We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
78,650 News Articles

The 11 coolest things smartphones can do

Get the most from your iPhone and BlackBerry

Control five different devices with your Apple iPhone, play internet radio on your RIM BlackBerry... all the cool things your smartphone can do.

Make free calls from an iPod Touch

You're now able to make free phone calls via the internet on Apple's iPhone using the new Skype for the iPhone app. But if you own a second-generation iPod touch, you can also make free calls, even though the Touch technically isn't a phone.

Skype's iPhone app will work with any second-gen iPod touch as long as you use headphones with a microphone built into the earphone cord. (Unfortunately, the original iPod touch has no audio-in capability.) On top of that, you'll need just a Wi-Fi network.

The app allows you to make free calls to other Skype users and paid calls to non-Skype users. I like Skype's ubiquity and audio quality, but it has competitors; you might want to try Truphone instead.

Make your dead battery send one last text

Since many ski and snowboard mountains are covered by mobile networks, your phone can be a handy communications tool on the slopes. I especially like sending text messages to coordinate plans with friends unobtrusively. But if you forget to charge your handset and it runs out of juice, you still might be able to revive it and send one last text.

Cold weather reduces a battery's charge. If your phone shuts itself off due to the cold, warm it up. Pop off the battery and put it next to any warm part of your skin (against your head, under your arm). Once the battery is warmer, try powering the phone back up; there's a good chance it'll have just enough juice for you to send a quick text.

  1. Get the most out of your iPhone and BlackBerry
  2. Use your smartphone to sync files among PCs
  3. Make free calls from an iPod touch

IDG UK Sites

Nokia Lumia 930 review: The flagship Windows Phone 8.1 smartphone

IDG UK Sites

Live Blog: Apple financial results, record June quarter, 35.2m iPhones sold, $37.4b revenue

IDG UK Sites

Welcome to the upgrade cycle - you'll never leave

IDG UK Sites

Why smartphone screens are getting bigger