Remember the days when a cell phone was for calls and a round or two of Snake? Today’s phones are professional cameras, PDF scanners and even car keys.

I keep a digital copy of my driver’s license on my phone because it’s so convenient. Here you find out how this works.

Paying with your phone is that easy too. Late to the party? I have instructions on how to set it up.

Your phone can do a lot more. Many of these features can be found in the accessibility settings. Developers create them for people who need extra help using their phones—but they’re useful for just about everyone.

1. Add subtitles to your video calls, podcasts or phone calls

Not every video chat takes place in a quiet environment — or maybe your hearing isn’t good. No problem. You can get real-time subtitles for video chats, podcasts, calls, music and videos.

On iPhone:

  • Go to Ideas > Accessibility > subtitles and subtitles.
  • Toggle the switch next to “Subtitles & SDH”. At Position.

Here’s how to enable live subtitles on your Android phone:

  • Go to Ideas > Accessibility > subtitle settings.
  • Beat Show subtitles to turn it on.
Woman walking with her phone while sitting in the park.

Amazon could start offering cellular service for your cell phone. (

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2. Translate a conversation in real time

Despite my promise to learn a new language every year, that never happens. The next time you run into someone you’re having trouble communicating with, pull out your phone to help. No, you don’t have to pay anything for it.

On iPhone:

  • open that translate app. It is pre-installed.
  • Tap the arrows next to the two languages ​​to select the languages ​​you want to translate between.
  • Tap on one of the languages to start typing or use the microphone to speak. NOTE: The input language icon appears next to the language you are translating.
  • To change the input language, tap other language.
  • Both languages ​​will show what you say or type on your phone.

The map buried in your phone shows where you’ve been and what photos you took there

Download the Google Translate app on Android. It’s free.

  • Open the app.
  • Beat Conversation and allow the app to record audio.
  • Choose automobile. As you talk to each other, your phone will show the translations.
  • You can tap speaker icon to have your phone read out translations.

On a computer? This tool is said to be six times more accurate than Google Translate.

3.Notify you when the dog is barking, a child is crying or glass just broken

Depending on your hearing and the layout of your home, some sounds may bypass you. Your phone can help. You shouldn’t rely on it to babysit a child or protect your pet, but it’s a nice relief when the need arises.

Man smiles at his smartphone

Man smiles at his phone while sitting on an outdoor bench (

How to enable sound detection on your iPhone:

  • Go to Ideas > Accessibility > tone detectionand then enable sound detection by moving the slider switch to the right.
  • Beat Sounds and turn on the sounds you want your phone to recognize.

How to enable sound notifications on your Android phone:

  • Go to Ideas > Accessibility > sound notifications.
  • Beat Open Sound NotificationsThen To turn on. You must grant permission to record audio.
  • Tap the gear icon. You can choose which sounds you want to be notified about and how.

Do you have an Amazon Echo at home? It can increase the security of your home. How to set up Alexa Guard.

4. Act as improvised hearing aids

Live Listen is designed for people with hearing disabilities, and you can set it up if you’ve paired a pair of AirPods or Powerbeats Pro wireless earbuds with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

The range of AirPods combined with Live Listen is debated, but the consensus is around 50 feet. Listening to conversations through walls is possible from a shorter distance, but the quality may deteriorate depending on the material of the wall. No, I do not encourage snooping.

First, add the mode to the control center:

  • Go to Ideasand then tap control center.
  • Scroll down until you reach it Hear and tap green + sign.
  • Tap on back button to save the settings.

To use Live Listen:

  • open that control center and tap ear icon.
  • Tap the listen live Symbol.
  • Place your device in front of the audio source you want to hear.

If everything is set up correctly, you will see the headphone audio levels during a call.

Android’s Sound Amplifier feature works similarly.

  • Go to Ideas > Accessibility > sound amplifier.
  • Choose Open the sound amplifier. From here you can add the icon to your app list if needed.
  • Choose whether you want to amplify the sound coming in through the microphone or the media playing on your phone.
  • Plug in your headphones and follow the on-screen instructions.

More Smarts: 10 iPhone Tricks I Use Every Day, and You Too

5. Read or describe what is happening on your screen

You can tap an item on the screen and have it read or read to you. You can also do this with the entire screen. To enable spoken content on your iPhone:

  • Go to Ideas > Accessibility > spoken content.
  • Switch speak selection to get a talk button when highlighting text.
  • Switch talk screen. Swipe down from the top of the screen with two fingers to listen to what’s on your screen.

How to go paperless by turning your phone into a handheld scanner

Android phones can do this too. Even cooler, you can point your camera at text or an image and have the text or description read aloud. To turn on Select to Speak:

  • Go to Ideas > Accessibility > Select to speak.
  • Turn At Use the Select to Read link. Note: You must give him full control of your device.
  • Tap the abbreviation on your screen to use it.

Your phone is a mess. How to clean up your photo library FAST.

Maintain your technical knowledge

My favorite podcast is called Kim Komando Today. It’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips and tech callers like you from across the country. Look for it wherever you get your podcasts. For convenience, click the link below for a recent episode.

PODCAST SELECTION: PTSD and Apple Watch amazing cures

Your Apple Watch is more than an everyday accessory; It is a partner in the fight against PTSD. In this special episode of Kim Komando Today, I explore NightWare, an app that turns your Apple Watch into a shield against insomnia caused by PTSD.

Man smiles at his smartphone

Man looking happily at his android phone (

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