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Unlock the full power of Google Assistant

Tip

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

GooglenowmiciconblogGoogle Assistant is an “intelligent personal assistant” native to the Android platform (available for iOS in the Apple App Store) that lets you command your phone with your voice.

Recently, Google Assistant was updated to let users use the voice prompt (“Ok Google”) from anywhere across your phone. No longer do you have to take your eyes off the road while navigating with Google Maps – just say “Ok Google, what’s my next turn.” When you’re getting ready for work, just say “Ok Google, what’s the weather like outside” to see if you’ll need a jacket.

There’s a wide variety of useful voice commands you can discover, whether you’d like to stay safer while driving, text without taking off your winter gloves or just try and impress your friends. Many of the newer Android devices also include what was previously a Motorola exclusive (and the finishing touch for a top-notch Google Assistant experience), “Touchless Control,” which lets you prompt with “Ok Google” even when your screen is turned off and the phone is idle.

All it takes is flipping a switch in the settings menu to instantly take advantage of all the hands-free goodness that Google Assistant has to offer.

Get a quick tutorial below.


Turn off Twitter’s video autoplay feature

Tip

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

twitterWith video content becoming increasingly popular in this day and age, it’s no wonder that mainstream social apps are jumping on the “auto-play” bandwagon.

First Facebook, then Instagram and now Twitter. These social giants may not care how much data you’re using, but you probably do.

Fortunately, like Facebook and Instagram, you now have the option to disable videos from automatically playing in your Twitter feed over a mobile data connection. In Twitter’s settings menu, you can select Wi-Fi only or choose to never automatically play videos – whichever you’d prefer.

Whether you’re using an Android or iOS device, we’ve hooked you up with some simple instructions below.


Content blocking for better mobile browsing in iOS 9

Ting tip

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

We’ve all got little computers in our pockets. It stands to reason that the mobile web is taking over. That said, it is proving to be a tough place to chase a user base and to make a buck. The solution, for good or ill, is advertising.

These aren’t your usual banner ads, though. Over the last five years, web advertisements have evolved from simple banners to a series of hidden trackers, analytics collectors and beacons that follow you around end up taxing your system performance and using bandwidth.

How much exactly?

A recent study by The New York Times found that over half of data loaded by mobile pages comes from ads and other third-party trackers. Consider the poorly optimized, data-heavy mobile web pages we’ve all encountered at some point in our mobile browsing as insult to injury.

That’s why iOS 9’s recent addition of Content Blocker apps has become such a hot-bed for controversy. Many content creators fear these blockers eat into their business, while Apple feels its users should have the option to optimize their web experience how they see fit.

At present, the App Store has around 100 content blockers available, both free and paid.

Enable Travel Mode to save data in Snapchat

snapchatSnapchat is a great way to stay in touch with friends and family and share moments in your life that may not be worthy of a Facebook profile picture or Instagram post.

What’s not so great about Snapchat is the amount of data the app consumes. Snapchat preloads content so you don’t have to wait for a photo or video to load, which can use a ton of mobile data when you’re not expecting it to.

Fortunately, Snapchat has added a useful “Travel Mode” toggle to give you control over how much cellular data the app can use. Snaps from friends, Stories and Discovery content will only load when you tap them, instead of loading in the background or automatically when opening the app. Snaps typically load in just a few seconds, so you won’t notice much of a difference, other than paying less for your monthly cell phone service with a pay-for-what-you-use provider like Ting.

To enable Travel Mode, open your Snapchat profile (swipe down on the main page), tap the Settings cog in the top right, scroll down to Additional Services and tap Manage. Turn on Travel Mode and let the data saving begin!

Disable Wi-Fi Assist to save your mobile data

Ting tip

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

Wi-Fi Assist is an undeniably handy feature that shows Apple’s classic attention to the user experience. Unless you’ve chosen to go with an unlimited data plan though, you should probably turn it off. Wi-Fi Assist is on by default, whether you’re buying a new iPhone 7 or upgrading an older iPhone to the latest operating system.

Wi-Fi Assist automatically switches you from Wi-Fi to mobile data in the event you’re getting a weak signal or, in a coffee shop for example, you haven’t gone through the proper steps to gain access to the network. Basically, if Wi-Fi is proving unreliable, you’ll be seamlessly moved over to using the mobile data network instead. As we said, that’s a good user experience, but it’s also far too easy to blow through a bunch of mobile data without realizing it.

To deactivate Wi-Fi Assist, go to Settings > Cellular, scroll alllll the way to the bottom of that menu, and then turn off Wi-Fi Assist.

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Looking for more ways to lower mobile data usage?


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Android or iOS?

Turn off Facebook’s video auto-play feature on iOS

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.