There's an app for that!

Smartphones have a huge range of sensors, and are capable of many unexpected things . Have you just bought a Dash cam ?…Take it back to the shop…there's an app for that. How about a Fitbit bracelet ? – there's an app for that too ! Club gurus describe and demonstrate some of apps that can turn your smartphone into… well just about anything. Video and audio player, karaoke machine, First aid guide, instant translator, fitness guide, newspaper, wifi network detector, panorama camera.and many more.

Smartphones have many sensors, which means they have a huge range of capabilities - not all phones have all the sensors !

Microphone - all phones
Obviously used for calls (inluding Skype and WhatsApp), voice recognition (OK Google !) (and translation), voice and sound recording,

Camera - all phones
Take pictures and videos but also, video calls, object recognition (Google Goggles), OCR (optical character recognition) and translation

Accelerometer - all phones
as its name implies, it measures the acceleration that the handset is experiencing relative to freefall. Move it in any direction and data from this sensor will spike, but leave it still and it will go flat. The same sensor is also used to determine a device's orientation along its three axes. Apps use this data to tell if a phone is in portrait or landscape orientation, if its screen is facing up - or downward.

Gyroscope - most
Gyroscope is a sensor that can provide orientation information but with greater precision than the accelerometer. Thanks to this particular sensor, Android's Photo Sphere camera feature can tell how much a phone has been rotated and in which direction. It is also used by Google's Sky Map for telling what constellation you're pointing a phone at. Also used for Virtual Reality to rotate the image with the movement of the head.

Proximity sensor - all
the proximity sensor, which is comprised of an infrared LED and an IR light detector. It is placed near the earpiece of a phone, and for a good reason – when you place the handset up to your ear, the sensor lets the system know that you're most probably in a call and that the screen has to be turned off.

Compass/Magnetometer - lots
The digital compass that's usually based on a sensor called magnetometer provides mobile phones with a simple orientation in relation to the Earth's magnetic field. As a result, your phone always knows which way is North so it can auto rotate your digital maps depending on your physical orientation. (not essential for Sat Nav )

Light-sensor - all
A phone's light sensor is what measures how bright the ambient light is. The phone's software uses this data to adjust the display's brightness automatically

Fingerprint sensor - New models: Google Pixel. iPhone 5s, Moto G plus, Samsung Galaxy
Fingerprint scanners are most often used as an extra layer of security – as a substitute for a lock screen password. Coming as standard in new models.

Heart rate Monitor - Selected top range models: Samsung Galaxy S5, iPhone 5s

GPS -all
The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based navigation system made up of at least 24 satellites. GPS works in any weather conditions, anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day, with no subscription fees or setup charges. Essentially, the GPS receiver measures the distance to each satellite by the amount of time it takes to receive a transmitted signal. With distance measurements from a few more satellites, the receiver can determine a user's position and display it electronically. Used together with Wi Fi and telephone network information for location services e.g. Google maps, Google Earth, SatNav and for mapping journeys.

Barometer- some: Samsung Galaxy (2017), Google Pixel, iPhone 6S,
The barometer is there to help the GPS chip inside the device get a faster lock by instantly delivering altitude data.

Pedometer - some : Google Nexus 5
Used for counting the number of steps that the user has taken. More accurate than using the accelerometer.

Thermometer - all - used to measure temperature inside the phone, some models (Galaxy S4) have a thermometer for measuring outsidet temperature.

Air humidity sensor - Galaxy S4

Radiation sensor - Only in Japan ! (Sharp)

Links for some of the apps mentioned

Tune in Radio

GPS Essentials

Open Camera

Google Goggles

Autoboy Dash Cam

Voice Access

Google Fit

Google Maps, Navigation and Transit

Google Translate

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