Multitasking is nothing new for farmers, so why not expect the same from your smartphone? There are
numerous apps and smartphone features that can help you out of a bind in your home, tractor or shop. In addition to the data and input management apps highlighted in this issue, try some of the apps and add-ons listed below. They could save you money and time in a season where both are even more precious than usual.
Make your phone a metal detector.
Using your smartphone’s built-in metal sensors can help you identify metallic objects. The Metal Detector app for iPhone and Android requires you to move your phone around so the magnetic sensor in your smartphone can find a dropped screw, lost keys, wires in walls or metal in the ground. If you find something metallic, it beeps as you get closer and sets off an alarm when you’ve found the object.
Tell distance, height and area.
Download the Dot Measure app on iPhones and Smart Measure Pro app for Androids. On iPhones, the app measures the distance from users’ feet to a red spot on the ground, which is seen through your phone. In addition, iPhone’s Dot Measure features a tape measure, ruler and bubble level functions. On Android, press the shutter button while aiming the camera at the ground, then press the appropriate button for height, distance, width or area to get a measurement.
Diagnose leaky windows and doors.
Sometimes it’s difficult to tell which window is the leaky culprit. The Flir One app can help by turning your phone into a thermal camera. You can buy the attachment for around $220 for iPhone and $213 for Android on Amazon. The attachment, about the size of a thumb drive, lets you point your phone at an area and see thermal infrared images in real time, capturing changes in temperatures from -4°F to 248°F.
Get rid of paper documents.
The CamScanner app for iPhone and Android allows you to take a picture of paper documents and convert them to .pdf or .jpg files for storage or easy sharing. This can be used on invoices, business cards, receipts or any document you want to keep for your home or farm. No longer confined to an office, you can save documents anywhere at any time.
Identify car problems.
Part of the multitasking job for many farmers includes acting as a part-time mechanic. While you’re likely able to identify common issues, the Car Trouble app for iPhones and Androids might help you nail down more perplexing car problems. The app uses a navigation system that allows you to describe what you’re hearing or what the car is doing or not doing to narrow down what the issue is and help you get to a solution faster.
Magnify your world.
When the small print on repair manuals or safety instructions on your machinery are nearly impossible to read, use your phone to make sure you’re seeing clearly. You can download apps, but one easy way to magnify objects is by simply using your phone’s camera. With an open camera you can hover over small text that will be enlarged on your screen, making it easier to read.