By now the odds are good that you either own a smartphone or are considering one. Or maybe it could be that your husband or kids have joined the smartphone ranks recently. And while these devices are amazingly powerful computers in our pockets and purses, most users don’t understand how to use all of the features of smartphones.

Well, getting outside and doing some fun activities are a perfect opportunity to use these awesome smartphone features and to learn some new ones.

NOTE : Using some of these functions will utilize your data plan, so be care and keep track of your data use if that is a concern.

Camera

One of the best features of today’s smartphones is the fact we have a wonderful digital camera that shoots both photos and video at the ready at all times. My new Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge has one of the best mobile cameras available! As you’re out biking, hiking, or just playing in the sun, many photo ops will present themselves. Take a few moments to document beautiful, fun, or out of the ordinary things that mean something to you, or could be shared with others via email, text messages, or social media. There are more advanced apps available for taking and editing photos like Snapseed, so play around with them and start taking some fun photos.

Don’t forget to back these items up by using cloud services like Dropbox, Google Photos or others.

GPS, Location and Weather Services

Need to track an outdoor adventure or find new places to explore? Your smartphone has amazing location services at your fingertips. Google Maps is a default, but don’t forget to look for specific apps for your activity. I like to use Maverick for hunting/fishing, but there are city-specific apps that show trails and parks, apps for hikers that track altitude and others that will document trail progress.

And don’t forget the weather apps. Having weather data widgets Morecast and apps like Radarscrope can provide up-to-date radar, temp, wind and other weather data that can make starting, or stopping, your adventure on time a little easier.

Music and Other Media

Remember the days of having to cart a large boombox and a case full of cassette tapes to the beach or tennis court in order to have some entertainment while having fun outdoors? Not anymore! Now all you need is a smartphone and some headphones to have access to almost any song ever recorded. Throw in a bluetooth speaker and you can share this entertainment to the group. If your device supports it, you can store music on external memory, or use a streaming service like Spotify, Pandora or even Sirius XM if you’re a subscriber.

On the video side, keep yourself entertained with apps like YouTube, Netflix, Hulu and HBO GO. There’s no excuse for being bored with access to your smartphone!

Social Media

In the last five years social media has captured over half of the adults in the US. We love to share photos, videos, news articles and random thoughts with anyone who may want to listen. So why not share where you are, what you’re doing, and who you are with in real time using your smartphone? Get out that camera, share locations, and let your friends feel jealous about you taking that kayak out today. Some of the more popular social media sharing sites are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

And don’t forget about sharing video in these sites using Facebook Live, Vine, Periscope and others.

The list of apps that allow you to share experiences with friends and family is endless. There are apps that help you with construction and remodel projects, travel, outdoor activities, and much, much more. Really, I think you would be surprised how many apps can help you have fun or document your adventures.

Grab your phone, and even your tablet, and get outside. Start taking photos, sharing adventures, and learning how to use all these great features on your tech. There’s plenty of demos and tutorials on YouTube and other resources. Then, when it comes to taking a photo of a wedding, sharing that video of your child singing at a school play, or finding a secret hiking spot on your next vacation, you’ll be a seasoned pro!

Have a tip you’d like to share with others about learning your phone’s features? Send it to me on Twitter @BeBizzy or leave them in the comment section below!

Disclosure: As member of a pretty cool team of influencers, I received mobile devices with line of service from Verizon (#ad). No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise a positive review. All opinions are my own. By the way, we meet every Friday @ 2pm CT on Twitter to discuss mobile phones and how you can use them in your daily lives. Join us! 

#VZWBuzz

 

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