When Benjamin Franklin wrote that “those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety,” he was clearly referring to smartphone operating systems. While Apple’s iOS and Microsoft’s Windows Phone prevent developers and users from having too much access to core functions in the name of security, Android gives you the freedom to perform just about any task you can imagine.
Most Android aficionados already know that you can “root” (aka gain administrative access to) your device, change the look and feel of your phone with a custom launcher and sideload apps from anywhere you want. However, even if you’re an early adopter, you might not know about these 12 surprising things your Android phone can do.
Android is a form of Linux, so it should be no surprise that any modern Android device can run a full-fledged Web server complete with a mySQL database, PHP support and FTP for file transfers. You can even make the server available on the Internet and use it with a domain of your choice.
Developers can use an Android Web server to test out their code and then show it to clients or stakeholders in the office. Users who want to run a small blog or share files with co-workers via FTP can have a server sitting in their living rooms or even in their pockets. If you use a $45 Android Mini PC like the MK808B instead of a phone, you can run a server the size of a flash drive that gets all of its power over USB.