Getting a new smartphone is fun, but out of the box your phone just isn’t that capable – the battery runs out too quickly, it’s hard to use in the car, the sound quality isn’t great and you’ll worry about getting it wet or damaged. Here are ten accessories that’ll supercharge your smartphone, making your life easier by solving these nagging problems immediately, instead of needing to wait until your contract is up.
Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Let’s face it – your phone’s speakers suck. Whether you want to listen to music at full volume without distortion or just carry out a phone call easily, choosing a Bluetooth speaker like the Veho will make things sound so much louder and clearer.
Foldable USB Mains Charger
It’s useful to be able to charge your phone at full speed from a wall socket, but the AC adapters that come with your phone are always massive thanks to the giant UK plug. The Mu folds down elegantly, making it easy to keep your phone charged.
Car Hands-Free Speaker
If you need to take a call in your car, there’s only a few safe and legal ways to do it. Perhaps the best is an in-car Bluetooth hands-free kit that’ll play calls over its speaker at a safe volume. This one is the Clip and Talk, which boasts 1080 hours on standby.
USB Charging Station
When you’ve got a lot of gadgets in the house, plug space can be at a premium. A USB charging station like the Quirky Converge takes up just one plug, but provides four USB ports to charge smartphones, tablets and mobile accessories.
Bluetooth Music Receiver
Bluetooth works really well for streaming music from your phone, but few home stereos or speaker systems have it. This Roxa music receiver connects to your phone with Bluetooth, then sends the music to your stereo via a 3.5 mm stereo cable.
Smartphones, like other electronics, are famously intolerant of water. This Lifeproof case not only prevents damage from splashes, but even allows you to take pictures underwater with your iPhone. You can get waterproof cases for other phones too.
FM Transmitter & Car Charger
If you want to listen to music in your car but your car stereo doesn’t have Bluetooth, you’ll need an FM transmitter, which allows you to tune into your phone using your car’s radio. This RoadTune also charges your phone and holds it too.
As smartphones keep getting bigger and faster, their batteries just can’t keep up. This Pama Plug N’ Go portable charger gives you 4000 mAh of power wherever you are, tripling the battery life of a typical smartphone without fuss.
Wallet cases are really convenient. If you’re always going to take both your phone and your wallet out with you, why not combine them into one piece to save space? This BookBook case is for the iPhone, but there are similar options for many phones.
Wireless Media Streamer & Hard Drive
Getting music, videos and pictures between your smartphone and your TV is always a struggle. One of the easiest ways is to use a streamer like this one from Samsung that includes a hard drive, connects to your TV and can stream to your smartphone.
I hope you’ve found these selections helpful. Be sure to leave your questions and comments about any of the mobile phone accessories shown here in the comments below!
Good news, Nexus 7 owners! It’s now possible to connect USB flash storage drives and SD cards to the Nexus 7 without needing to root your tablet. While Google didn’t include this ability in the Nexus 7, the enterprising developers at Homeysoft have released the Nexus Media Importer, an app that works around this limitation. When used in concert with a USB OTG cable (available from Mobile Fun here), you’ll be able to mount USB drives and SD cards connected through a card reader – making it easy to watch films or transfer photos to your Nexus 7 tablet.
It works really simply. Just connect your USB drive or SD card reader to the USB OTG cable. Then plug the USB OTG cable into the Nexus 7 (or any other Android 3.2+ device!). Download and install the Nexus Media Importer app from the Play Store – it costs just £1.27, which seems a fair price. Open the app and you’ll see a list of files on your device. Just select the files you want and they’ll be copied to your tablet, where you can open or edit them. You can also stream movie files.
If you want to test out that your device is supported (e.g. if you have a non-Nexus 7 tablet) then you can try running the free Nexus Photo Viewer. You could also just use the Google Play Marketplace’s integrated returns system – if you uninstall the app within 15 minutes of purchase your money will be refunded. If you’re having problems, make sure that your USB or SD card is formatted with a FAT file system (e.g. FAT32, FAT16, exFAT) and not NTFS or extX. Of course, you can do more than just mount USB and SD cards with a USB OTG cable. You can also plug in peripherals like keyboards, mice and gamepads. This is perfect for playing games, writing long form emails and browsing the web. You definitely get a lot of use out of that little cable! So pick one up today from the product page below, and unlock a whole load more functionality to your Nexus 7!
If you’ve ever wondered how to get your screen protector on properly with none of those annoying bubbles or dust particles, then read on – this is the way to do it right! We’ve done a video explaining the process, but if you’re limited on bandwidth we’ve transcribed it below, too. It should be useful not only for the Galaxy Nexus, but also an iPhone screen protector and screen protectors for many other phones and tablets too.
Hey, this is Will from Mobile Fun and I’m here to show you how to put on a screen protector properly, with none of those annoying bubbles!
So the first thing you want to do is minimise the amount of dust in the room. A lot of the time this just means choosing a room in your house that is the most clean and don’t suffer from drafts. You can also try other methods – for example, you can run a hot shower before you put on your screen protector, letting the steam in the air clean up a lot of the dust.
The next thing to do is make sure your hands are clean, so wash them with soap and water.
Finally, you’ll want to ensure your phone’s screen is clean and dust-free. Take a fresh cleaning cloth and clean the entire display, ensuring that any dust is entirely removed. You’ll also want to make sure there are no fingerprint smudges or grease, as these will be locked beneath the screen protector layer.
Once you’ve done that, it’s time to gather your materials and get started. You’ll need your phone or other device, your screen protector, and an applicator card – if your screen protector didn’t come with one, then a credit card is an excellent substitute.
First, take your screen protector and lie it on the display, without exposing the sticky side – you’re just lining it up to ensure that you know what the ideal position is.
When you’ve got it in your mind, you’re going to place the screen protector perpendicular to the bottom of the display. The sticky side you be facing away from you and the rigid side will be facing toward you.
Now, you’re going to start exposing the sticky part of the screen protector, by slowly pulling the rigid side forward and away from you. As the sticky section is exposed, you’ll need to use your other hand to push the screen protector flat onto the phone’s display. The idea is that you’ll roll it along slowly, so each part of the sticky side of the screen protector is only exposed to dust for a short space of time before it’s applied to the phone’s surface.
Once you’ve reached the end of the display, the screen protector should be on correctly. If there are a few bubbles, don’t panic – use your applicator card or credit card to push these forward until they are removed.
If something goes wrong – you’ve got too many bubbles, a bad piece of dust or the protector is on wonky, then you’ll need to try again. Stop what you’re doing, and slowly reverse the process, taking care not to stretch the material. Screen protectors often come in packs of two or three, so don’t be afraid to start from scratch if you’re confident about the procedure.
Once there are no bubbles, you’re done! Don’t worry too much if there are a few tiny bubbles – if you leave the phone overnight, these will disappear and you’ll be left with a perfectly applied screen protector.
Good work, and enjoy your newly protected phone!
Any questions or comments? Leave them in the comments below. Thanks for reading and/or watching!
In this article, we’ll be looking at how to take screenshots in some of the most popular phones on the market. Whether you’re preserving your Draw Something successes (and failures) or showing off your cool wallpaper, taking a screenshot is an awesome thing to know how to do.
Let’s get into it, shall we?
Samsung Galaxy S3
To take a screenshot, just use the side of your hand to swipe left to right or right to left. You’ll see a corresponding left to right wipe effect, and the screenshot will be added to your screenshots directory, ready for sharing. This is probably one of the nicest ways to take screenshots that I’ve yet seen.
iPhone (all models running firmware 2.0+)
This is a pretty simple one – just click and hold the lock button and the home button at the same time. The screenshot will be saved to your camera roll.
Samsung Galaxy Nexus (and other Android 4.0 devices)
It’s pretty easy to take a screenshot on the Galaxy Nexus. Just press and hold the volume down button and the lock button. An animation will be displayed and the resultant screenshot will be stored in your screenshot directory. There’s also a notification that you’ve taken a screenshot that’ll take you straight to it.
Samsung Galaxy S2
If you’re on Gingerbread, then you’ll need to hold the home button at the bottom, then press the lock button on the right hand side once. It’s a bit different on Ice Cream Sandwich – you’ll need to hold the volume down button and the lock button. This is the same as the Galaxy Nexus and should work on other Android 4.0 devices.
HTC One X
For the HTC One X, you can take a screenshot by pressing the power and home buttons together.
Nokia Lumia 900 (and 800, 710)
From what I understand, it’s impossible to take a screenshot without having a rooted phone, which is also currently impossible due to Microsoft stopping their developer program which previously offered this. If you know a way that works, let me know! The best you can do is take a picture of the screen, with a reasonably long exposure and in darkness. Not an ideal solution!
I hope you found this helpful. Of course, if your phone isn’t listed above, feel free to ask about it or let us know what the combination is if you’ve already got it figured out. Thanks for reading.
A fair few Bluetooth headsets and car kits these days say they support Multipoint technology. It sounds useful, but what does it actually do?
Essentially, Multipoint is a new development in Bluetooth technology that allows your headset to connect to two devices at the same time. If either receives a call, then it’s automatically put through.
This can be really useful in a number of situations:
If you’ve got a work and personal mobile, you can make and receive calls from either on just one Bluetooth headset.
If you’re in the car with your friends or family, you can connect both phones to the Bluetooth car kit.
If you’re expecting a call but want to listen to music, you can pair with your phone and your MP3 player and be sure that your music will be paused when a call comes in.
For more information on Multipoint and nine brilliant Multipoint-enabled devices, please visit our comprehensive “What is Multipoint?” article which we’ve recently updated.
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