Have you ever paused to think about how unbelievably far modern smartphones have come in the barely over a decade in which they’ve existed? The original iPhone was announced in 2007. At that time, it didn’t really do anything that a standard phone didn’t – but it did everything with infinitely more style. Shortly after the iPhone was released, though, Apple built the App Store and opened the iPhone up to third-party applications – and the rest is history.
There are millions of apps today for the iPhone and for the competing Android platform, and one of the most interesting things about today’s mobile apps is that they can turn your smartphone into an interface for an external device. There are probably hundreds – perhaps even thousands – of individual products today that you can control with your smartphone, and some of them are probably things that you’ve never even thought of before. In some cases, smartphone control is a bit of a gimmick. In other cases, though, a smartphone app can make it easier to control a complicated device and can even enable a product to have features that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. Here are just a few of the craziest things that you can control with your smartphone in 2021.
If you’ve never been a smoker, vaping is probably a technology that you don’t think about so much. Maybe you’ve seen a few people doing it here and there, but it doesn’t have a major impact on your life. If you are a former smoker, though, there’s a good chance that vaping – and tasty vape juices like Lava Flow by Naked 100 – helped you give cigarettes up for good.
Now that vaping has become a completely mainstream activity and has helped millions of smokers quit, vapers are looking for ways to make their experience even better. The latest vaping devices are capable of storing precise information about how much nicotine you’re using each day, and in some cases, it’s possible to access that information through a smartphone app. Tracking your nicotine consumption can make it easier to reduce your vaping and even stop using nicotine entirely if you want to. Some of the latest devices also feature smartphone unlocking mechanisms for child safety. Unfortunately, smartphone control of vaping devices is only available on Android phones; Apple removed vaping apps from the App Store in 2020.
Smart Kitchen Appliances
Home-cooked food is always the best food, but cooking starts to feel like a lot of work if you do it every day. The ultimate dream of any home chef is to buy a device that does the cooking automatically – just add the ingredients, close the door and wait for your meal to come out. We aren’t quite at that point yet, but today’s smart kitchen appliances can definitely lighten the load as long as you’re willing to do the basic preparation the old-fashioned way.
With a smartphone-controlled oven or sous vide cooker, you can add your food and wait while it bakes, broils, steams or simmers to perfection. If the only thing that you could do with a smartphone-controlled kitchen appliance was start a timer, there wouldn’t be much of a reason to control the appliance with a mobile app. The magic of smartphone-controlled cooking appliances, though, is that having a mobile app gives you an easy way to execute more complicated cooking tasks. For example, you can bake a loaf of crusty bread while having your oven automatically inject steam at precise intervals during cooking. You could have your smart oven roast meat to the perfect internal temperature before turning the broiler on to create an exterior crust. Most importantly, automatic temperature monitoring ensures that your food reaches the perfect doneness every time.
Imagine having the ability to take a picture of anything from the air. Do you want to draw attention to a car or home you’re selling with some pictures that really stand out? Maybe you’re out for a hike and can’t get the perfect picture of the scenery because you aren’t quite tall enough. Maybe you’re just having an outdoor party with friends and want to take the ultimate group selfie without leaving anyone out. A photography drone can do all of those things, snapping high-resolution photos of things that you can’t reach on your own.
Many drones ship with their own standalone controllers. That’s perfect if you want to use a drone for racing or to perform aerial stunts because nothing beats the feel of a physical joystick in those situations. If you want to use a drone for photography, though, you’ll need the ability to see what your drone sees – and for that, you need a screen. While it’s true that a few standalone drone controllers do have built-in digital displays, there’s no way those inexpensive displays can compare with the bright, detailed display on your phone. If you want to use a drone for photography, you need to buy one with smartphone control.
Your Front Door
Until now, you’ve probably thought of your front door as one of the lowest-tech items in your house. You secure it with a deadbolt lock. Maybe the door has a peephole that allows you to see who’s knocking. If you have a really high-tech door, maybe you even have an electronic doorbell. All of those technologies, however, are positively ancient. Until recently, in fact, the technology of the average home’s front door hadn’t really changed in decades.
Today, though, your front door is probably one of the first things that you’ll upgrade if you’ve made the decision to start adopting smart home technology. Smart home technology for your front door will include an electronic door lock and a video camera, both controllable from your smartphone. With the camera, you’ll always have a clear image of anyone who approaches your door. The camera can also record video clips automatically whenever it detects movement. If you like, you can use your smartphone to unlock your door for delivery drivers, allowing them to leave packages inside your home rather than dropping them on your front porch. When drivers leave, you can lock the door behind them automatically.
Laila Azzahra is a professional writer and blogger that loves to write about technology, business, entertainment, science, and health.