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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.


Ting Download: Top five apps of 2015

Over the past 12 months, we covered a wide variety of apps on the Ting blog and on YouTube. Like last year, we decided to select five apps that deserve a second look and compile a short highlight reel as the final Ting Download of the year.

Each app is available on both Android and iOS and is completely free to download and use. Individual app reviews and direct downloads are listed below the video.

From saving on groceries to saving on cable, here’s five great apps we shared throughout 2015!

Ting Download: Overcast

Still using the basic Podcasts app on your iPhone or iPad? Well, today’s the last day.

Introducing Overcast, the iOS podcast player that goes above and beyond. Whether you like a straightforward “one-tap and listen” experience or are looking to dive into the details, this app has all you’ll need.

Overcast offers some killer features to enhance your podcasting experience that you won’t find elsewhere. It’s also great for discovering new content and finding recommended podcasts within the app.

Overcast is simple to use, completely free (with an optional tip jar) and easy on the eyes.

Rather than give up all its secrets, let Kyra fill you in on Overcast’s specifics in our Ting Download 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.


Ting Download: Ting compatibility checker

The Ting compatibility checker app for Android is the easiest way to find out if the Android phone in your hand will work on Ting.

Since adding a GSM network to Ting, over 80% of smartphones made in the last few years can be brought to one of our two nationwide network offerings.

While we’ve had an online compatibility checker available for quite some time, the Ting compatibility checker app makes things easier if you’re wondering whether a smartphone you already own will activate with Ting. The app automatically grabs your phone’s IMEI number and instantly lets you know which Ting network services your phone can connect to.

The Ting compatibility checker app for Android is only 1.1 megabytes and free to download on Google Play. Check out how it works in our video 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.