Power in your pocket: Get the most magic out of your smartphone

March 27th, 2015 | Joe Hadsall | Filed Under General


One of our favorite things to see on Instagram are pictures you share with us of what’s in your pockets. A lot of you are fantastic Instagrammers, and you take intricately arranged, beautifully composed shots of objects important enough for you to carry daily.

We always see playing cards in them — your favorite deck is important to you, obviously. We also see card clips, wallets, keys, pencils, knives, bottle openers and magic props. Each one of those things has an obvious magical purpose. But there’s one object we see appearing in your shots that we bet you’re not using to its full potential for your magic: Your cellphone.

These aren’t vintage bricks or monotone flip phones we’re seeing — far from it. They are the latest flagship devices. Y’all love your iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy S5 or whatever device you chose. You considered it carefully and picked it proudly, because you knew it would be right there in your pocket to meet the specific needs you have.

But are you using your phone to its fullest magic potential? We’re gambling that you aren’t.

Magic apps such as the incredible City Prediction go a long way, of course. But we’re also talking about so much more. That smartphone is a personal computer, capable of holding a tremendous amount of data and apps that can help you pursue the art of magic. Here’s a few ideas: 

  • • Your magic library: We love books, but a few seminal works in PDF format belong on your cellphone. Most devices have PDF readers built in to the software; if not, apps are easily found — even for Windows Phone users. The same goes for videos. Imagine how handy it would be to have things you’re practicing in your pocket. If storage space is an issue for your device, you can easily set up a cloud service (Box, Dropbox, OneDrive, iCloud) and load it up with your favorites.
  • • Journaling: There are so many outstanding notetaking apps available. Evernote is particularly notable for how flexible it is (you can take pictures, record voice notes or enter text) and how it can be synced across multiple devices. We know a lot of you swear by pen and paper (those look great in your Instagram pocket pics), but having those notes in an easily carried and managed device can be a huge advantage, and is something to consider.
  • • Contacts: This is a basic function of a smartphone. Use it and, if there are custom fields, think about how those can be used to help organize the people you know. Anytime you get a business card, don’t leave it in your wallet — enter the data in as soon as practical. You’ll build a large network before you know it. Additionally, you should be able to enter notes for each contact. That could help you remember important details, such as college education, accomplishments or favorites, that will help you make a great impression down the road.
  • • Calendar: Digital technology makes it so easy to stay organized. From daily routines, weekly events or surprise gigs, it’s important to manage your schedule, and the tools in your smartphone are perfect for that. Events can be set up to repeat in the most detailed of ways. You can also use your calendar to highlight deadlines for your magic goals.
  • • Your repertoire: Magic tricks can be like jokes — you may know a lot of them, but remembering them on the spot can be tough. A list on your phone will help remind you about what you can do, and what you shouldn’t do. Fire up your phone’s memo app and make a list of all the routines you know. Mark whether they are impromptu or require some preparation.
  • • Your phone’s magical properties: It’s one thing to have good magic apps on your phone. But it’s quite another if you can cobble together your own routines based on your device. This is good news for non-iPhone users. Consider the Galaxy Note 4, which comes with a stylus. That could be used for dislays of dexterity or cigarette tricks, or use the phone’s built-in memo-writing app to have someone write down a prediction.
    Heck, even your device’s OS can provide inspiration for magic. Look at what YouTube user ItsmeJC did with just a BlackBerry lock screen and a deck of cards. BlackBerry and Windows Phone devices are phenomenal, but to many people, they aren’t very recognizable. And remember that the popular Android is HIGHLY customizable. Where Apple users will recognize features on someone else’s iPhone, an Android user can make their phone into a piece of alien technology. There’s your step ahead. USE IT.

YOUR TURN. How do you use your device for magic?

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