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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 iOS

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

Podcasts is the only podcast app you’ll ever need on an iPhone or iPad. This native app lets you automatically download every podcast you’ve subscribed to on iTunes once you’re in range of a Wi-Fi connection.

Not only will this significantly lower your mobile data usage, it also guarantees a smooth, uninterrupted stream, no matter where you are or what you’re up to.

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

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Top Ting smartphone cameras compared

The smartphone market is quickly becoming more and more saturated, and with it, comes the confusion of finding the perfect device for your needs. For many people, the quality of a smartphone’s camera is the most important aspect when deciding on a new device.

cameracomparisonsimage11_border_usemeTerms like “HDR”, “Ultra Pixel”, and “Image Stabilization” are being thrown around on the regular and it’s often difficult to figure out which smartphone camera actually performs the best.

So, we decided to compare the cameras of the top six devices on the Ting lineup in indoor and outdoor light settings! While we wouldn’t consider ourselves camera experts, we’ve taken our fair share of smartphone snaps and hope this article provides some valuable insight for you.

The frontrunners we compared are:

  1. Nexus 5 (8 MP )
  2. iPhone 5 (8 MP )
  3. HTC One M8 (5 MP )
  4. LG G2 (13 MP )
  5. Galaxy Note 3 (13 MP )
  6. Galaxy S5 (16 MP )

Google Photos: How awesome is Auto Awesome?

Google Auto Awesome auto edits your photos

Is that a robotic photo editor in your pocket? After getting used to Google Photos’ automatic editing technology, Auto Awesome, it might just feel that way!

Google Photos has recently been updated to give you endless picture possibilities. It examines the media you’ve backed up in the cloud and creates impressive copies of your images. Whether you’re taking landscape shots, group photos or a selfie, Google has the tools and effects to turn your snaps into altered masterpieces.

Own an iPhone and feeling left out? Grab Google+ in the App Store to get in on the action.

Five things you didn’t know your smartphone could do

Smartphones have now evolved to a point where they can complete unique tasks and function as an “all-in-one” gadget. There’s an endless number of awesome things your pocket-sized computer can do, so why not try out something new?

Instead of going about your daily activities of browsing the web, uploading Vines, watching GIFs or getting that perfect filter, check out five things you probably didn’t know your smartphone could do:

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1. Remotely control your electronics

Whether you want to start your morning coffee from the comfort of your bed, or turn off your lights after you’ve left for work, the Belkin WeMo switch is one of the most useful gadgets around for smartphones today. After purchasing the WeMo switch for $50, all you gotta do is download the WeMo app (for Android 4.0 and higher), connect your switch to WiFi (or a mobile hotspot), plug your electronic device into the switch and you’re good to go!

You can turn it on or off from anywhere your smartphone has internet access, along with setting a schedule to complete these tasks automatically.

 

2.  Scan high-quality documents

Did you know you can use your smartphone as a scanner? With CamScanner, you can take a picture of any document and instantly convert it to a high-quality JPEG, PDF or whatever file format you’d prefer. You can directly send this file to Google Docs and other cloud storage programs, as well as attach it to an email! Make sure to try out the free version before purchasing the paid one for 5 bucks!

As an extra tip, you can download a sweet app called WorldCard Mobile to scan business cards with your smartphone. Once scanned, the app will automatically retrieve the card info, create contact details for the individual, and place it in the correct fields. Keep in mind that there’s a free and paid version available.

 

3. Play laser tag

AppTag has designed a cool product which uses your phone and an external accessory to play laser tag with friends! The Laser Blaster holds your smartphone in place and is your weapon of choice. The AppTag App uses Augmented Reality to add to your First Person Shooter experience by including medkits, armour, weapons, ammo packs, and even enemy monsters! Check out the multiplayer promo video below. While we can’t guarantee your experience will be this intense, it definitely looks like a ton of fun!

 

4. Use Bluetooth and a “smart beacon” to connect your device to the world around you

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These smart beacons, called tōd, interact with your smartphone in three different ways: in range, out of range, and scheduled. Using Bluetooth 4.0, these beacons can trigger the tōd app to perform different tasks depending on where you (and the beacon) are located. The app can be customized to do a variety of things:

  • It can track the location of your child, pet, etc.
  • You can schedule a message to automatically send your boss if you’re running late for work.
  • It will instantly switch your smartphone to hands-free mode when you enter your vehicle.

Tōd is also great for businesses, as it is much more useful than the currently-popular NFC tags. For example, music festival organizers could auto-send set times and other event info to their guests upon entering the smart beacon range (which would likely be the concert gates). While Android is not yet supported by tōd, they’ve announced that an App is coming this fall!

 

5. Measure the speed of a moving object

Speed Gun is a nifty tool that uses your camera to measure the speed of a moving object.

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Make sure you manually input the distance from your object (or person) or it won’t show any readings. This can easily be done with apps such as Smart Measure (or a normal measuring tape). If you notice that your readings are inaccurate, use the Speed Calibration option in Settings for a quick fix!

 


Know of any other unique things a smartphone can do? Let us know in the comments!