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Make free calls with Google Hangouts

make free calls with google hangoutsYou can make voice calls from Hangouts on Android and Hangouts on iOS to any number across North America. For free.

In short, jump on a Wi-Fi connection and any call you make to any number across the US and Canada is entirely free. These calls won’t count toward your voice minutes and can help you lower your monthly bill (if you’re with a pay-for-what-you-use provider like Ting).

The latest Hangouts 4.0 update brings caller ID to your outbound calls, too! No longer will you show up as “Unknown” – your friends and family now see your Ting number when you give them a call.

Not familiar with Google Hangouts? It’s similar to Skype or iMessage (messaging, voice calls and video chat), except, as we’ve pointed out, calling North American phone numbers through Hangouts Dialer costs absolutely nothing. Hangouts also supports animated GIFs… need we say more?!

It’s worth noting that if you’re a Google Voice subscriber, there are ways to have incoming calls route through Hangouts. Just remember that if you’re not connected to Wi-Fi, you’ll be using your mobile data plan, not your voice minutes.

Five things you didn’t know Google Now could do

Ting tip

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

Google Now, Android’s official voice command software (available for iOS in the Apple App Store), is a useful tool that has been impressing us more and more through each update it brings.

You may think it’s only used to input voice-to-text in messages, emails and Google searches, but there’s much more under the hood than you might expect. We’ve been keeping tabs on the powerful features in Google Now and decided to list some valuable tricks that you may not have heard about.

Whether you’re navigating across town, listening to music or looking to go out for a meal, Google Now can not only make things easier, but enhance your life on a daily basis.

If you’re not able to get the “OK Google” voice action to work, you may need to turn the feature on in the Google Now settings page. To enable this:

Open the Google app (called googlenowGoogle in the app drawer) > Tap the menuiconmenu button in the top left > SettingsVoice > “Ok Google” detection > Enable Always on or From any screen


Learn more in the full article


Do more with your smartphone without paying more for mobile data

mobile data wizard

If you listen to most phone companies, you need a boat load of mobile data to keep up. They seem to have read up on the psychology of super-sizing and do a great job of push people into higher and higher usage brackets.

We’re here to tell you there’s a smarter way. That a few minutes thinking about how you use your phone can pay dividends when you’re with a less prescriptive, pay for what you use carrier like, oh, I don’t know, Ting.

Being a “power user” and using a lot of mobile data doesn’t go hand in hand. With a little forethought, you can get all the smartphone stuff you want without the heavy bill. Simple things like saving your favorite music and podcasts for offline use and downloading a couple episodes of the latest Netflix show can drastically cut your data use.

Those are just a couple of small examples. Read on for more ways you can regain control of how your phone uses mobile data. It’s a lot easier than you might think.

Reddit Offline: App of the Week

Reddit Offlinereddit offline lets you browse reddit on your smartphone without having to consume mobile data.

You can schedule Reddit Offline to automatically download content when you have Wi-Fi access, so you can browse your favorite subreddits without having to connect to the Internet. Pictures, gifs, imgur albums, text posts and comments can all be saved in the subreddits of your choosing.

Keep in mind that the app stores all this content on your device, so if you find yourself running out of space, make sure to clear the cache inside the Settings menu.

Scroll down and let Kyra tell you more about this awesome Android app!

 

If you’re looking for more ways to save on cellular data usage, here’s how you can do more with your smartphone without paying more for data.

Bitmoji: App of the Week

Bitmoji app

Today’s featured app brings the next generation of emoticons.

Bitmoji (the company behind the popular Bitstrips comics) has spiced up emoji’s and made them more about you.

Coined “Your Avatar Emoji,” Bitmoji creates a personalized and expressive cartoon version of yourself that becomes the star across a massive library of reactions, statements and expressions, complete with all the internet memes and pop culture references you can handle.

Bitmoji can be easily added to popular messaging apps on both Android and iOS and shared on social apps like Facebook and Twitter. You can even show off your stickers to friends who haven’t yet installed the app!

Learn more about this creative app add-on in Kyra’s review below.

GasBuddy: App of the Week

GasBuddy helps you find the cheapest gas prices nearby.

Available on Android, iOS and Windows Phone, GasBuddy relies on user submissions to list current pump prices at stations all around you. You can switch between a list or map view and quickly compare prices to get the best possible deal when filling up.

The GasBuddy app is free and simple to use. Learn more in Kyra’s review below.

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