Anyone can make a phone call using a wireless phone, but to truly tap into your phone's
potential, you'll need to let your imagination run wild and let your fingers do the
button pushing. Even a cheap throwaway wireless phone can do a few simple tricks,
a mid-priced phone can make your life run more smoothly, and a camera phone can do
much more than just take pictures.
Here are some things you can do with almost any wireless phone:
1. Use it as a flashlight. Most wireless phones are brightly lit and can be used as
a flashlight in a pinch. Just open it, or turn it on, and point it wherever you need
2. Tell time. You won't be able to wear it on your wrist, but there's no reason to
put up with tan lines anymore. Every wireless phone has a built-in clock, and they
automatically reset themselves for Daylight Saving Time!
3. Keep track of phone numbers without having to write them down. Simply enter the
phone number into your keypad and save it. If your wireless plan includes Caller ID,
save the number when you receive an incoming call.
4. Get free directory assistance. Phone companies used to provide their local customers
with free directory assistance, but these days, customers are charged at least a dollar,
and sometimes as much as two dollars, for that service. Jingle Networks provides a
free directory assistance service. By calling 1-800-FREE411 (1-800-373-3411), users
can navigate an automated voice recognition system. Wireless phone users may still
have to pay for the call, but the information is free.
5.Help paramedics locate your next-of-kin quickly in an emergency. If you're unconscious
or otherwise unable to answer questions, emergency services personnel can use your
wireless phone to notify your loved ones. Just program the number of the person you'd
want notified in an emergency, and save it as ICE - In Case of Emergency. To store
more than one contact, use the names 1ICE, 2ICE, 3ICE, etc., to keep the numbers at
the top of the contact list. English paramedic Bob Brotchie developed the ICE (In
Case of Emergency) program in May 2005. The idea behind the program is to enable first
responders to contact victims' next-of-kin to obtain important medical information.
6. Play music. The beauty of the wireless phone is that it doesn't actually place
a call until you hit the send button. Since each button produces a distinct tone,
you can use your wireless phone's keypad to create (admittedly limited) melodies.
Press 3-3-3-1-2-2-1-9-9-6-6-2 and sing along with "Old MacDonald Had a Farm."
7. Leave yourself a note. Many wireless phones have a notepad feature. You can write
down a few song lyrics, get started on the outline for your great American novel,
or jot down the shopping list.
8. Record a message. Many wireless phones also have a voice message feature. It's
an instant voice recorder that will store a short audio file. It's also handy for
foreign language students; record yourself and listen to your voice. Record a note
so you don't forget where you parked your vehicle. Or have the kids record a short
message for the parent who has to travel for business.
9. Keep track of your errands. Many wireless phones have a to-do list option. You
can also keep your shopping list handy, and update it as you think of items to add.
10. Do math. Most wireless phones have a built-in calculator, making math problems
a breeze no matter where you are.
11. Manage your time. Most wireless phones also come equipped with a calendar and
an alarm. You can set the alarm to remind you of tasks that need to be completed daily,
such as taking medication. You can also use the calendar reminders to notify you when
projects are due, keep track of birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries, or remind
you about upcoming appointments.
12. Play games. Most wireless phones have at least one built-in game, and many offer
the option of downloading more. Solitaire, PacMan, Tetris and others can help you
pass the time between phone calls.
13. Time an event. Some wireless phones have a countdown, and many have a timer. It's
handy for measuring "time-outs," to replace a lost board game timer, or even to gauge
14. Entertain yourself. Many wireless phones allow the user to personalize ring tones
and customize wallpaper, so the possibilities for amusement are endless. Assign "Hallelujah"
to your clergyperson, "Here Comes the Bride" to your fiancée, or download songs like
"It's Cheaper to Keep Her" for when your ex-wife calls. Download cartoons to set as
wallpaper, or personalize your incoming calls with humorous pictures-such as a photo
of Albert Einstein for your brainy pal or a picture of June Cleaver for your mom.
15. Be fashionable. Wireless phone cases are only the beginning. You can also get
faceplates, charms, and other accessories to personalize your phone.
16. Make long-distance calls for free. Many wireless phone plans include free long-distance
17. Keep track of your pet. Global Pet Finder is part wireless phone and part GPS.
Once your pet is equipped with the special collar, Global Pet Finder can locate your
pet at their secure web site. They can even send you a text message with information
about your pet's location.
Life becomes even easier with a camera phone:
18. Capture and transmit photos and video. Share your vacation while you're still
on vacation by using your camera or video phone to transmit pictures to folks back
home. Take pictures at an accident scene for your insurance agent. Forget about hauling
around pictures of your kids in your wallet; just keep their current pictures on your
19. Match phone numbers with faces. Instead of writing down a new contact's phone
number, simply enter his/her name and phone number directly into your wireless phone.
Take a photograph with the phone and save it.
20. Forget taking notes, take a picture instead. Don't bother writing down the information
from an interesting flyer you spotted on a bulletin board; just take a picture of
it. Click a quick pic of that special something you saw at Sears so you can show your
friends and family what you'd like for your next birthday.
Some of the latest wireless phones also allow you to download books, movies, music
and television shows. You can keep track of your email, send instant messages, get
driving directions, and even monitor your children's activities. And all Captain Kirk
could do was talk to the Enterprise.