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Family game night 2.0: Smartphone games on the TV that everyone can play

Family game night revamped

Struggling to get in that quality time with your family? What you need is a good old-fashioned family game night — except instead of breaking out the board games, you’ll be huddled around a TV trying to crush your competition. Or, like, fostering family togetherness. Same difference.

There are plenty of couch co-op games that the whole family can enjoy. Your mobile device becomes the controller. Technology really is amazing, isn’t it? Here’s a look at just a few of your options for family-friendly smartphone gaming.

File taxes online: Our favorite apps for tax season

Tip

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

File taxes online

Use your phone to file taxes online this tax season

The best tax season apps let you file taxes online right from your phone and keep you organized all year long.

Take a look at what’s out there and choose the app that’s right for you. Know that in the world of taxes, these services are rarely free. When you file your taxes in person you’re typically charged a fee for the service, right? A couple of the options below are no different, but we did find one free service you might want to check out.

We’ll point out some features of each and let you know where one app might get the edge up on another. Always read the app descriptions thoroughly so there aren’t any surprises in terms of fees.

Hiya protects you from spam callers and phishing scams

phishing

Save yourself the spam call headache with Hiya

Everybody hates spam calls. Beyond those annoying “you won a cruise” messages that interrupt your day and clog your voicemail, scammers can use your phone number in phishing schemes and even trick you into giving up precious personal information. Luckily, when it comes to blocking spam and flagging unwanted numbers, you’ve got options.

We like the app Hiya | Android | iOS | because it serves numbers with a side of context. Hiya gives bit more information about numbers outside of your contact list, flagging them as likely spam, a colleague from work or an important call from the doctor’s office. Hiya also lets you control and update a personalized block list and report nuisance callers.

Hiya aggregates spam lists from their carrier partners to offer comprehensive protection against annoying and phishy calls and texts. It’s ad-free and easy to use. Grab the app and start protecting yourself today.

How to download apps without a password on iOS

Tip

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

How to download apps without a password

Let’s face it, as great as Apple’s App Store is, the need to enter a password for a free app is pretty silly. Sure, it’s great to have an added layer of security, but if you trust yourself and those around you – it’s an unnecessary hassle.

Thankfully, Apple has heard our laments and addressed the problem with the latest update to iOS (8.3).

Additionally, more control has been granted when it comes to paid apps and in-app purchases. Now, you can give the App Store a 15-minute grace period with your password, making bulk buyings a breeze. That said we’re less inclined to recommend this option, as it paves the way for accidental berry purchases in FarmVille.

Actually, does anyone even play FarmVille anymore?

Below is our two-step GIF guide on how to download apps without a password.

how to download apps without a password

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.