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Minimize mobile data usage in the Netflix app

If you’re planning on streaming Netflix over a cellular data connection, make to take advantage of the video quality settings inside the Netflix app.

Streaming video over a mobile data connection will use a considerable amount of data, even for just a 30 minute show. Fortunately, Netflix has added cellular data controls to its Android and iOS apps, letting you choose between a variety of video quality settings. According to Netflix, selecting the “Low” setting for 30 minutes of video will use approximately 125 megabytes of data (~4 MB a minute).

Keep in mind that Netflix now allows TV shows and movies to be downloaded for offline use, so with a bit of forethought you can watch all the content you want without spending a cent on mobile data.

Simple instructions are listed below.

Block ads while browsing on Android and iOS

Tip

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

AdBlock Browser – Free

With smartphones becoming ubiquitous in our daily lives, it’s no wonder that we spend more time browsing the web on our phones.

Increasingly, websites are being optimized for mobile so you see basically the same site whether you have the latest iPhone, Nexus 5 or Moto E. Sadly, one thing hasn’t changed: An overabundance of ads that, aside from being annoying, can chew through your mobile data without your knowledge.

We’ve all seen the pop-up images and auto-play videos. There are also hidden trackers, analytics collectors and beacons that follow you around and end up taxing your system performance and using bandwidth. According to a recent study by Enders Analysis, “ad content accounted for between 18% and 79% of the mobile data transferred, depending on the site.”

Take control of your mobile data usage with a content-blocking app like AdBlock Browser. Free for Android and iOS, this browser comes with a built-in ad blocking feature to save your battery, save your data and load pages faster. It also includes the option to white-list ads on sites that you want to support, which is a great addition.

There are other ad-block options that are worth checking out too, like Adguard and uBlock Origin for Android, or 1Blocker and Purify for iOS.

Learn more about Content Blocking for iOS.


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!