4 ways to demand more from your smartphone's camera

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Are you really getting the most out of your smartphone's camera?
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4 ways to demand more from your smartphone's camera

It can do more than take a decent portrait

Your smartphone’s pretty smart – it’s in the name. The miniature computers we cart around all day can do more and more each year, and one of the most valuable functions is undeniably the camera.

But did you know they’re capable of much more than taking a nice picture?

Instant Google Translate

Sometimes typing a foreign language into Google isn’t easy, when said language uses symbols and letters outside our 26-letter alphabet – like Greek or Japanese, for example. Thankfully Google has a solution.

By using your camera with the Google Translate app, you can decode foreign text instantly.

Scanning a document

By using the likes of Evernote (Android and iOS) or Google Drive, you can scan written documents and upload them directly to you mobile. The scanning software will read a document, and recognise the words, turning them into an editable document.

Exploring the skies

Everyone, from fully-fledged astronomers to novice stargazers, enjoys staring skyward on a clear night. And it can be made all the more exciting with your smartphone’s camera.

When images are laid over your camera’s viewfinder, it’s called augmented reality. Stargazing apps like SkyView (Android) or SkyGuide(iOS), for example, let you track the location of planets and stars, lining up with what you can see in the night’s sky.

Visual Google search

This is a great one for shameless pub quiz cheaters. You know who you are. Using Google Goggles, you can trawl the internet's most comprehensive bank of images by taking a photo, instead of typing in a word.

So, for example, if you’re trying to guess the celebrity in your pub quiz, and you don’t know their name, just take a sneaky snap on Goggles and find out. Mum’s the word.

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