A few ways to make money using your smartphone

Everyone has a smartphone in their pocket, and whilst we may spend most of our time on social media, watching YouTube, and playing games, but the mini-computers can do a lot more – and even make you money. If you have ten minutes to spare and you have picked up your phone for distraction, maybe try using your phone to put a little extra pocket money in your pocket.

‎Google Opinion Rewards

Google is a big data company that makes its billions by targeting advertising to users around the world. The company gleans a lot of information about its users and businesses from its various online offerings from search to Google Analytics, but there are times where real personal opinions are needed and that is where Google Opinion Rewards comes in.

The Google Opinion Rewards app allows Google to send out short questionnaires to millions of people and get feedback on tools and places to inform its data. Sometimes the questions will be about you, your demographics, and other times it might be to ask your opinion on a location you’ve visited or how you have paid for your latest weekly shop. The questions normally take around 10-30 seconds to answer and in return Google will add a few pence (generally between 6p and 30p) to your Google Play account, which you can then spend on apps, films, music, or anything else that Google sells through its platform. This is probably the quickest and easiest way to earn a bit of pocket money with your phone when you have a free minute.

Surveys and polling

Google is not the only company that wants your opinions, and the market research industry is always looking for answers for businesses and political parties. Serious polling companies like YouGov and Opinium send out regular emails or app notifications asking for people to fill out questionnaires on their opinions on everything from new holiday offerings from cruise companies to a new government housing policy. These questionnaires tend to be significantly longer than the Google Opinion Rewards surveys and will often take 5-15 minutes to complete, earning you between £0.25 and £0.75, but there is an extra bonus in that your opinions will be part of a sample that helps guide decision making processes in businesses and government. Many of those polls at election time that show one party leading the other by a few points get their data from polls like these.

Matched betting

Gambling by its very nature carries risks where you may well lose your money, but with the competitive nature of the online gambling market it is possible to play gambling firms’ free deposits and bets offers against each other – playing the system to make a profit. Any sports betting app that offers free bets and welcome offers can be used this way if you’re careful, with Android and iOS apps the easiest tools to use as they will keep you updated on your bets and available offers via notifications. All the big bookies have their own apps, including Mega:pari, which has its own app for Android reviewed by Silentbet. Matched betting only works if you are very careful with your bets and follow a system to reduce and remove risk with the free offers – getting excited and backing your favourite football team for the FA Cup is probably not the way to do it!

Work as a language tutor

Whether your mother tongue is English, Spanish, German, or anything else other people are currently trying to learn your language and will pay you to help them progress. Apps like Verbling, NiceTalk and Education First will let you connect with language students around the world to share your knowledge or just have conversations for between 15 minutes and a few hours earning between $10 and $30 per hour. You might not be able to earn any money from a language app while waiting for the bus, but spending an hour a day talking to people from foreign countries trying to learn your language can offer good rewards and insights into different cultures.

Photograph by Alok Sharma