Smartphone owners don't just carry their touch-activated computers around in their back pocket, they use them everywhere. That's according to recent research on phone usage. Nearly 40 percent of smartphone users are checking their phone while on the pot. Another 9 percent of users report checking their phone in the middle of religious services. A full 30 percent admit to surfing their phone apps while eating with others. So why not use your smartphone to earn more money?
Because so many mobile application developers are vying to attract users, some of them are now paying customers to use their programs. That's where smartphone users can benefit. Here are five apps that will pay you to use them:
If you've always wanted to make money to watch TV, there is an app for that. Viggle pays users points to log in the TV shows that they watch. Those points can be used to redeem a large number of gift cards and prizes.
Logging your TV watching is not all that different than Nielsen, but it's far less cumbersome. When you log in to Viggle, it activates your smartphone's microphone. Your phone will record part of the show you are watching and match the show to shows that are airing. Logging is no harder than opening a program on your smartphone. You just watch and earn.
Payout: Lowest payouts are $5 gift cards for around 75 hours of TV watching.
Can you find products in a grocery store? Then you can make money by using Easy Shift.
Companies are sensitive about how its products are priced and displayed in the Supermarket. The wrong look or the wrong price could be the difference between a lost sale or a successful promotion. EasyShift hires users to audit manufacturer promotions in retail locations. When you open the app, you'll have various assignments to choose from.
Once you've found a location to audit, you'll be given a product to find and a survey to fill out. Once you've traveled to the store location and filled out the important information, you'll receive a payment to your Paypal account the same day.
Payout: $2 to $20 per assignment.
Don't just search the web. Get paid to search the web.
Swagbucks is a popular pay-for-use web service. It provides points to subscribers who complete a mélange of sponsored activities. It has points for watching short clips, searching the web, playing video games, taking online surveys, clipping online coupons and signing up for various featured services.
While opportunities abound for desktop, tablet and laptop users, Swagbucks has only two mobile apps for use. One is for its point-rewarded web search and the other its TV channel composed of short clips. Points for using the Swagbucks search app are awarded randomly. Each time you search you have a chance to win around 8 to 12 points. Those points add up and can be redeemed for gift cards.
Payout: Lowest payouts are for $5 gift cards for around 450 points, or about 1,000 to 1,500 searches.
Do you want to get paid to shop? Even the camera on your smartphone can be put to good use earning you money. WeReward pays users to snap photos of their visit or purchases at specific retailers. All you need to do is sign in to WeReward, find a retailer and follow the instructions. Rewards are paid out as points that are equal to a penny. Once you reach 1,000 points, you can get $10 sent to your Paypal account.
Payout: Most assignments pay 5 points or $.05.
Daily Feats is the first mobile app that pays you to do a little good in this world. Good, as Daily Feats defines it, happens to be going on your smartphone and keeping track of various tasks that are seen as positive. Floss your teeth today? You get points for that. Hug your wife? There are points for that too. If you read the news today, you can claim points. If you do enough good in this world, you’ll be able to cash in points for various gift cards.
Payout: Lowest payout is $5 gift cards for around 2,500 points. Since you are using your smartphone all the time, you might as well make money, too.
JP is the author of the money blog My Family Finances, a site dedicated to helping families make wise financial decisions. He is also an MBA and works in corporate finance.