Are you tired of the same old apps and capabilities on your phone? Are you still using the half-dozen pre-loaded widgets and icons that arrived with your device when you purchased it a couple of years ago? If so, there’s no need to feel guilty because you are not alone. Many smartphone owners never venture beyond the built-in functions of the Android device and are perfectly happy with making calls, texting, taking photos, and working with the few apps they’ve come to know and love. But there’s a lot more power inside your phone than you suspect. In fact, if you’re willing to devote a few minutes of your time, download some of the latest applications, and slightly reconfigure your home screen, you can turn that ordinary Android unit into a piece of high-octane super-tech. And, the best part is that it won’t cost you a dime.

In less than 30 minutes, you can transform your handheld friend into a concealed voice recorder, a functioning security camera, a high-tech financial calculator, and much more. And, no, you need not be a techie, programmer, or software developer to do all these things. Here’s how to get started. Choose from the following enhancements based on your personal preferences, or go for it and add everything.

Reveal Hidden Cameras

You can download a simple application that has amazing power and it can detect the presence of concealed cameras, whether standard or infrared. Why might anyone need this capability? Use your imagination. Perhaps you’ve been in a private residence and wondered whether the owner was taping you for nefarious purposes. The possibilities are endless. Suffice it to say that having the ability to reveal the existence of a hidden cam can be an empowering, protective feeling. Depending on what kind of application you use, and what kind of device you currently have, some of these detection systems work much better than others. So, shop around and try out a few of them before settling on one.

Add Any Widgets You Want

There are several ways to add widgets to your home screen. Check your settings for specific directions, but most will simply tell you to tap on any blank part of the screen and wait a second to see a widgets icon. From there, you’ll be able to choose from a long list of widgets to add to your standard view.

Make Your Own Recording Device

Did you know you can turn any smartphone into an audio recorder with the click of a button? The best part is that you can do this without anyone knowing. There are lots of legal reasons to record what someone is saying, and as long as you’re on the right side of the law, the recordings can come in handy in lawsuits. Follow the settings instructions on your smartphone. You’ll notice that you can configure the audio intake to record when you push the volume button up three times. Shut the recorder off by pushing volume down three times.

Download Loan Calculators

If you’re searching for your first home because of historically low mortgage rates or hunting for a private student loan that fits your budget, you can download any of hundreds of financial tools directly to your phone’s memory. For example, if graduate school is in your immediate future, you probably already know about the advantages of private education loans. Most come with lenient terms, high borrowing limits, and many other benefits. But sometimes the math can be a challenge. Grab a free loan calculator and experiment with multiple interest rates, principal, and term scenarios. You’ll instantly see what your monthly payments would be under each set of circumstances. That’s just one example of the power of a financial calculator. It’s a great way to never be in the dark about what you own, how much interest you’re paying, and when the loan ends.

Turn Phone into Security Camera

In addition to detecting the presence of hidden cams, as noted above, you can transform your own device into a security camera whenever you need to. Check your settings tab and follow the instructions to set up the camera. You’ll probably have to download an app for the purpose. Even if you do, the process takes about five minutes and allows you to connect your phone to a PC. After that, simply place your new hidden camera wherever you want and monitor the incoming feed from home, office, or your car.


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