Four Smart Ideas to Supercharge Your Smartphone While Living Abroad
No matter how you slice it, your smartphone is your lifeline to the outside world.
And for those of us living abroad, a supercharged phone is our very best friend.
Think about it. Whether you’re taking epic photographs in far-away lands or are simply sending remittance back to your family, a dependable phone makes a world of difference in terms of staying connected.
And so perhaps it’s time to take your smartphone to the next level. Below we’ve outlined four quick ideas which those living abroad can use to transform their phones into the ultimate all-in-one tool no matter how many miles away from your homeland you might be.
Purchase the Proper Peripherals
Reality check: our devices are only so powerful “out of the box.” While we’re certainly willing to pay a premium for the latest Android or Apple phone, the fact remains that most peripherals are relatively cheap. Each of the following are especially handy for those traveling to unfamiliar territory:
- Portable chargers: for those times when you’re on-the-go or need to rely on your device for directions, it never hurts to have a backup charger around
- Geo-specific chargers: not all outlets are created equal, after all
- Handheld tripods: while selfie sticks might be seen a gaudy by some, stabilized photos and photos can make your camera work seem less amateur
Start Taking Stellar Photographs
Want to document your journey as an expat? Just taking a quiet stroll through downtown? Either way, your device is the perfect tool for capturing just about any moment during your adventures abroad both big and small.
Smartphones are truly beginning to rival pricier cameras when it comes to photo quality, especially for iOS users. That said, it certainly helps to get a helping hand from developers who understand the limitations of our built-in lenses.
For example, some of the best iPhone camera apps that can help you take better snapshots such as Darkroom, Adobe Photoshop Express and Halide are ideal for giving your photos that high-def vibe they deserve.
Do Away with Deadbeat Apps
Regardless of if you’ve just purchased a new device or have had yours for a year or two now, there’s no better time than a big trip to remove bloatware from your phone.
These nagging apps and programs not only slow down your device, but could be hampering the performance of some of the aforementioned apps. Stick to a rule of thumb that for every new app you download to remove one that’s gathering cobwebs.
Rethink Your Carrier and Mobile Plan
On a final note that might seem obvious, you need to ensure that your carrier and SIM card are good to go prior to travel.
Simply asking your provider isn’t good enough, either: try to read some firsthand accounts (think: from TripAdvisor or Reddit) to keep yourself from second-guessing whether or not your phone is ready to go abroad. If you’re planning for a long-term trip, it might be worthwhile to look into a secondary phone locally.
If you’re living abroad, your mobile device is so much more than “just a phone.” No matter what you might be doing in a totally new country, giving your smartphone a much-needed boost to keep you in the loop about what’s going on at home is key to keeping you connected and comfortable.