic of the plant and the app will identify the species.

9. Score a bargain

If you’re all about finding the best price possible, then this one is for you.

You can use your phone’s camera to scan the barcode of a product to find out how much stores are selling it for. Some smartphones have a barcode scanner built into the camera, however if yours doesn’t you can download barcode scanning apps – there are lots of them out there.

Some companies even have apps where you can take pictures of products and they can search their inventory for that product or something similar, which can make shopping a breeze.

10. Augment your reality

If you’re not a tech head you might not have any idea what we mean when we say augmented reality – so in simple terms, it is the modification of a real-life environment through the use of sensory stimuli. This can be sound or in this instance they are visual elements.

Augmented reality technology can do all sorts of incredible things, including adding fun stickers to photos, helping you visualise furniture in your home, and enabling you to measure real life objects without a measuring tape.

On the iPhone or iPad, you can use the Measure app to measure all sorts of objects using this technology. Just open the app, follow the instructions that help the iPhone understand your surroundings, and then get to measuring.

This kind of technology is particularly common in gaming and can be seen in the likes of Pokemon Go!

11. Actually see who you’re talking to

This one isn’t really new either but is often overlooked – at least in our opinion. FaceTime and video calls have been on the rise in recent years due to the pandemic, but even outside of this, the convenience they provide is outstanding.

Not only can you see a friendly face when you talk to someone, you can also consult with various professionals – for example you can speak to a doctor where you can show them a condition you might be experiencing. Or you could speak to someone like an interior designer, where they could show you their ideas for your home design.

The options are endless and all you need is your smartphone camera!

12. No glasses, no worries

If you’ve forgotten your glasses or even if you don’t wear them but can’t quite make out the super small text in front of you, just use your phone.

You can zoom in on the tiny text and read it easily – and with the significant improvement in cameras over the years, you’ll be amazed at just how easily you’ll be able to read that text.

13. Become a maths wiz

Let’s face it, maths is very rarely our strong suit, and it’s the kind of thing where if you don’t use it often, it can take you a little longer to work it out.

Now, while you can always use your phone’s calculator or a real calculator, there are some sums that you don’t even know where to begin with.

Well, guess what, there is an app for that! You can use an app call PhotoMath to help you on your way.

This app has been around since 2014, and while it will give you the answer to your maths problem, it will also give you a step-by-step guide to solving it as well, so it’s not just the easy way out, it’s teaching you too.

If your phone’s camera isn’t working

As you can see, your smartphone camera is incredibly useful. And if it’s not working properly it can impact much more than your ability to take the perfect mirror selfie.

So, if you’ve noticed that the quality of the photos you take with your smartphone has dropped – and it has nothing to do with your photography skills – or your phone’s camera is clearly damaged then there is something you can do about it.

You can get it fixed by us here at Fone Teknician. We fix both front and back cameras on iPhones, iPads and Samsung Galaxy smartphones. There are lots of things that can affect your phone’s camera from smashed lenses to faulty camera units, and we can help you fix them all.

If you’re located in Sydney and your iPhone or smartphone camera is giving you grief, then book in a repair today. We make it easy by coming to you to repair your smartphone (or any other issue affecting your phone) – so what are you waiting for?


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