10 Tips For Taking Better Photos With Your Smartphone
Pick a Better Camera App
This one applies more to iPhone users than Android users, but in any case, the goal is more control. There are a couple of standard choices in this category and any of them will treat you better than the stock camera app. I like Camera Awesome (made by SmugMug) because it allows you to shoot in bursts and separates the AF lock from the exposure lock. It's also free. Other apps like Camera+ have similar options for more controlled shooting.
Whatever you pick, it's worth it to spend a little time really getting used to it. It seems silly to take out your phone and practice taking pictures, but you'll be glad you did it if you manage to catch a great shot while others are still flipping through pages of apps or trying to turn off their stupid flash.
Image: A screenshot taken from inside the Camera Awesome app.