It is no secret that smartphones have changed our lives. The ability to have a computer in our pockets is one of the few ways that real life has matched, or perhaps even exceeded, the promises that have been made to us by science fiction. There are lots of amazing things that smartphones can do that many people are unaware of. Here is a list of the top four smartest ways that you can use your smartphone.

Scanner

The majority of people are unaware that they can use their smartphones as scanners. This comes in real handy for those who don’t want to pay the hefty price tag for a scanner that isn’t even mobile. Smartphone owners can use their scanning apps to check prices by scanning barcodes, scan in receipts to submit expenses and record important information for later. Those who don’t want to purchase a scanning app can use the cameras on their smartphones as an alternative.

Wallet

For those who hate the annoyance of having to carry around a wallet all the time, smartphones are a wonder. They can be used in many retailers today to pay for customers’ purchases. The information for frequent shopper cards from stores can also be stored in the phone, and then they can be scanned in at the store from the phone.

Home Automation

It is a marvelous age we live in where our homes can be controlled by us even when we are on the other side of the world. Smartphone users can smartly set up their houses for home automation, and then they can use their phones as a device to control their houses from anywhere on the planet. This control includes all manner of things like the thermostat, lighting, appliances and electronics. The home automation apps even allow homeowners to see views of their houses if they have web cameras attached to the system.

Take Measurements

One of the niftiest ways to use a smartphone is as a measuring device. Instead of going through the hassle of pulling out a tape measure, smartphone users can download apps that will instantly measure distances. This is a really handy way to measure things like high ceilings or parts of the wall that are obstructed by objects. Though the measurements made by smartphones are not 100 percent accurate, they are very close and make it easy to make approximations.