App of the Week: WifiMapper

WifiMapper is the Wi-Fi access point search tool you wish was built into your phone. The app lets you search any location for available hotspots, and lists helpful tidbits about each Wi-Fi zone, like if it’s free or password protected.

The app comes from the folks at OpenSignal (who already provide a great tool for cellular area coverage) and boasts the world’s largest Wi-Fi database. Best of all, the information is maintained and updated by the apps community (i.e. you and me). So if a free access point suddenly goes dark, you or someone else using the app can make a change to the listing.

And hey, if that’s not enough, WifiMapper also includes Foursquare comments so you can find out more about the hotspot’s establishment. You may just end up with a decent meal in addition to free internet.

WifiMapper is free and currently available on the Apple App Store. An Android version is incoming – you can sign up for updates on the official page or join the beta now.

#TEAMTING – Jeff Ward

#TEAMTING is a series where we showcase some of our favorite Ting customer stories, whether from an individual, a family, a tech-head or a retiree.

A few months ago, Jeff and his wife realized they were overpaying for cell phone service and decided to check out Ting.

“It really came down to price: We were paying $150 for two phones with our previous provider, and Ting brought our bill down to about $40 a month.”

While their previous plan included unlimited texts, unlimited voice calls and 3 GB of data, Jeff and his wife weren’t coming close to that much usage.

“Each month I use less than 100 texts, less than 500 minutes and less than 1 GB of data, so why pay for an unlimited plan when I’m not even using it?”

“I have Wi-Fi at work and home, and I don’t stream a lot when I’m on the go. The only time I use a lot of data is when I’m away at conferences, and the fact that Ting rates give me that option is great.”

Ting tip for iOS – Turn off Facebook’s video auto-play setting

Become a smartphone power user with the bare minimum of geekery involved. Each week, we’ll share a simple, useful mobile trick. No fluff – just the tips.

You know what’s cool?

Not letting Facebook tell you how to live your life. Specifically when it comes to videos auto-playing in your newsfeed.

Oh sure, video auto-play can be handy. But it can also use a considerable amount of mobile data without your permission.

Today’s Ting Tip will show you how to disable auto-play from the app’s settings menu. Follow along using our step-by-step GIF instruction guide below!

Using an Android device? We’ve got you covered.

Ask an Exec: Who’s the GSM network provider and when’s the beta over?

Today’s question comes from blaziecat1103 on reddit, who asks:

Michael Goldstein gives some insight into the steps that had to be in place before we could exit beta and explains why we can’t officially name our GSM service partner.

The Ting self-serve help site gets a makeover

Recently we let you know that changes were afoot for our help site and those changes are rolling right along. The first step was reorganizing the content in a way that made more sense as well as removing content that was no longer relevant. Now we’re on step two: The makeover and the move.

What’s different?

Well, first, the help site looks a lot more like it’s a part of Ting (which seemed like a good idea, given that it is). Until now being on didn’t feel like you were in a Ting space and we wanted to change that to make the experience more, dare we say, holistic.

Before we undertook the reorganization, we took the time to better understand how people approach help. We used some of what we learned to do some top-level navigation that will help people find the help documentation they seek without too much messing around. You’ll also notice we’ve worked to make each help page not just easier on the eyes but also easier to navigate.

App of the Week: Trepn Profiler

Trepn Profiler gives you detailed insights into the power and performance of apps on your smartphone. It was just released by Qualcomm, the makers of the popular Snapdragon processors you’ll find in a slew of Android devices today.

If you’ve noticed your phone starting to slow down or run out of battery quicker than before, Trepn Profiler helps you figure out what’s going on behind the scenes. The main page includes preset profiles that run in the background to identify apps that drain your battery, hog your CPU or use excess data.

It’s great for developers and anyone interested in digging a little deeper into the impact of apps on your smartphone. It’s free and available now on Google Play.

PS: Five points to whoever can tell us what the heck Trepn means.

Ting tip for Android – Turn off Facebook’s video auto-play setting

Become a smartphone power user with the bare minimum of geekery involved. Each week, we’ll share a simple, useful mobile trick. No fluff – just the tips.

Ever notice that the Facebook app instantly plays any video you see on your newsfeed, regardless of whether you wanted to watch it?

This “feature” is automatically turned on and can use a considerable amount of mobile data without your permission.

Take back control with today’s Ting tip. Inside Facebook’s settings menu, there’s a simple toggle that lets you choose between always on, Wi-Fi only and always off.

Follow along using our step-by-step GIF instructions below! Using an iPhone or iPad? We’ve got you covered.

Ting SIM in the Adafruit store plus an Adafruit promo code for Ting people

adafruit-logoIf you’re a geek or if you have geeky underpinnings, you’ve probably heard of Adafruit.

If you aren’t and therefore haven’t, think of them as the RadioShack of the new millennium, but cast your memory back to when RadioShack was the go-to place for electronics hobbyists and tinkerers as opposed to just a reminder of those halcyon days.

Not for the faint of heart, the Adafruit online store stocks everything your computer or robotics hobbyist didn’t even know they needed. Now, that list of components, boards and other techie bits includes Ting GSM SIM cards in the mix.

We at Ting are fans of tinkering, which is why we’re excited about this little deal.

Ting Unboxing and a giveaway: Galaxy Note 4

Available in white or black.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 is now in the Ting shop!

An exceptional smartphone both inside and out, the Note 4 sports a beautiful 5.7-inch high res display cased inside a metal frame – a first for the Note series and a great addition at that.

It includes the classic S Pen that sets the Note 4 apart from other phablets on the market, and has a camera that’s in contention for the top Android spot.

The latest Ting Unboxing, featured below, reveals the Galaxy Note 4 in all its glory in just under two minutes.

To celebrate the Note 4’s arrival, we’re giving one away!