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5 things you can do for free with your smartphone

Most people use their phone as a camera from time to time, but did you know it can also be your health tracker, digital wallet, translator and more? 

Mobile phones these days do a lot more than make and receive calls. Sure they offer access to the internet, emails and social media from anywhere, but they also provide a number of built-in features to make your everyday life much easier.

Whether you own an iPhone or Android device, modern smartphones come with handy apps ready to use out-of-the-box. Other useful apps are available to download at no cost through the App Store or Google Play. Here are five things you can do for free with your smartphone… 


While there are loads of fitness wearables on the market that connect to an associated app on your smartphone, you could keep it simple by using your device’s pre-installed health app instead. This app may not come with a fancy interface or endless features, but it will provide key metrics like your heart rate, step count, walking and running distance, active and resting energy, sleep time, and workout performance. Monitoring your health has never been easier.


You no longer need a physical wallet or purse to leave the house. The ‘digital wallet’ on your phone has the potential to change the way you live. How? Imagine being able to keep all the important cards, keys and passes you frequently use in one place without weighing down your pockets or worrying about misplaced items. You can use your digital wallet to pay for shopping and entertainment, open your car or front door by holding your phone near a smart lock, and safely store travel passes or event tickets until required. Once you set up the modern wallet there’s no looking back.


Trying to learn another language or struggling to converse overseas? Most smartphones have a translator app to help you convert English words and phrases into different languages and vice versa. You can either type the translation request or use the built-in microphone for voice commands. Results are then provided either as text or audio depending on your preference. Wherever you go you will always be able to ask for help or directions, as well as understand menus, signs and people! 


Out and about or can’t remember where you last saw the calculator or measuring tape? Don’t worry, there’s probably a version of both these DIY tools on your phone. The calculator app works just like the real thing except using an on-screen keypad, while the measuring app cleverly allows you to scan the distance between two points using the phone’s camera. You can even use the latter as a digital level for odd jobs or straightening pictures. So next time you need to do some quick maths or measure the dimensions of a piece of furniture, just grab your phone.


On- and off-street parking can often be hard to find, while traditional parking ticket payment machines – and even some contemporary systems – can be confusing and frustrating to use, especially when you’re in a bit of a hurry. Fortunately, Australian states and cities now have various contactless parking apps to help you find the nearest parking space, then instantly pay and top-up the metered parking just by entering a unique code for each specific zone. You’ll never get an unexpected parking fine again! You will have to download the right app for your current location, but once you do it’s bound to be a real time, stress and money saver.