After bitching about OnePlus the other day, Carl Pei got the last laugh when my OnePlus One careened from my hand to the floor. The screen spidered from directly above the camera to the other side of the phone and down to the bottom. The touchscreen was completely unresponsive and my Project Fi Nexus 5X is still a month away from being delivered.


Left without an immediate comprehensive solution, I had to think of alternatives. Fortunately, the technology exists and is already in place to hold me over until my new phone arrives.

I hope these little tips help other Android users and prevent people from panicking like I did.

If your phone number is connected to it, Google Hangouts allows you to make calls right from your computer. The Hangouts Dialer app turns your tablet into a phablet. The Google Voice Chrome Extension is capable of playing received voicemails as well as receiving and sending text messages. The full on Google Voice site handles voicemails, as expected. It also has logs of missed and received calls.

To round things out, if the microphone on your phone still works or you have a smart watch with a mic in it that is paired to your phone, you should be able to use voice commands to control your phone. “OK Google” can go a long way.

Shy of being able to play Flappy Bird in the restroom, this should be enough to tide someone with a broken smartphone over for a short period of time. There are plenty of options for the iPhone too and if you are looking for tips, let me know. I would be happy to gather some for you!