Skip navigation

Free Wi-Fi calling with Google Hangouts

Tip

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

 

Free Wi-Fi calling

wi-fi callingYou can make voice calls from Hangouts on Android and Hangouts on iOS to any number across North America. For free.

You may be thinking, “doesn’t Google Hangouts use data?” How can it be 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 ring.

Not familiar with Google Hangouts? It’s similar to Skype or iMessage (messaging, voice calls and video chat), except, as we’ve pointed out, Wi-Fi 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 you can lower your monthly bill even further by routing incoming calls (and texts) 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.

Authy review: an awesome app for two-factor authentication

Ting tip

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

Our Authy review - two-factor authentication

Set up 2FA quickly and easily with our Authy review

Authy | Android | iOS | is an app that lets you easily set up and store two-factor authentication tokens for multiple accounts like your Google, Facebook, Twitch, Amazon and more. We’ve previously covered 2FA for the Google Authenticator app here on the Ting blog, and in this Authy review, we’ll talk a bit about how it’s different, and why you might pick one over the other.

Check if your phone will work on Ting… on your phone

Ting-compatibility-checker-appIntroducing the new Ting compatibility checker app for Android.

Since we added a GSM network to Ting mobile, over 80% of smartphones made in the last few years will work on Ting. You gotta like those odds. The issue becomes making it easy for people to check whether their phone will work on Ting.

We’ve had some form of our Ting compatibility checker online since the early days. Today, we’re launching the Ting compatibility checker app and while it’s super simple, we think it’s some next-level stuff.

It’s a small (1.1 MB download) and lightweight (it doesn’t do anything else) app that grabs an Android phone’s IMEI and checks it to see if it will work on Ting’s networks. It also tells users which network services (3G, 4G LTE etc.) it will support once it’s here.

Why release a single-purpose app instead of bundling this feature into the existing Ting app? A couple of reasons. This is what we in the business call an “on-boarding tool,” so we wanted to keep it simple. We also wanted to keep it small so it’s a quick download for people standing in an aisle in a store, wondering if the Ting GSM SIM card they’re looking at is a smart buy.

Oh, right. This just in, Ting SIMs are going retail.

The Ting compatibility checker app needs permission to dig into your phone’s memory banks to pull out its unique identifying number, its IMEI. This IMEI (and only the IMEI) is then sent across to Ting servers and checked. In a list of app permissions, it sounds pretty heavy. We didn’t want the main Ting app to have to request these permissions.

We also wanted to keep it small and simple, with no learning curve, roadblocks or menus to navigate.

Please give it a try and, as ever, we’d love to hear what you think.

 

The Facebook Messenger app logs call and text history: here’s how to opt out on Android

Ting tip

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

Facebook messenger app

The Facebook Messenger app has some privacy issues

The issue of Facebook and personal privacy has come to the fore with the whole Cambridge Analytica debacle.

#deletefacebook is trending on other free-to-users social networks that certainly wouldn’t ever allow a thing like this to happen with user data. 😉

We’ve covered our fair share of security issues here on the Ting Blog, including how to avoid phishing schemes, how to keep your data safe on free Wi-Fi and even how to flag unwanted spam and scam calls.

Anyone that has installed the Facebook Messenger app on their Android phone has been met by this cute, seemingly innocuous yeti thing asking if you’d like to “continuously upload info about your contacts…” including call and message history.

Messenger app

Now would be a really good time to make sure you didn’t succumb to that sweet little yeti’s advances. If you did, now would be a really good time to change your mind and revoke that permission.

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.

How to listen to free audiobooks legally

How to listen to free audiobooks

Free audiobooks

Did you know you can listen to free audiobooks? Audiobooks give you a way to “read” fiction and non-fiction while you’re involved in other activities, such as exercising or doing household chores. They’re also great for road trips and long flights. The convenience of audiobooks has contributed to the format’s growing popularity. In 2011, 11 percent of people in the United States listened to audiobooks. In 2018, 18 percent of people listen to them.

For people who get through at least one audiobook per month, Audible.com offers an inexpensive way to enjoy the latest titles. At $14.95 per month, an Audible.com subscription makes sense for voracious audiobook… readers? However, that expense doesn’t make sense for everyone.

So, if you want them but you don’t want to be out of pocket, you should know how to listen to free audiobooks. You’ll still get to enjoy your favorite authors, but you won’t have to spend any money.