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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.

iPhone and Samsung Galaxy
swap promotion extended

This program has been replaced by a new, way more flexible program. We no longer dictate which manufacturers or models you sell. We no longer dictate where you buy a device or what device you buy.

Our swap promotion has been really well received.

Again, sell a T-Mobile, AT&T or Verizon iPhone or Samsung Galaxy on Glyde and buy the same Sprint model, capacity and condition. (You actually can and probably should buy first and sell second so you are never without a phone and can port your number. That’s fine) We will reimburse you with a Ting credit to cover any difference between what you spend (plus fees, taxes and shipping) and what you collect.

Also, if you want to upgrade to any better device, as long as it is on the Sprint network and on our whitelist, you can do that. We will just give you a credit for what it would have cost you to swap for the same exact device (plus fees, taxes and shipping) and then you’ll cover the price of the upgrade on top of that.

So, we are going to remove the June 30 deadline and just extend this program indefinitely.

Enjoy. As always, please feel free to ask if you have questions or suggestions.

Five inexpensive smartphones that are anything but cheap

Kyocera-Hydro-VibeThere’s a movement afoot: Smartphones that cost much less than you’d think but that can do much more than you might expect.

Whether browsing the web, using your favorite apps, sharing snaps or video chatting with friends, you don’t need to shell out hundreds of dollars to get your hands on a quality smartphone that does exactly what you need it to.

We’ve listed five inexpensive smartphones across both our CDMA and GSM network offerings that offer a great smartphone experience and, that you can actually afford to buy without signing onto an onerous mobile contract.

1- Hydro Vibe [On sale for $159] – CDMA

If durability is your primary concern, the Hydro Vibe where it’s at. No need to shell out $500+ for a waterproof Galaxy S5 – the Hydro Vibe is IP57 certified, meaning you’re fully protected in up to 3.28 feet of water for 30 minutes.

Equipped with impact-resistant glass, it’s built to take a few tumbles. If you’re a clumsy character, look no further than Kyocera’s Hydro Vibe.

MotoE2ndGen_FrOrt_WhDevLTE_540x540zrx341dd

2- Moto E (2nd Gen) [$150] – GSM

At $150, the Motorola Moto E is pretty exciting. More than a sub $200 Android device though, it’s the vanguard of a movement for inexpensive but very usable smartphones… with a recognizable name brand attached.

Fit and finish-wise, the Moto E is on point. Its screen, while maybe a little small by recent standards, is protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The back shell can be switched out for one of a number of more colorful options to customize the device.

Some inexpensive devices can make you feel the sacrifices you’re making to save a couple of hundred bucks painfully apparent. The Moto E doesn’t fall into that trap and offers a phone you’ll be happy to have as opposed to one you’re

3- HTC Desire 510 [$155] – CDMA

At $155, the Desire 510 is an impressive device. It runs HTC’s popular Sense user interface that’s inside the HTC One M8 and M9 and has tech specs enough to run the most powerful apps and games.

With Tri-Band LTE support, you get blazing fast data speeds at an awesome price.

We’d be remiss not to mention the 4GB of internal storage space. With expandable storage via SD card, though, that may not be a deal breaker.

4- Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 [$249] – GSM

alcatelonetouchidol3Alcatel describes the OneTouch Idol 3 as, “A superphone for the price of a smartphone.” While “superphone” might be a bit of a stretch when put up against the latest and greatest like the Samsung Galaxy S6, the Idol 3 certainly looks to be a solid smartphone at a price that’s hard to argue.

From the build quality to internal specs, it keeps up with last generation’s flagship devices at just half the price. It’s fully unlocked too, meaning no contract (naturally) and easy travel.

Rocking a 5.5″ HD display, dual front-facing speakers and a 13 megapixel camera, the OneTouch Idol 3 is a excellent choice for use with Ting on a GSM network.

The Idol 3 is currently only available for pre-order (ships May 21, 2015).

FINALS_435- The phone you already own!

The cheapest smartphone is the one you already own! Some carriers, like Ting, offer an ESN checker where you can enter your phone’s serial number and instantly find out whether your current device can activate.

Around 80% of phones bought in the past two years can come to Ting through our Bring your own Device program. If you’re interested in purchasing a GSM device, whether brand new or used, our handy compatibility guide will tell you everything you need to know.

 

Introduce us to your company. We’ll buy you a coffee.

With unlimited devices, a $6 monthly line fee, great rates, “pay for what you use”, a beautiful dashboard and the best customer support in the industry, we know Ting can save businesses serious time and money.

In fact, we have the data to prove it. Now we just need to meet us some businesses.

So we figured we would start, as we always do, with our customers. Your word is the only one that really counts when it comes to our service and our savings.

A lot of you likely work for companies that provide cellphones to at least some of its employees. (If you’re with Ting, you are probably not getting a work phone yourself. But maybe the executive team gets them? Maybe the sales people, the warehouse guys or the drivers? Maybe there are just a bunch of company loaners or hotspots around for some purpose?)

We would be grateful if you would introduce us to the person that manages your company cellphones. In fact, we would happily offer you a $5 Starbucks card for the introduction. We figure that’s just generous enough to get you to walk down the hallway but not so generous that either of us feels weird about it.

If you are willing to do us this solid, just fill out the form below. (By the way, if you yourself are the mobile decision maker in your organization, feel free to say so. We’ll happily give you the $5 Starbucks card to talk to us about taking this relationship from personal to business.) Someone here will get in touch with you directly to have that conversation or make that introduction. Then we’ll send you your cup of thank you.

Until then, thank you!
 

Why students should never sign a cell phone contract

image_collegetingThere’s no doubt Ting is great for students. We offer a low cost, simple and flexible way to take control of your mobile. For those on the fence, here’s why we think students should never sign another cell phone contract again:

1. You Study Abroad.

The last thing you’re worrying about when hiking the Himalayas or learning a foreign language is paying for your cellphone bill back home. The reality is, your contract with one of the big carriers won’t stop just because you aren’t using your phone at home. Ting’s game-changing ‘pay for what you use’ service model means that if you don’t use your phone, you won’t pay for it. Simply pay $6 per month to keep your line active.

2. Fixed monthly bills suck!

We understand that when you’re a student some months are tighter than others, money wise. Books, beer, social outings and beer all add up. While some fixed expenses, like rent, are here to stay, we don’t believe your phone should be one of them. On Ting, if you want to save a bit of money one month by cutting some your usage or using mainly Wi-Fi you totally can!

3. You land your dream job.

Maybe you have your sights on a flashy, high paying gig post-graduation. If your corporate dreams come true, it’s likely that they’ll provide you with a cell phone for both business and personal use. If you’re on Ting and want to cancel for this (or any) reason, we’ll totally understand. Pay no early termination fees or penalties when you go. If you ever want to come back, we’ll welcome you with open arms.

4. You find a significant other.

If you’ve found that special someone you want to spend the rest of your life with share a mobile account with, Ting is the perfect carrier. To add another line to your account, just pay $6 per month, per line and pool your usage together. You’ll both save tons of money. If you break up, you can easily port numbers elsewhere with no penalty. If you haven’t found that person quite yet, this is the perfect reason to start looking. Go get ‘em, tiger.

5. Your parents won’t support you forever.

Even if your ‘rents offer to pay for your phone contract with one of the big carriers, consider letting them in on the Ting advantage. If you decide to take control of your own bill some time in the future, you can easily bring your line to another account without fees or barriers.

6. You never know what the future might bring.

This is going to sound cheesy but I’m going to say it anyway. The world is your oyster. As a student, you have so many choices, experiences and adventures awaiting you. Who knows what the future may hold. Wherever your life leads, whether it’s a job abroad or starting a family, be open to changes, and don’t let a phone contract (and Early termination fees) tie you down!

Have any tips of your own? Let us know in the comments!

Running the numbers on your early termination fee

I just noticed it today, but on March 20, we passed $100,000 in Ting credits issued through our early termination fee (ETF) relief program. More and more people every day are taking advantage of our 25% reimbursement when they break a current contract early to come to Ting and we could not be happier.

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I think people are starting to realize that the one-time cost of the ETF (minus our 25%) is often less than what they would save in those remaining months if they were on Ting.

Our savings calculator can actually figure that out for you. Perform your initial calculation based on what you use and spend each month and then the next page allows you to layer on the cost of your ETFs based on your current provider and the months left on your contract.

But it might be enlightening to unpack the formula. I’m also looking for an opportunity to flaunt a little 8th grade algebra. So here goes:

s = projected monthly savings with Ting versus current carrier
m = number of months left on your contract

I will multiply the cost of the ETF by .75 since we will reimburse you 25%.

ETF with Verizon (I’ll pick on them since they are biggest):
$120 + ($10 x months left on your contract)

(You can get all the details on carrier ETFs here.)

So, you should switch to Ting immediately if:

sm > ($120 + $10m) x (.75)
s > ($90 + $7.50m) / m

Here’s what that looks like by month (per device)…

Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 4.51.18 PM

This wasn’t obvious to me until I looked at it. There is a whopping minimum ETF of $130 if you have just one month to go on your contract. So it is nearly impossible to justify breaking a contract one month early and pretty tough to make the case two or three months early. But the math looks better and better the longer you have left in your contract. (If you signed a contract last month and are looking at Ting, the math is easy but you have serious commitment issues.) Based on the savings customers have been reporting back to us, it seems like it should be a serious consideration if you have four or more months left on your contract.

If you have questions about this doing this calculation for your carrier and your potential savings with Ting or you need help with the process of breaking a contract, please ask us. We are happy to help.