8 Ways Cell Phones Are Making Our Lives Better

Smartphones and cell phones before them, have made their way into every inch of our lives, and there’s nothing else like them that has made such an impact on our daily lives. There might be the exception of the personal computer, but the two are colliding at a rapid pace, anyhow. You’re quite possibly reading this on your smartphone now and will check it several times today. And you have every reason to, given just how useful they can be and how many functions they’ve been shown to have.

Yet what is their true impact? Just how far does their reach extend, and how does this help you? Here are eight ways smartphones have truly improved our lives and made them easier on a day-to-day basis:

1. An Answer To Every Question

Do you want to know what places sell donuts in your area? You can make a quick search on your smartphone and learn not only where you can get donuts, but every donut place within 50 miles and then some. You can also search for which ones are open now, which ones have a high amount of foot traffic, and which ones have the best customer ratings. You might need to adjust some settings, but you can still find that out. Do some experiments now just to see what you can find!

The above line might seem a little silly, but it’s also true and can be applicable to a wide variety of fields. Whether it's a car repair or how to cut a pear, the answer is on your smartphone, and it's right in your pocket. And with voice recognition, you might not even need to touch your phone to get the answer.

Help for Every Person

To really drive the point home: you are constantly connected to all the largest search engines in the world so long as you have a data plan connection or access to WiFi, which should always be the case in most people’s everyday life. Yes, YouTube should qualify as a search engine, and it wouldn’t matter even if it didn’t.

For example, we typed in “How to Tie a Tie” into Google and got more than one billion results. The video section gave us more than 300 million results. There were perfect charts for all sorts of ties in the image section. However, you learn best, or whatever your environment, there was an answer you could understand and work with. Furthermore, many of these results have been optimized for mobile, making them great on the go. 

And with settings available for mobile browsers and smartphones, accessibility is not a concern, either. Text can be made larger, read aloud, and screen brightness can be adjusted as needed. And given current technology for both networks and smartphones, answers come as fast as you can read them or pick out a result.

Quick Solutions

And if your query is more of a problem, then often your smartphone can bring you directly towards a solution. The answer might be a business in your area, and your phone or search engine will give you an address and quick access to directions if you want to take a drive there. You’ll get a phone number if you want to call them. If it’s a restaurant that comes up, there’s a strong chance you can bring up their menu right then and there. There’s a reason phone books aren’t as common as they used to be.

And sure, some of the “answers” will be advertisements, but not all of them are malicious and some are indeed there to solve the exact problem you have. If you need a plumber quickly, you don’t necessarily mind advertising by plumbers, so long as they’re good.

2. Keeping in Contact with Everyone

It may seem obvious, but smartphones allow us to stay in touch with everyone, and do so more than any other device we’ve ever invented. Sure, social media does that to some degree, and we could do a lot from our computer, but a smartphone allows us to feel like our network is always a reach away, and always a part of our lives. With two screen taps, you can video call your best friend and hope they answer or start texting them. Pictures can be shared, videos can be taken and sent, and you can even get together a group chat with little effort.

Just open up your smartphone now and go to your contacts list or list of people you could message right now on social media. You probably haven’t messaged most of them in your life, or have only done so once, but the option is there. You can always reach out.

Little Hints and Reminders

And while it may seem like a smartphone expands one’s social life to unmanageable degrees, remember that you are the one in control. If you want to block someone, you can. Whatever notifications you do and do not want to show can be adjusted easily. You can quickly keep track of who you need to call, who you need to get back to and set alarms for calls and appointments. Your smartphone can help you run your social life according to your rules.

And while a physical calendar or a notebook can help with some of these things, can you keep track of a physical calendar with so many facets? Can you keep track of the birthdays of every acquaintance you have? A smartphone helps with that and makes a quick call or message so much easier. You can even send a gift to someone easily from your phone if you have the right address information.

3. A Lifeline in an Emergency

Many people wouldn’t even want to have a cell phone in the first place if it weren’t for the fact that they can be an absolute lifesaver in an emergency. There are a bunch of reasons something can go wrong and you can’t get to a landline (or a landline might not work). A smartphone can help you reach out so much more easily, and some cities and areas are even experienced with getting an emergency line by text (albeit as a last resort). Whether it’s an ongoing crime, a sudden injury, or something else, a smartphone can help you.

Furthermore, for some emergencies, it might be good for looking up information. Stuck in a bad spot with your car? Lookup a guide on how to fix things, even if it's temporary. While first aid tips probably might not be the best thing to look up and take your time with, it’s better than nothing. Even if we never use our smartphones for an emergency, the thought of having a lifeline can help us breathe easier each day.

If you want to learn more about how you can prepare your smartphone for an emergency and use it properly when the time comes, we recommend following this link.

And while the initial situations themselves are horrifying, there are many stories of people escaping abuse and bad situations by getting their hands on a cell phone. It doesn’t need to have a plan and doesn’t need to be new. If it has a signal, it can save a life. In some situations, just having a phone can allow you to help other people in trouble.

4. An App for Everything

This might have been a theme for things already, but there really is an app for everything you can imagine a smartphone can do, and even some things you can’t imagine. And while every app isn’t perfect, it can at least be a proof of concept for the future, when the hardware is better and when the glitches and bugs in the software can be ironed out. We know that there is a lot of competition in the app market, and you will never hear about hundreds of thousands of apps. In fact, probably only a few thousand have ever gained any true traction in the public eye. 

Nonetheless, specialist apps and apps that are a bit more experimental are what drive smartphones into the future. They are the ones that take advantage of a phone’s newest features and drive innovation. There’s a time and a place for everything, including the strangest apps imaginable.

And whatever your goals, there’s an app to help you along. You might not get a personal trainer from just an app, but you can get a lot more help than you would from just your own background. You can at least get started in a new interest or determine whether a greater investment is worthwhile.

From Silly to Practical

Not every app is a paragon of practicality. Many apps run towards the silly side, and we aren’t even talking about games. There are apps just so you can knock on wood when appropriate. Some apps just provide a simple sound or are good for pranks. Going through the app store for an hour or can lead to some interesting finds.

Of course, there are apps on the other end of the scale as well, turning your phone into practically a virtual Swiss Army Knife, more so than it already is. We recommend a bit of a mixture, depending on your personal tastes.

5. Endless Learning Opportunities

Do you want to learn a new language? There’s an app that can help. What about learning a musical instrument? You might want to get help from an instructor, but an app can absolutely aid with the practice. There are also apps that are gateways to specialized courses on every topic under the sun, with different levels and user experiences to appeal to every type of learner. Your phone can be a gateway to learning a language while in the waiting room or doing some math exercises to keep yourself sharp each morning.

Combine these functions with constant access, and you have a little learning machine waiting for your instructions.

Connections with Mentors

And much like how phones allow us to connect with answers and our friends and family, smartphones allow us to connect with our mentors as well. Depending on the programs someone is enrolled in and the relationships one has, one can have their questions answered quickly, and there are apps and smartphone-based tools that can connect you with experts as needed. The access extends all over the globe, and video calls might even be available if you’re willing to pay for other people’s time.

For Children and Adults

There are tons of learning apps, and it stands to reason that there are some devoted to each age group as well as each interest. While children probably shouldn’t be glued to a smartphone all day, some apps can help them learn new concepts, do homework, and practice whatever skills are needed. And its general usage as a research tool has already been covered to some degree. It’s basically just as good as a computer to find quick answers, just more portable.

And there has been no greater test of these apps and smartphones in general than in the pandemic over the two years. Students have often had to rely on remote learning and then try to work as hard as they can to keep pace despite the challenges that come with that. And while laptops and computers have taken the greatest burden during these times, smartphones have had a key role to play as well, especially when other devices aren’t available.

So whatever the age of the user, a smartphone can still be used as a learning tool.

A Video or Article for Everything

As alluded to before, there is so much content online, all accessible by the average smartphone, that there is an article (and likely a whole website) for any interest, 

There are so many options for videos that we won’t even attempt to go over them all but note that there’s more than just YouTube and the sites you know. There are more specialized apps that can provide guided programs, or publications you can get access to, whether more academic or not. Practically every major outlet, journal, and magazine has an online edition now, optimized for your phone.

6. A Camera Whenever We Want It

Before there were cell phones, getting photos wasn’t so easy. You had to have a camera, get the photos developed or printed, or go to a professional. And while not everyone is a professional photographer and there’s clearly a difference between amateur and professional photos, smartphones have allowed us to take a camera wherever we go, letting us take a quick snap of our memories and precious moments even when we don’t expect them. 

Now we have more information and recording of modern life than there ever was in modern history, for better and for worse. We get to see how people normally live their lives all over the world, and photo and video-based apps are effectively the most popular. How many social media posts without pictures do you honestly pay attention to? The camera is a given, but it’s changed everything.

Better and Better Models

The first cell phone cameras were lacking a bit in the image quality department. Resolutions made pictures more like mosaics, and they were more curiosities than anything practical. However, this changed quickly over time to lead to phones with cameras that take amazing, detailed photos.

The top models of today can have phones that are on par with dedicated digital cameras (albeit not the best ones). They can take a professional-quality photo with the right settings, and the best part is that they are available whenever you have your phone on you. You can get a quick shot in seconds and zoom in and focus as you need to if you have a bit more time. Now phones also have selfie cameras for video chats and quick self-shots. We can only become more excited. 

7. Easy Organization

Taking pen and paper notes might be best for those important things and we’re inclined to keep them on hand, but for every other occasion having a smartphone available really lets you keep all of your thoughts down. Whether it’s a shopping list, a to-do list, or something else, a smartphone makes for easier organization. There are apps to help with this, of course, but with even a simple notepad life becomes much easier.

Automatic Tracking and Organization

With the right apps and settings, you don’t even need to do much work to get your life organized. For example, you can:

  • Set up your phone with either Google Calendar or a productivity app to give you a notification of upcoming meetings. If you just want to stick to a daily schedule or get regular reminders (perhaps to get up every hour and walk around, for example), then you can get those notifications as well.
  • Keep a to-do list using an app that can sort the tasks by due date, priority, category, and more. If you update it regularly or create certain refreshing tasks, you’ll be able to stay on top of what you need to do.
  • Use something like Evernote to keep track of every idea that enters your head. Sure, most of the notes will go forgotten, but the best ideas come at the oddest hours.

8. Entertainment Everywhere

While all the above ideas are aspects of the smartphone most people are glad to have, they might not use most of them on a day-to-day basis. When it comes to entertainment, however, people are more apt to use that every day and make their smartphones a part of their life. Here are some of the ways it makes things easier:

Streaming and On-Demand Content

With streaming apps and a decent pair of headphones, you can watch practically whatever you want on a smartphone, whether it be your favorite show, a movie (though some film lovers may disapprove), or one of millions upon millions of videos on a platform such as YouTube. There is no shortage of things to be interested in.

To complement this, screens have gotten brighter and better. Resolutions often go to 1440p, and HD streaming on a phone is the standard at the very least. It might be some time until we get standardized 4k streaming on a smartphone, but it's not out of the realm of possibility.

Articles, Books, and More

There is more online than you could ever read in a single lifetime, and people can get so many options. Instead of reading a random magazine in the doctor’s waiting room, you can read the magazine of your choice on your smartphone, often extremely cheaply. You can take a book with you to bed every night, and it won’t weigh too much to be uncomfortable. You can even make reading a poem a day an easy habit with a smartphone.

With a smartphone, you can do so whenever, and not have to carry reading materials around either. Practically every book published now has an e-book version you can read on your smartphone and an audiobook in many cases. Switch as you’d like, and don’t feel like you’re invested too much in a book you aren’t enjoying. Libraries are in on it as well, allowing users to check out e-books on their phones in many cases.

All Music, Everywhere

Music has never been so available, and smartphones and streaming from smartphones have been a huge part of that. People rarely rely on the radio anymore, and smartphones can easily plug into cars or connect via BlueTooth. There’s a lot to love, and a smartphone with a nice pair of earbuds or headphones can be your portal into the musical world. Whatever you want, it’s right there, and you can download songs easily for when internet access might not be reliable.

And if you still want that radio experience, you can still find plenty of playlists and stations that will select music for you automatically, either based on your own preferences or their own algorithms. 

Endless Games

And we couldn’t possibly forget mobile games. They have become a huge industry, to the point where mobile gaming revenue is outshining practically anything else in the entertainment industry. Billions of people play them, and new games and updates are coming out every single day, hoping to capture the attention of the public and go viral. What’s on the line? Pokémon Go has made several billion dollars over its lifespan.

In fact, there are so many mobile games that you couldn’t possibly go through them all. While many of them use dubious monetization practices that try to keep players hooked and spending money as often as possible, there are also plenty of games that provide an excellent experience wherever and whenever you want it. Whether you want something online or just for yourself, there’s an option for you.

Yet what is truly fascinating is that soon cloud streaming and smartphone technology will allow mobile gamers to play the top titles right from their phone. There is still some work to be done, for sure, and it will never reach the perfection that a console or dedicated PC can provide, but the access provided is unmatched. Smartphones will open the hobby to everyone.

Conclusion

There are so many other ways cell phones and smartphones make our lives better each and every day, and you can likely think of some rather quickly. We aren’t really stating anything groundbreaking here, but we do hope to remind you of some of the ways we’ve advanced and just how far we’ve come. There is so much more left for smartphones left to accomplish and there’s more room to grow, so we’re also excited to see what is coming. We wish you the best with your smartphone and hope that you have a greater idea of what it can do for you.