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Five things you didn’t know Google Assistant could do

Google Assistant, 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 Assistsnt 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 Assistant 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 Assistant 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


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.

Download Netflix shows and movies for offline use

Ting tip

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

 

Netflix now allows movies and TV shows to be downloaded and watched offline.

Offline viewing is feature that Ting customers in particular have been waiting for. Now, with a tiny bit of pre-planning, you can save your favorite shows and movies and watch them, in full resolution, whenever you want.

Every Netflix original is available to be downloaded and stored for offline viewing. Beyond Netflix original content, you’ll find a wealth of TV shows, movies and specials available. Just keep an eye out for the new Download option in the listing.

Trepn Profiler: App of the Week

Trepn Profiler gives you detailed insights into the power and performance of apps on your smartphone. It was just released by Qualcomm, the makers of the popular Snapdragon processors you’ll find in a slew of Android devices today.

If you’ve noticed your phone starting to slow down or run out of battery quicker than before, Trepn Profiler helps you figure out what’s going on behind the scenes. The main page includes preset profiles that run in the background to identify apps that drain your battery, hog your CPU or use excess data.

It’s great for developers and anyone interested in digging a little deeper into the impact of apps on your smartphone. Go grab it for free on Google Play.

PS: Five points to whoever can tell us what the heck Trepn means.

Compress your data with Onavo Extend

Compress data and save big with Onavo Extend

Today’s App of the Week can save you big money on mobile data!

Onavo Extend is a free app for Android and iOS that creates a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection on your smartphone to compress the data you download over the mobile network. This compression technology directs your data through Onavo’s server’s, significantly cutting your monthly mobile data usage. For you visual learners out there, Onavo has created a nifty image to explain how their “magical shrinking machine” works:

onavo extend
   Source: www.onavo.com

Keep in mind that it only compresses data that is received by your device, so any photos or videos you send will stay crisp and clear. Onavo Extend is available for Android 4.0+ and iOS 6.0+. Onavo takes privacy seriously. You can check out Onavo’s privacy policy to read up on how your privacy is protected.

While Onavo Extend cannot compress video streaming apps, Opera Max for Android can! Learn more in our Opera Max review.

 

You might also be interested in learning how to do more with your smartphone without paying more for data. And if you’re looking for even more ways to save money on your next bill, check out our complete guide on ways to lower mobile data usage.

Onavo Extend

onavo extend

Onavo Extend

Onavo Extend

Block ads while browsing on Android and iOS

Tip

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

AdBlock Browser – Free

With smartphones becoming ubiquitous in our daily lives, it’s no wonder that we spend more time browsing the web on our phones.

Increasingly, websites are being optimized for mobile so you see basically the same site whether you have the latest iPhone, Nexus 5 or Moto E. Sadly, one thing hasn’t changed: An overabundance of ads that, aside from being annoying, can chew through your mobile data without your knowledge.

We’ve all seen the pop-up images and auto-play videos. There are also hidden trackers, analytics collectors and beacons that follow you around and end up taxing your system performance and using bandwidth. According to a recent study by Enders Analysis, “ad content accounted for between 18% and 79% of the mobile data transferred, depending on the site.”

Take control of your mobile data usage with a content-blocking app like AdBlock Browser. Free for Android and iOS, this browser comes with a built-in ad blocking feature to save your battery, save your data and load pages faster. It also includes the option to white-list ads on sites that you want to support, which is a great addition.

There are other ad-block options that are worth checking out too, like Adguard and uBlock Origin for Android, or 1Blocker and Purify for iOS.

Learn more about Content Blocking for iOS.