By Kim Komando

It’s not just for selfies. Columnist Kim Komando offers cool ways to use your iPhone or Android smartphone’s camera.

There are so many great uses for your smartphone’s camera other than taking selfies and family photos. Before you unplug any cables in and around your television, for example, snap a few pictures of all the audio and video gear’s connections. And the next time you rent a car, take a photo of it that includes the license plate.

Your phone’s camera can be an indispensable tool. Here are five ways to start using it to better your digital life.

1. Scan documents

Your smartphone’s camera makes a great a portable, pocket document scanner. You can use it to scan contracts, documents, receipts, business cards or anything on paper that you want to make digital. Then, you can share your scans via email or text, or export them as PDF and JPG files.

Evernote Scannable for the iPhone and iPad automatically rotates, crops, and adjusts images so your scans are easy to read. If you use an Android device, the Google Drive app has a built-in scanning feature.

2. Look up UPC barcodes

The next time you’re shopping and wondering if you are getting a good deal, pull out your smartphone. Forget about doing a Google search. Instead, use your smartphone’s camera and take a picture of the product’s UPC code.

UPC code scanner apps provide a myriad of data right at your fingertips. Aside from product details, they cull online and brick-and-mortar store prices and then present the findings in a digestible format. On one screen, you will know who truly has the best price.

Quick Scan for iOS and ShopSavvy Barcode and QR Scanner for Android seem to offer the widest range of available products and stores.

Tip in a tip: If you have the Amazon app on your phone or tablet, use it to scan a product’s barcode to be taken directly to the product’s page on Amazon.

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