Five Killer Cell-Phone Camera Tricks

Last Updated Dec 16, 2008 4:09 PM EST

Smile! You're about to learn five fantastic ways to get the most from your cameraphone. Yes, we're talking about that crummy, low-resolution point-and-shoot that's built into your cell. It's a lot more useful than you think, provided you point it at the right things:
  • Where you parked Now where'd you leave the car? G7? F4? If only you'd taken a photo of the nearest signpost, and maybe a few landmarks to boot. Take it from us: Losing your car in a crowded airport lot -- especially when it's 10 degrees out -- is not fun.
  • Your passport and/or driver's license If one of these documents goes missing while you're traveling, you're potentially screwed. Before you embark, take a snapshot of your license and/or passport, making sure the numbers are legible. If nothing else, you'll have an easier time proving your identity and getting your documents replaced.
  • Your hotel room number Sounds nuts, I know, but remember: Hotels no longer put room numbers on room keys. If you're the forgetful type, this beats stopping at the front desk to ask for your own room number.
  • The label on the wine bottle A client raves about the bottle of wine you shared over dinner. Snap a photo of the label (when he/she's not looking, of course) so you can match it later, then send along a bottle (or even a case, if it's a big client) to help seal the deal.
  • Evernote, Qipit, ScanR Snap a photo of business card, cocktail napkin, whiteboard, or whatever, then send it to one of these free information-management services. From there you can organize, share, publish, or even fax your "digital copy."
What's your favorite cameraphone trick? Hit the Comments and share your snapshot secrets. Photo by Thomas Rockstar.

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    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.