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Free Wi-Fi calling with Google Hangouts

Tip

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

 

Free Wi-Fi calling

wi-fi callingYou can make voice calls from Hangouts on Android and Hangouts on iOS to any number across North America. For free.

You may be thinking, “doesn’t Google Hangouts use data?” How can it be free?

In short, jump on a Wi-Fi connection and any call you make to any number across the US and Canada is entirely free. These calls won’t count toward your voice minutes and can help you lower your monthly bill if you’re with a pay-for-what-you-use provider like Ting.

The latest Hangouts 4.0 update brings caller ID to your outbound calls, too! No longer will you show up as “Unknown” – your friends and family now see your Ting number when you give them a ring.

Not familiar with Google Hangouts? It’s similar to Skype or iMessage (messaging, voice calls and video chat), except, as we’ve pointed out, Wi-Fi calling North American phone numbers through Hangouts Dialer costs absolutely nothing. Hangouts also supports animated GIFs… need we say more?!

It’s worth noting that you can lower your monthly bill even further by routing incoming calls (and texts) through Hangouts. Just remember that if you’re not connected to Wi-Fi, you’ll be using your mobile data plan, not your voice minutes.

Restrict background data: how to reduce your data usage in Android

Ting tip

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

Restrict background data

Restrict background data and save money

At Ting, we like to think that anyone can save on their mobile bill by changing their mobile habits. One big way to save is to ask yourself if you can restrict background data and limit how much mobile data you use every month.

It’s worth knowing that despite your best efforts, some apps continue to use data in the background even while you don’t have them open. There are many Android apps that, without your knowledge, will go ahead and connect to your cellular network even when the app is closed.

Background data usage can wrack up quite a bit of MB. The good news is, you can reduce data usage. All you have to do is turn off background data. We’ll show you how to restrict background data on your Android phone and cut any lingering data usage.

Wrangle your usage and save big. Some people spend as little $20 a month on one phone. Now there’s a smartphone plan that makes sense. Reducing background data is a great place to start.

Update Google Play apps 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.

How to update Google Play 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.

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How to save data on Snapchat by using the Memories feature

How to save data on Snapchat

If you’re a regular user of Snapchat, you know how easy it is to use a lot of mobile data without even realizing it. Even just sharing a couple videos when you’re out and about can rack up 50-100 MB of cellular data usage.

While Snapchat has added Travel Mode to help lower your mobile data usage when viewing Snaps from friends and family, there hasn’t been an easy way to reduce your data usage when sending them, until now!

Snapchat’s Memories feature allows you to save your pictures and videos for later, letting you share them once you’re back on a Wi-Fi connection. While it may not be an “up-to-the-minute” Snap, it’s a small price to pay to significantly reduce your mobile data usage, and lower your phone bill if you’re with a pay-for-what-you-use provider like Ting.

We’ll walk you through the steps on how to save data on Snapchat right away using this feature.

How to reduce YouTube data usage on your mobile device

Tip

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

Reduce YouTube data usage

Reduce YouTube data usage and save money

If you like to watch YouTube when you’re on the go, there’s an easy way to reduce YouTube data usage in the mobile app.

Streaming video in high-definition uses much more mobile data than watching in standard quality, and it’s not like you need to watch a cute cat video in 1080p to get hit right in the feels.

Take advantage of the Limit mobile data usage setting inside the app which forces YouTube to only stream HD video when you’re connected to Wi-Fi. If you’re using cellular data, videos will automatically stream in standard quality, saving you big time on data usage. Even if you typically remember to switch to standard when using the YouTube app, we’d suggest turning on the toggle just in case.

If you have a YouTube Red subscription, go one step further and download full videos and playlists to avoid using mobile data altogether.

Get the run-down in our quick two-step tutorial below.

When less is more: A roundup of our favorite flip phones

Thinking about a feature phone that can talk, text and not too much more than that? This one’s for you.

A simple flip phone is easy on the wallet, has battery life that’s measured in days instead of hours and cuts digital temptation off at the knee. Feature phones also serve as a great backup and are a perfect gift for the technophobe in your life.

There’s a small but growing movement back to ye olde dumbphone (the counterpoint to a smartphone has to be a dumbphone, right?) While the appeal of having a pocketable computer with which to remain connected is undeniable, smartphones demand your attention. Perhaps too effectively. We’ve talked about going greyscale to resist the smartphone siren song but that’s a half measure.

Below, we’ve listed some of the most popular flip phones that are compatible with at least one of Ting’s two nationwide LTE network options.

 

1. Alcatel A392

$63 | Ting Shop | GSM network

Flip phones are so outdated they’re almost back in style again, and with the Alcatel A392, it’s clear why.

The classic flip phone was never as sleek as this device, featuring a 0.67-inch thickness that’s the definition of pocket-friendly and smooth styling. The sturdy casing and flip-functionality means you can say goodbye to butt dials and annoying lock screen passwords.

With up to 32 GB of storage with a MicroSD card, there’s lots of room for music and files or even videos and pics, if you are content to view them on the 2.4-inch screen. Easy Bluetooth connectivity and large keys make it easy to use, even for the tech-phobic.

The Alcatel’s audio playback is surprisingly strong for a flip phone, and even includes built-in FM radio. For added convenience, an external screen keeps you updated on date, time and status when you’ve got the phone closed.