Over the past few weeks, most of the items in my house needed a little fixing. A table needed alignment, a wall painting and the wind-chime that I recently got as a gift was to be hanged along with a few small fixes here and there. However when I checked the store room, I realized that all I had was a hammer and a few nails, and I was the one who was screwed (pun may or may not be intended).
But then an idea struck my mind. Could my Android help me with the house improvement project? When I analyzed and researched a bit, my jaw dropped deep. Of course, I seemed to have underestimated it yet again.
Note: Please take care of your device while using it along with hammers and nails.
A spirit level costs somewhere around $10 but if you own an Android, you can save those extra bucks. There are many apps available in the Play Store for the purpose, but we will not be using any of those apps.
As you might know, every Android has a G-Sensor calibration feature which is used to calibrate the device accelerometer when required. So to use the feature as a spirit level, open Android device settings and navigate to Display and Gesture option. Here look for the option G-Sensor calibration and launch the app after resting your phone on the surface you want to test. You may calibrate the device to make sure you get the right result.
If both the dots are in the center, it means that the surface is perfectly leveled but if you see any deviation, it means the surface needs some improvement.
Many of you who follow science like Vastushastram and Feng Shui might have to use compass to place certain household stuffs (like wind chimes) in a particular direction. Using an Android, you can easily use any of the compass apps available in the Play Store and get your work done.
Compass (UPDATE: This tool is not available anymore) is an app you I trust for the task and after installing and calibrating it, you can check the direction to the precision of degrees.
No kidding, but using your Android camera you can easily measure distance, height, width and area of a target by just pointing your device at the target. Smart Measure description mentions that it uses some trigonometry functions (for the record, I hate Math) to calculate these aspects related to an object.
The tool is a bit complex and requires some practice sessions before you can use it without any problems. When I tried the app after practicing a bit, I did get correct approximate results.
We have already seen how we can check the level of a particular surface by placing the phone over it and using the G-Sensor for the task. But in some cases, like leveling the screws before hanging a wall painting require you to level them in a way that the painting is not tilted. You can use the grid view of your camera in this case.
In most of the Android cameras, you can activate grid view and easily use it to check the leveling with respect to an edge of a wall and get the task done. You can use Camera 360 app if your stock camera does not provide the grid view.
Last but not the least, you can use your camera as a color picker, if required. Simply install Color Picker on your Android and shoot a photo using the app. Make sure you don’t get unnecessary reflection while taking the photo.
After taking the pic, simply touch the color you want the code for. The app will analyze it and provide you the result. The result precision may vary depending upon the quality of the camera on your device.
So these are some of the ways you can use your Android smartphone for small, do-it-yourself house improvement tasks. If you would like to add a personal tip to the list then make sure to drop a comment.