10 Creative Uses for Smartphones

Last Updated May 12, 2011 9:42 PM EDT

10 Creative Uses For SmartphonesIt's Friday and I did two posts yesterday, so if this is a little long on entertainment and short on usefulness, don't give me crap about it. It's all I could manage. And don't give me a hard time if it isn't funny, either. I'm not a comedian, you know.

Now, most of you know me as a management guy, but in another life, I spent decades in the high-tech industry. And I'm the first to admit that Silicon Valley geeks have never been very good at predicting the success and usage patterns of the gadgets they create.

I mean, nobody thought the IBM PC was ever going to amount to much. And who thought a Canadian company with a dumb name like Research In Motion could get half of corporate America to sit in meetings, airport lounges, and traffic jams thumbing away their time and attention span.

Well, we've come a long way from brick cell phones and playing pong on tiny green-screened desktops. I'm telling you, it's only a matter of time before we've got touchscreen implants in our hands. We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto.

10 Creative Uses for Smartphones

  1. That's right, I'm one of the 35% of users who grabs the Smartphone before getting out of bed in the morning. I wake up, 85 pounds of dog meat plops down on top of me, my wife rolls her eyes, and I reach for the iPhone. I check the stock market, email, then, when I'm sure everything's right with the world, I get up and make cappuccinos.
  2. As if that's not sick enough, I recently started playing a Scrabble game against the computer - the "hard" one with the angry red face - every night in bed. I'm currently on a three-game winning streak. Take that, you cyber smartass.
  3. To date, I've never seen anyone else standing at the supermarket meat counter with their iPhone out, but I email recipes to myself so I don't have to write down a shopping list.
  4. I once tried using the phone for a recipe while cooking, but that didn't work out so well. It kept going to sleep at the wrong time, like when my hands were all over a chicken, and I almost cut off my finger trying to read the screen while chopping veggies.
  5. You might have heard that chainsaws are dangerous. Well, I live in the mountains and cut down trees for firewood. Every so often I'll get a text from my wife from inside the house, "Are you alive?" Just once I want to not answer and see if she actually does anything.
  6. I use the iPhone "Voice Memo" function for blog post ideas. One time I was in the shower and an incredible idea popped into my head. That happens all the time, but this once, by the time I got out and dried off, poof, it was gone forever. So it's only a matter of time before I'm searching for a waterproof case.
  7. The California Highway Patrol has an app for highway accidents. Ironically, it's illegal to use it while driving.
  8. Speaking of driving, yes, I texted once behind the wheel, nearly steered into a concrete divider, had a mini-heart attack, and never did it again, even when it was legal.
  9. It's a real drag that you can't take the thing inside an MRI machine. It really would have come in handy for a two hour scan I had the other day. Think they'll ever make a plastic one? Don't ask; I'm fine.
  10. The Bay Area has a killer talk radio station, KGO. I've completely given up trying to get my expensive, high-tech smart home system to deliver a decent quality AM signal. Instead, I just listen on the iPhone.
One more thing. Even though I wrote, "Don't Take Your Smartphone to the Bathroom," I still do. No, I've never dropped it in the toilet. Yes, I put it down before ... okay, enough about that.

Also check out:

Follow Steve Tobak on Twitter or Facebook
Image: Fedquip via Flickr