Five ways your smartphone can boost productivity

As well as a great distraction on the daily commute, smartphones can be one of our best productivity tools, says Abby Francis, a mobile expert at Here, Francis shares her top five unexpected ways your smartphone can improve productivity…
Priority calls
There are times we want to turn our phones off but don’t want to miss an important call. Well, thanks to a recent Android update dubbed ‘Marshmallow’, you can turn off all the alerts on your device and allow only the most important ones through.
To turn on Priority Mode, launch the Settings menu and choose Sound and Notifications from the list. Next, tap on ‘Interruptions’ below the volume sliders and choose the notifications or contacts you want to block and allow.
Now on Tap
Now on Tap
Mix business and pleasure
You used to only be able to do one thing at a time on your iPad or iPhone so if you wanted to watch a video while writing an email, or create a report while making a Facetime call, you were out of luck. But thanks to the recent iOS9 update you can now do this and more – making you twice as productive, or being able to mix business and pleasure by watching a movie while you check your emails. For a demo of Apple’s multi-tasking in action, watch this video.
Make more of maps
Google Apps and Apple Maps are among the most used mobile applications, but their updates often go under the radar. Two recent changes to Google Maps mean that you can now save maps offline, allowing you to navigate and search areas without relying on having a data signal – perfect for business trips abroad where data is expensive. For a guide on downloading offline maps, read this guide from Google.
Find out more with Now on Tap
One of the biggest updates to Android Marshmallow was Now on Tap – a function allowing you to search the web for available information on what’s displayed on your screen with the press of one button. Now, if you want to find out which social networks the contact on your screen is part of, or check out images of the restaurant you’re about to have a meeting at, the answer is literally a tap away. Find out how to use Now on Tap with this simple tutorial.
Photo Spheres
Photo Spheres
Photo Spheres
With virtual reality set to be huge in 2016 many companies are looking into how they can make their own business more immersive. One way to do this is to create 360° photos of your place of work – maybe you want to show off the interior of your office or your re-designed shop, for example, or maybe you’re an estate agent looking for new ways to showcase your properties.
Once taken, the photos can be published to Google Street View or uploaded elsewhere online. You can hire an expensive professional to do this for you, but you can also do it yourself using the Google Street View App or the inbuilt camera on Google Nexus phones. For a step-by-step guide to creating your own photo spheres check out this guide from Google. was the UK’s first online mobile retailer and is owned by Dixons Carphone. It recently won the Best Online Retailer 2015 accolade at the Mobile Choice Consumer Awards.

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