Ting on a GSM network: Open beta is, well, open.

Ting GSM SIMTing on a GSM network is now in open beta. That means anyone with a Ting GSM SIM card can activate it, slip it into an unlocked phone and get started with Ting. No invitation required.

Likewise, the purchase page for the Ting GSM SIM X1 has gone from invite-only to public. That means the Ting GSM SIM card is available to purchase (then activate, then put in an unlocked phone and get started with Ting) with no invitation required.

If it feels somehow impolite to just waltz in to a beta uninvited, or if you’ve been anxiously awaiting an invitation and are disappointed that no explicit invite is coming, let us say this: You’re invited to the open beta of Ting on a GSM network.

Check out the Ting GSM and CDMA coverage maps to see what kind of coverage you can expect where you are. GSM and CDMA devices can coexist under a single account, sharing pooled usage for minutes, messages and megabytes.

New Ting customers can now choose whether they’d like to get started with their first device on either GSM or the CDMA networks. In many cases, the type of device someone wants to bring will determine which network is the right one.

Ting tip for Android: Update Google Play apps over Wi-Fi only

 If you’re with a pay-for-what-you-use provider like Ting, lowering your monthly bill is easier than you think. Each week, we’ll share a simple, useful mobile trick. No fluff – just the tips.

Set Google Play to only update apps over Wi-Fi

Google Play automatically updates your apps to provide a smooth, uninterrupted smartphone experience.

If you haven’t yet changed Google Play’s auto-update setting to Wi-Fi only, your device will download these app updates any time you’re connected to the internet, including over a mobile network. The file size of these app releases can sometimes be large, resulting in tons of unnecessary mobile data usage if you’re not careful.

While instant updates are a useful Android feature, they’re not typically crucial and can wait till you’ve reached a Wi-Fi covered zone like home or work.

Follow today’s two-step Ting tip to help save your mobile data for more important matters.

tingtip07_header.gif

#TEAMTING – Leslie Miller

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

Since switching to Ting, Leslie from Colorado has saved about $30 a month on her mobile phone bill.

Leslie’s not the type to always be looking at her phone. Her usage varies from month to month. Overpaying most months for a set monthly plan just didn’t make sense. The Ting approach of paying a fair price for what you actually use each month, on the other hand, did.

“I love the way Ting only charges you for exactly what you use. I have months when I don’t use the phone much at all and others where I use it much more. If you use substantially less in any given month, they lower your bill…”


App of the Week: Glympse

Glympse is a quick and easy way to share your location on your own terms. Whether on a smartphone, tablet or desktop computer, any Glympse you send can be viewed on a map with no download required.

Glympse lets you share your location with only the specific people you choose and only for as long as you decide. Compared to apps that want to keep tabs on you at all times, it’s a breath of fresh air.

The app is super simple: Send a Glympse request to anyone you wish using email, text, Hangouts, iMessage, Facebook, Twitter and more. Once connected, you are able to see each other’s location for the limited time period that you choose.

Made plans to hang with a friend but they’re running late? Request a Glympse to know exactly how long they’ll take before arriving. Trying to locate your friends at a packed music festival? Use Glympse to instantly share locations for an easy way to meet up!

Check out Glympse in action and learn more about this useful app in Kyra’s review below.

Offer for customers who bought a device that has failed the financial eligibility check

The people who are most blatantly wronged by this sudden change to our compatibility check this week are those that spent money on a phone that was seemingly Ting-ready and are now unable to use it. We don’t know whether those phones will become eligible in the near future so we want to at least make you whole financially and get you started with us as soon as possible.

To that end, we have set up a process to collect that device from you and give you a service credit equal to the value of that purchase. Here is what will be involved.

You submit to us:

    • An ESN for a Sprint device that is failing.

 

  • A purchase receipt for that device from a third party like eBay or Glyde (not Sprint) dated between January 1, 2015 and February 15, 2015 (when the new eligibility check was launched).

We email you a FedEx slip to send us the device free of charge.

We also send you a GSM SIM card and beta invite if you choose to buy something in that direction.

You send us the device.

Once we receive that device and confirm that it matches what you submitted, we apply a service credit to your account equal to the price you paid for that device, including shipping and taxes.

This is intended to afford you a comparable replacement device or subsidize something better. Certainly a new, unlocked GSM device is the simplest thing you can buy. If you buy something used, please, please do not buy anything, Sprint or GSM, until you have checked the ESN/IMEI/MEID with our compatibility checker.

To be clear, this offer does not apply to:

  • Unlocked iPhone 6/6+ or Nexus 5/6. We have a manual process to get these activated on Sprint. Call us. We can also send you a GSM SIM card and beta invite to activate them on GSM.
  • People who have a device from Sprint. You need to resolve your financial status with Sprint and we will do everything we can to help you with that.

Again, we acknowledge that this only addresses the most wronged here. We will continue to work on helping those of you who believe yourselves to be in good standing with Sprint directly and we will continue to work on the success rate of third-party devices coming to Ting in the future.

We hope this helps and that it gets many of you having a positive Ting experience soon.

Click here to apply for your credit.

Ting tip for iOS: Download Google Maps for offline use

If you’re with a pay-for-what-you-use provider like Ting, lowering your monthly bill is easier than you think. Each week, we’ll share a simple, useful mobile trick. No fluff – just the tips.

Cache Google Maps to avoid using mobile data

Google Maps for iOS includes a feature that lets you download entire regions of the map for offline use later. By downloading your routes over a Wi-Fi connection, you can save big on the amount of mobile data used during navigation. Google only needs to connect to the internet to fetch directions and turn-by-turn navigation service – the majority of mobile data used through Google Maps involves loading the map itself. Have an Android device? Here’s the equivalent step-by-step article.

applestore
Caching these areas for offline use also makes sure you have a consistent experience through areas with low reception. Taking a wrong turn due to a network delay will be a thing of the past.

mapscacheiOS_header

Changes to the BYOD program: The good, the bad and the ugly

UPDATE 2: We’ve put together a program to make it right for people who are caught on the wrong side of Sprint’s Financial Eligibility Check (FEC). All the details are in this blog post: Offer for customers who bought a device that has failed the financial eligibility check.

UPDATE: Sprint’s Financial Eligibility Check (FEC) that runs prior to a device being activated with an MVNO like Ting, has been very poorly implemented. Customers of MVNOs are the ones bearing the brunt of this poor implementation. We are very sorry.

Just because your device is being rejected right now doesn’t mean it can never be activated on Ting. You may just seeing the effect of this poor implementation. Even some devices purchased unlocked, directly from the manufacturer (e.g some Nexus 5 and 6, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Moto X / G etc. devices) are coming back as being “financially ineligible” from Sprint. They are, quite obviously, not financially ineligible as they weren’t purchased from Sprint.

Because of the poor implementation of this new Sprint program, we’re not seeing data which would help us to determine which of these FEC rejections are valid catches of devices that do, in fact, still have some kind of financial obligation to Sprint, and which are being erroneously flagged despite the fact that Sprint has no claim on them.

We’re chasing down all the information we can get our hands on and we’ll keep this blog post updated with the latest news as we get it.

Until recently, the Ting BYOD program has been limited to devices that are Sprint compatible and that Sprint has had in the market for over a year. Today, all of that changed. Spurred on by the new industry unlocking rules we discussed last week, Sprint changed their policy. Now, there are fewer limitations on which devices can be brought to an MVNO that uses the Sprint network, like Ting.

Under the new BYOD rules, the only requirements are that the device being brought to Ting be Sprint network compatible and also be in good financial standing with Sprint. That is to say, fully paid for, not reported lost or stolen and not tied to an account with an outstanding balance.

It’s a much more sensible system all things considered.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that some devices that previously would have had no trouble coming to Ting are now being blocked from making the move, basically because the owner hasn’t paid his or her final bill… most likely because they haven’t actually received that final bill. Yeah.

As it stands, if you bought a Sprint device on a contract, you will have to settle up your bill or any other outstanding balance with Sprint before we can activate the device on Ting. Until your final bill is paid in full, Sprint will block your device from being reactivated. This complicates things if you’re looking to move your Sprint device to Ting at the same time you move your Sprint number to Ting. It’s a classic (very annoying) catch 22.

App of the Week: Reddit Offline

Reddit Offline lets you browse reddit on your smartphone without having to consume mobile data.

You can schedule the app to automatically download content when you have Wi-Fi access, so you can browse your favorite subreddits without having to connect to the Internet. Pictures, gifs, imgur albums, text posts and comments can all be saved in the subreddits of your choosing.

Keep in mind that the app stores all this content on your device, so if you find yourself running out of space, make sure to clear the cache inside the Settings menu.

Scroll down and let Kyra tell you more about this awesome Android app!

Ask an Exec: What were the biggest challenges in creating Ting?

Ryan from Facebook wonders what the biggest challenges were in creating a wireless company and how Ting is able to maintain such low rates.

Ting CEO Elliot Noss gives some insight into the obstacles we had to overcome when developing and launching Ting, as well as the major challenge still facing us today.

Scroll down and watch Ask an Exec to learn more!