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App of the Week: YouTube Kids

kidsgoYouTube Kids is the perfect app for young children looking to browse YouTube on their own terms.

It’s designed specifically for kids, complete with big buttons, age-appropriate videos and curated playlists. Tons of classic favorites including Sesame Street, Reading Rainbow and National Geographic Kids are available inside the app for instant streaming at no cost!

The app’s parental controls let you set a timer to limit screen time, remove the search bar and more. While it’s password protected, it’ll currently only keep out very young children; kids older than five or six will likely be able to bypass this screen.

YouTube Kids is available for free on Android and iOS (both smartphones and tablets). Get the run-down in Kyra’s review below!

App of the Week: Crossy Road

Today’s App of the Week is for lovers of simple arcade smartphone games. If you had a hard time putting down Flappy Bird or Timberman, you’re in for a treat.

Crossy Roafrankensteincrossyroadd calls itself an “Endless Arcade Hopper,” which is really just a fancy way of saying “Frogger spinoff”. The game’s goal is simple: the further you go, the more points you get. While the mechanics are identical to Frogger, you only have one life and you can collect coins along the way to help you unlock a ridiculous amount of characters.

From animals like a duck, pigeon and crab to mythical creatures like Frankenstein and Doge, you’ll be discovering new units for months. Each character adds its own unique touch to Crossy Road, but keep in mind that these features are all cosmetic.

If you’re looking for an endlessly replayable game, Crossy Road is where is at. It’s free to play and available on Android and iOS, so head to your respective app store and give it a shot!

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.

Back up Google Photos over Wi-Fi only

Tip

Quick tips to get the most from your phone, your favorite apps and your Ting service. No fluff. Just the tips.

Back up photos and videos on Wi-Fi

Google Photos is available on Android and iOS and includes an Auto Backup tool that lets you save all your photos and videos privately in the cloud. Even if you upgrade or (heaven forbid) lose your phone, your pictures and videos will be safe and sound, ready to move to your new device. All your media is backed up and available at photos.google.com, accessible with your Google Account login. Even the Google Assistant moments your phone creates for you are safe and secure.

If you’re not careful though, this handy backup feature could ding you on mobile data. Avoid this possibility by choosing to perform backups “Over Wi-Fi only” as opposed to when connected to the mobile network.

First time opening Google Photos? You’ll be asked to select your uploading preferences upon startup.

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Automatically download podcasts over Wi-Fi on Android

Auto-download podcasts over Wi-Fi on an Android device

Tons of podcast apps on the Android platform allow you to download episodes over a Wi-Fi connection. Whether you’re heading out for your morning commute or afternoon session at the gym, it’s an easy way to save on mobile data and guarantee a smooth, uninterrupted stream.

Did you know that you can also set up your podcast manager to automatically grab the latest episodes once you’re back in a Wi-Fi zone?

While we used Pocket Casts as an example, there are several other Android apps that offer a similar experience, including BeyondPod and Podcast Addict.

Own an iOS device? Click here for the equivalent article.

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Reduce data usage in Google Chrome

Reduce data usage in Google Chrome

Your Chrome browser on both Android and iOS includes a feature that can compress the data sent through your smartphone. Using Google’s servers, Chrome condenses images and other files to reduce your data usage by up to 50 percent!