13 Tips to Supercharge Your 'Dumb' Phone

Don't own a smartphone? Here are 13 tips that will boost the IQ of any phone.

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Conduct Mobile Searches With Google

Just because you don't have a smartphone, that doesn't mean you can't search the Web to find what you're looking for on the go. Text GOOGLE (466453) from within the United States with your search query, and the search giant will text you back with the results.

You can also use Google's SMS search to find everything from the nearest FedEx store to the closest pizza joint. Google can serve up 22 different types of data, including driving directions, flight information, and the latest weather report. Just start your SMS request with the subject you're looking for, such as "weather," "movies," or "local" (for local business search).

If you're looking for the weather forecast in Bloomington, Indiana, for instance, you text "weather: Bloomington, IN" to 466453. To see more examples of typical SMS queries, visit Google's Mobile SMS page. Google's SMS search is a handy way to find information in a pinch, but remember that regular message rates apply.

Next: Retrieve Sports Scores on Demand

Retrieve Sports Scores on Demand

The Yankees are taking on the Red Sox, it's the bottom of the ninth, the game is tied...and you're stuck in a meeting. What's a baseball fan to do? The MLB has you covered with the free MLBGO (65246) SMS service. Just text "YANKEES" (or the name of any other team) to 65246, and you'll get an on-demand scoring update. Before you can use the MLBGO service, you'll need to set it up on the MLB.com Website.

MLBGO is free to use on demand, but you can sign up for automated team alerts for $4 per team.

You can get sports scores, news, Craigslist postings, and more by using another SMS service called 4INFO. Just send a text to 44636 with keywords like "news headlines," "white house," or "china" to keep up with the latest news in a bite-size format. You can also have text alerts sent to your phone for each category for free.

Get Directions Without GPS

Your phone may not have a GPS navigation app, but that doesn't mean you have to go without driving directions. Text GOOGLE (466453) your starting address, followed by "to" and then your destination address. Google will send you the directions. To make it even easier, you can get directions by zip code.

For example, say you live on the Upper West Side in Manhattan, and you want directions to New Haven, Connecticut. Text "10025 to 06501" to Google, and it will transmit the directions directly to your phone. Keep in mind that Google will send your directions in several batches, since SMS messages can have only about 150 characters (the directions for my example took about six messages).

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