It always amazing when you contemplate people who change smartphones with the rapidity  that alcoholic frequents a bar. You buy a phone now, six months later, you sell for half price, then add money to get the new cutting edge device!

Gadget prostitutes, you may want to call them. One wonders…what is the motivation ? Boredom?Juvenility? What?

A new, smashing phone gets released, and people start salivating. Where is the end to it? New, desirable devices will always get released. It is a continuum. So what? Being married, must I get to “taste” every available curvaceous or voluptuous woman that I come across?.

Rather than capitulating to the temptation to always upgrade to the latest resplendent shiny hardware, what I do is to “renew” my smartphones by looking for the best software to squeeze out the best possible utility out of it. That way, the shelf life of those devices are drastically extended (typically three years and above).

Our smartphone are far more powerful than we give them credit for. I have always been  an advocate of looking for apps that can educe the power, before looking to procure new hardware. Only a tiny amount of
functions require cutting edge hardware.

Photo  courtesy -

Photo courtesy –

Some of the functionalities I am able to squeeze from my phones, via apps, even the three year olds, are listed below (they are merely exemplary, and not exhaustive):

A software monitors the noise (decibel level) and emits a rancorous alarm when the noise level exceeds what you set-up in the application. It can also dial another number once the noise level exceeds your
threshold. I use this application as a ‘poor-man’s burglar alarm system. I put the phone in the car at night.

If someone attempts to break into the car, my ‘alarm system’ detects it, sets up strident / rancorous noise
and additionally dials my other phone… close to my pillow.

This is particularly useful for a wife that has newly put to bed… as a baby monitor.. You put the phone with this software installed, close to the baby’s crib at night. When the baby cries at night, the phone
by the baby’s side dials the mother’s (or dad’s!) phone. The mum can then wake up to attend to the baby.

If you have a TV set that has Tv-Out functionality, you no longer need a dvd-player, and could even avoid paying for satellite TV services. You convert VeeCeeDees or DeeVeeDees into MP4 format and the audio CDs into MP3. In this format, they are portable and last forever. You then hook up the phone to a big screen Tv. The Tv is in turn connected to an amplification system. With smartTv (with MHL support and similar) and a smartphone that has the necessary support, you smartphone is much more than a phone.

The phone serves as a wristwatch and the bedside clock. A digital, luminous clock is displayed on the screen,legible from 5 meters,in daytime. You can imagine the legibility at night!

With the right piano and guitar applications installed on the phone, a musically gifted user can connect the phone to TV and an amplifier and have a full in house orchestra.

Your phone is an awesome tool. Needs to be protected perpetually. Numerous software are crafted to guard the phone perpetually. For instance, a software can use the light / proximity sensor to do the
magic.You put the phone in your pocket, if a pick pocket fishes it out surreptitiously, he gets a shocker as the powerful speakers are deployed to emit a nerve-shattering, high-piched noise. Pickpocket caught! Put the phone in your purse, briefcase – anywhere where the sensor is covered. A sudden sustained (for some seconds) uncovering will deploy that loud noise. Of course GPS based tracking and phone
disablement are also ways of protecting the phone (contents) if the phone is misplaced / stolen.

Photo  courtesy -

Photo courtesy –

Most homes have albums- with their wedding pictures and other memorable pictures. Problem is, the pictures deteriorate over time! The crusty old smart phone comes to the rescue. Scan all your photographs into digital format, place them on a memory card, and/or upload to the Cloud. They last forever in this form. Flipping through the digitized album is a breeze. Connected to that big Tv, visitors can flip through photos from the comfort of the armchair . You can also do photo editing to enhance the quality of the photos that are not up to par.

Power being a major problem in Nigeria, we often need a torch. A “Phone Torch” application comes in handy . This can also be used as a ‘hazard light’ by intermittently turning on/off the flash on the phone. It is of course a given that the phone must have a flash to do this.

We often need to scribble things down. The modern smartphone makes it unnecessary for us to carry about a pen(cil) and paper as numerous applications exist to take over that duty.

Being able to enjoy the services of the modern smartphone needs that we use the battery parsimoniously. Apps exist to attach a ‘display-liminousity-level’ to turn down the brightness automatically depending on prevailing conditions (such as current battery-level, whether it is day or night, e.t.c)

Photo courtesy -

Photo courtesy –

Clearly, the things we can achieve with that old non trendy phone are many. The list above is by no means exhaustive. It was merely to  show that a spanking new smartphone bereft of great apps is often worse
than an outdated phone with a bevy of useful applications.

Getting the best out of your smartphone is more (MOSTLY) about careful selection of The platform your device is based on (and the user apps installed on it) than the recency of the phone.

Before rushing out to buy that new phone on the block, pause. You may want to reconsider if it is truly necessary. Having new apps is like breathing New life into that old phone!

A phone is sufficient for the wise!


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