By Ed Smith, O2’s Executive Sponsor for Diversity and Inclusion (Race) Today marks the start…Read more
Make the most of summer with your phone
Ahh, British summers… So unpredictable. Whether we continue to get some stunning sunshine or we have a wet summer, we’ve got a collection of top tips from our Gurus to help you make the most of it with your smartphone.
We can’t talk about being prepared for summer without talking about weather apps. Dark Sky is our Guru’s #1 weather app which requires a yearly subscription (iOS – £3.99 | Android – £2.99) but with so many features, such as down to the minute localised forecasts, custom alerts and notifications in such a beautiful app, it’s money well spent.
Our Guru’s best free alternative recommendation is Yahoo Weather (iOS – Free | Android – Free). With the same look and feel on both iPhone and Android, this is one of the most user friendly (and well designed) weather apps.
Have fun and save money
With O2 Priority we can help you make the most of summer while helping save you money – a win/win if ever there was one. Let us fill you in on some of our top picks:
- Looking to stay or get fit over summer? Grab a mate and check out our Nuffield Health offer where you can get a week of workouts for the both of you, on us.
- Got a big party coming up? Get 50% off JBL Connected Speakers in-store and online. Now that’s music to our ears.
- Climb Up at The O2 with 20% off this summer. As you climb 52 metres above London, you’ll be able to take in some stunning panoramic views above one of the words most iconic music venues
- Until 30 June, get 25% off everything at Gilbert Rugby. Grab a ball from the official England Rugby replica range, or your team of choice, or treat yourself to a big saving on boots, body armour and clothing
- Whether you’re watching, playing or training, get 25% off at Umbro until 11:59pm tonight, Thu 21 July.
- With a whopping 20% off food and drink at ASK Italian until 30 June, summer dining with friends or family has never been cheaper
- With so much incredible live music throughout the summer, there’s bound to be a gig for you. On O2 you get access to the hottest gig tickets up to 48 hours before general release with Priority Tickets, and special perks at O2 venues.
As we mentioned at the onset, we all know how unpredictable British summers are, so it’s a good idea to keep yourself entertained for if… Sorry, when, the rain starts falling.
- O2 and Netflix. Now together. If you’re a new or upgrading customer, you can get 6 or 12 months of Netflix on select tariffs and handsets, on us. Rally the troops or round-up the family and enjoy great Netflix shows like Stranger Things, The Crown, GLOW, or Orange Is the New Black. With new movies and shows added regularly, there’s something to watch with friends and family no matter the weather.
- What’s summer without some amazing music? Whether you’re hosting a party, BBQ, or just catching some rays in the garden, with Charge to Mobile you can bundle your monthly music subscription via Apple Music, Google Play or even Spotify into your monthly mobile bill.
- Fancy a bit of gaming? There’s never been a better time to game on your mobile, with free AAA titles such as Fortnite (iOS | Android coming soon), PUBG (iOS | Android), Ark: Survival Evolved (iOS | Android), and all the other classics like Clash of Clans (iOS | Android) or Angry Birds 2 – yes, there’s a sequel… oink oink! (iOS | Android)
Step up your photo and selfie game
Many of us trust the cameras in our phones to take the best picture possible – and in many cases, especially with the advanced cameras on the iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy S9 and Huawei P20 Pro, they do. But there are easy ways to give your photos that extra edge to make them stand out on Instagram and make sure your friends click that heart icon.
- Photoshop Lightroom (iOS – Free | Android – Free)
This is our Gurus’ first stop to a better photo. In every photo, colour is often your number 1 priority. You might have a great angle and great subject, but what if the colour isn’t great? Enter, Lightroom. With it you have access to presets, filters, you can magically get rid of small objects or imperfections with ‘Spot Heal’, and get control over so many lighting and colour properties. See an example below of how Lightroom can make things POP.
- Photoshop Fix (iOS – Free | Android – Free)
Another one from those clever folks at Adobe, Photoshop Fix is great for selfies. Adjust shadows and highlights, contrast and exposure, and also use powerful tools like Liquify, which has dedicated facial manipulation features such as making your eyes bigger or smaller, or maybe you just want to add a smile to a photo you forgot to smile for? With this app, you can do just that.
- SKRWT (iOS – £1.99 | Android – £1.39)
SKRWT is a bit of a more focussed app, but if you want to fix distortion or perspective (mega important if your photos feature buildings or architecture) then this is likely the best app around, tailored to do just such a job. Check out the video here to see it in action, with some before & afters
Get charged up
There’s nothing worse than being out and about enjoying the sun and then you see your phone sitting at 1% battery. It’s the moment we all fear. But you can make sure you have more than enough power, even if you’re nowhere near a power socket.
- Invest in a battery power bank. Whether you’re looking for something small and light just to get a top-up, or something a bit beefier to get up to 3 or even 5 charges, we’ve got several in stock to choose from
- If you’re planning on spamming your Instagram with selfies at the beach, you can even get solar powered chargers, so you can top-up your juice while you top-off your tan
When the hot sunny days arrive, it’s all about light clothing. But did you know you can travel lighter, with just your smartphone? Check out some of our top tips below to save you carrying anything you don’t need to:
- Leave the wallet at home. Did you know that with a combination of Contactless Payments (via Google, Samsung Pay or Apple Pay) and Charge to Mobile (which bundles your digital purchases into your monthly phone bill) your phone can do everything your wallet can?
- If you’re still part of an old breed that uses real, physical maps or tourist guides, these days your phone makes it better and easier. Apps like Citymapper (iOS – Free | Android – Free) are indispensable at helping you find public transport routes & directions in many of the world’s biggest cities, including London, Birmingham & Manchester.
- Doing a bit of a Bear Grylls and going for a nature walk or hiking? Your iPhone and most Android phones have built-in compass apps helping you navigate the old fashioned way. We hope you’ve got the necessary Scout badges!
With us already having enjoyed some epic summer days even before the schools go on break, here’s hoping there’s more amazing days to come. If you’ve got other top tips for enjoying summer with your smartphone, not mentioned above, please let us know on the O2 Community, Twitter or Facebook.