Dec 10

Tips on (Real) Cool Uses for Your Cellular Phone

newcell OK, already. We did some obviously overdue research into unlocking your cell phone’s secret powers, and as it happens most of you who posted comments were right – four out of five tips were in fact myths - which found their source in an email that was spammed around some time ago; all except the 122 emergency number, which really does work in some places. So, we are sorry for “celling out.” We should have done our homework. To make amends, we have compiled a new list of cool things mobile phones really CAN do.

1. Figure Out Where You Are - Almost ANY phone with Bluetooth can be used for GPS. You just have to connect to a Bluetooth GPS receiver, a small box that connects wirelessly to your cell phone. It also comes with software that lets you view maps and get directions on your phone.

2. Surf the Web (for Free!) - Around the world there are thousands of WiFi spots that are open to free browsing. Everyone knows you can access them on your notebook, but did you know you could get to them on some cell phones too? The T-Mobile SDA or T-Mobile MDA can do this with the greatest of ease.

3. Pump out your Tunes - Sure there are lots of phones out there that double as MP3 Players. But there are also phones that can play music out loud and in stereo. The Motorola ROKR E1 phone comes with stereo speakers, so you can share your MP3s with the world.

4. Keep Your Kids Safe - Kids today are begging for cell phones the second they’re able to walk and talk at the same time. You may not want your child to be able to call all his friends at a moments notice, but you might want him to be able to call you if he needs to. Verizon's LG Migo dials only four numbers (plus an emergency button) so your children can call, but can't rack up the minutes.

5. Make a Phone Call From Overseas - Europe and America don’t have the same cell phone systems. So if you’re traveling abroad you might be concerned about being out of touch. Find out if your phone is a “World Phone,” which means it should operate in America, Europe, or Asia.


  • Ok look everybody. I know you all have been talking about a world phone and how you need to know if your phone works on a gsm network or a CDMA network. Here is the thing if you want to know if your phone is capable of international calling from another country you need to know a few things first. First thing is you need to know what ban frequency you country runs on. Now it is not hard to find out you can actually do it from the t-mobile website. There are four type of frequencies. 1900mhz 1800mhz 900mhz and 850 mhz. Most people will have either tri-ban or quad-ban frequency phones. If you are the fortunate one of having a quad-band phone then you are capable of international dialing in all places. Now the only thing left is to contact your service provider to see if you account is set up for international dialing. this is all off of the GSM network as well and most phones except for ones in Japan can work on this network.

    Aug 23
  • This "Tips" are really lame

    Jun 27
  • shut up. these guys are still a bunch of retards

    May 29
  • Spend more time with him, and less time on the computer/internet.
    Captain Joe

    Mar 19
  • I came here to get some TIPS, not hear a bunch of jerk offs talking about what phones can't or obviously can do. We all know ALL PHONE COMPANIES are in it for themselves, not for the consumer!! Telelcommunication companies have always been and ALWAYS will be the KINGS OF NICKEL & DIME. So who knows of some REAL website where we can get good, high quality information about hacking our cellphones and doing what we deserve to be doing on the phones we own-- after all, do these guys own the airwaves or what?? MHZ, GHZ, or whatever HERHZ nobody owns them, and we own the equipment, don't we???? Just send us some links to some good sites and everyone else shut up!!

    Mar 19
  • This Site really bites. Whoever has this site needs to get out more. Duuuh with hardware and software you can do just about anything

    Feb 07
  • Did someone get locked out of the car?

    If you have their remote key opener on hand have them point their cell phone at the car you point the car opener at your cell phone and click to open the car. The signal will travel to the phone and unlock the car. I have done this before. Amazing little trick. Might wanna try with different cells but worked at my home.


    Jan 23
  • #5: Huh? World Phone? Why don't you just find out whether your phone is GSM or CDMA

    A: Because it must be a WORLD PHONE and not just GSM. GSM in other countries operates at a different frequency.


    Jan 18
  • I've seen that photo of that razr before. Where'd you steal it from?

    Dec 31
  • Does anyone know if it is possible to use my kids cell phone as a monitor. He is 14 and I have good reson to believe he is into unsavory behaviors, to be specific a gang. Is there a way to dial his phone (on my plan) and monitor what he is up to? I have been looking around online and can't find anything. Can someone help me? Please?

    Dec 31
  • Kieren: We don't delete comments at Seeking Alpha unless they are spam, completely off topic, or totally uncivilized. Some of the comments here are getting close to the "uncivilized" line, though. We welcome criticism, but name-calling and ALL-CAPS are unnecessary. Please keep it civil, and don't say anything you wouldn't say to someone in person.

    Dec 29
  • Kudos to the author for not deleting the negative comments :)

    . . . or perhaps that is yet to come?

    Dec 24
  • Next up ... will it be 10 things you never know you could do with your iPod..
    and then you list all the functions of the ipod??

    Dec 23
  • Or quadband even, Sarah. ;)

    They could have mentioned controlling ones PC with bluetooth. Romeo & Clicker are softwares that let you do things like control iTunes, powerpoint, dvd movies etc - you can even have proximity sensing so it will pause a song when your bluetooth goes out of range & restart it when you get back.

    If they are going to mention wifi, phones & "free" in the same sentence surely they should mention the possibility of free phone calls (or much cheaper) using voice over ip services like asterisk or skype?

    Dec 21
  • By 'World Phone' I take it you mean "Tri-Band"? It's the more common name for it.

    Dec 20
  • So, opinions are not to be shared in a blog comment section about a weak attempt at posting useful information that is, in fact, not useful?

    You voted for Bush didn't you?

    Dec 12
  • I agree, article could have been better. It's fair criticism. Try Gizmodo for anything useful. These guys should stick to the $$$.

    A chimp with a typewriter could have come up with better OS and apps than MS, -And violated fewer antitrust laws at the same time.

    Dec 11
  • Yeah, I'm very disappointed with Verizon's blocks on what my phone can do. I concur with brian exactly. I have the usb plug but I still would have to hack my phone to open up some of the things it can do because Verison's software has blocked it. Totally annoying.

    Dec 11
  • There is more your Phone CAN'T do, then what it can do. Even though it has the hardware to do amazing things.

    Most phones have hardware that is locked down by the phone company. Take BlueTooth. Most phones will NOT connect to other (exept hands free ear pieces) devices until you pay some huge "data transfer" fee. All they do is flip a bit, from off to on, enabling file transfers.

    My phone has an MP3 player. However there is no easy way to get an MP3 from my desktop onto the phone. BlueTooth is locked down, USB cable is no longer sold(to prevent phone hacks) my only choice is to DL a song from the phone company's music store... for twice the ITunes price. What a waste of hardware/software.

    Dec 11
  • I agree. I am not impressed at ALL.
    Game over. Try again?

    Dec 11

    it's one thing to post a follow up article, but to remove and replace the faulty entry with this list of features some phones may have is completely misleading.

    Dec 11
  • Well, I think the point of this article is to make amends for the false information on the previous article. Stop bashing them and realize THEY are the one's with the cool website that YOU didn't make...soooo stop visiting here if you don't like what you're reading.

    The online community is so quick to bash Microsoft's operating system or their hardware, but the fact is that I am fairly confident that you wouldn't come close to developing an operating system half as good.

    Therefore, sit down, shut up, and enjoy the hard work people have put in to make you a happy person.

    Dec 10
  • 1: Many newer phones have GPS systems in them now designed to help emergency operators to determine your location when you call a programmed emergency number. Some of these, including nearly all of Verizon's phones, have the option to enable a subscription service ($3.00 for one day or $9.99 per month subscription) to VZ Navigator, which will use your phone's GPS (after requesting your permission) and map your location. Also, if you have a FamilyShare plan, and subscribe to Chaperone, you can install Chaperone on your child's phone and Chaperone Parent on your phone. Then, you can track your child's location at any time, and have your child's phone send you a text message when they leave and enter certain regions, place or answer calls, or turn their phone on or off.

    2: There are ways to hack your phone so you can access the internet and all it costs is minutes. You didn't hear it from me though: if caught your service provider could ban you from their network and charge you the Early Termination Fee as outlined in your contract (usually around $300 per line).

    3: Lots of phones can do this, including some versions of the Moto RAZR, SLVR, KRZR, and LG's V unfolds to reveal a large widescreen display and full QWERTY keyboard. Some will only play streaming media from a subscription, meaning you must be in a service area, some have FM radios, some will only purchase from an on-phone catalog, some synchronize with iTunes, some are standard MP3 players, etc. Many can download songs from your computer, but those that can't will likely require an optional subscription.

    4: Again, see #1, which mentions Chaperone. Verizon's LG Migo comes with Chaperone pre-installed.

    5: Don't know anything about overseas usage. However, I bet that it counts as roaming :P.

    Dec 10
  • Better but still useless. It seems like a half-baked post (and hastely made).

    #1: It's not a use of a phone, it's the use of a GPS receiver
    #2: Is this a use of a cellphone or smartphone (in this case, a PDA Phone which is not an average cellphone at all)
    #3: Huh? It's been around since ages (and you guys just pick this up now?). There's also a ROKR E2 and some nice Sony Ericsson phone that comes with external stereo speaker
    #4: Points taken
    #5: Huh? World Phone? Why don't you just find out whether your phone is GSM or CDMA

    Seriously dude, stick with equity market...

    Dec 10
  • much better!

    Dec 10