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What to do with old cell phones?

old cell phones

Five things to do with old cell phones

  • Repurpose it: Hack it, modify it, use it in a project.
  • Activate it: Pass it on or use it as an emergency phone.
  • Give it away: Plenty of charitable organizations would love to have it.
  • Sell it: Make a few bucks if it still has some life.
  • Recycle it: Find a reputable recycler.

If you’ve got old cell phones collecting dust in a drawer, you are certainly not alone. With hardware upgrade cycles being what they are, we’ve probably all got a few kicking around.

Rather than trashing them or leaving them to collect yet more dust, here are five things you can do with an old device.

Control which Android apps use background mobile data

Restrict background data in specific Android apps

There are many Android apps that, without your knowledge, will go ahead and connect to your cellular network even when the app is closed. This “background data” can be used even when your device is in standby mode (with the screen turned off), as these apps are constantly checking their servers through the Internet for all sorts of updates and notifications.

While you can easily restrict background data usage across all your apps using the Data Saver feature built into the Settings menu, it’s also very simple to restrict background mobile data for individual apps on your Android phone.

The Data usage section in Android Settings lets you view the amount of data used by each specific app. If you notice an app using more background mobile data than you’d like it to (Snapchat comes to mind), you can restrict it from accessing the Internet till you’re back in a Wi-Fi covered area. If you’re looking to conserve your bandwidth and lower that monthly phone bill, this feature is definitely worth checking out.

Have an iPhone? Here’s how to control which apps use your cellular data.

Restricting background data

How to download Google Maps 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.

 

How to download Google Maps

Navigating with Google Maps over a mobile data connection can rack up a hefty amount of usage over a short period of time. Fortunately, Google has hooked us up with a feature that downloads entire regions of Maps over a Wi-Fi connection, letting you complete your journey without having to connect to a cellular network.

The previous version of offline Google Maps would only let you view downloaded regions of a map, which was useful but still required you to connect to the Internet to start a navigation or search for a specific location. Google’s latest update offers a much better offline experience for users. Turn-by-turn navigation, location searches and establishment info can all be accessed without a data connection.

Once you know how to download Google Maps for offline use, you’ll be able to have a smooth, uninterrupted experience even when traveling through a low reception area.

Keep in mind that you can’t save the whole world. That’s Superman’s job. While there’s a limit on the amount of data you can cache, you can save a pretty large area before you hit the max.


How many megabytes are in a gig? Understanding mobile data

What exactly is a megabyte of mobile data? A gigabyte of mobile data? How many emails is that? How many minutes of YouTube video? How many hours of streaming music from the likes of Spotify or Apple Music?

A voice minute is easily understood. After all, we all know what a minute is. Ditto for a text message. Data is a little more difficult to quantify, especially for those new to the world of mobile.

First, let us drop some numbers on you. These numbers come directly from an about.com article on mobile data and are compiled from various carrier estimates of the average smartphone data usage of specific smartphone activities.How many megabytes are in a gig

You Asked: Transferring texts from iPhone to Android messages

Here’s how to transfer texts from iPhone to Android messages

iPhone to Android messagesPlanning on switching from iPhone to Android? No need to jump the gun and purchase expensive recovery software like TransPhone or iPhone Data Recovery. Manually transferring all of your text messages to your new Android device is completely free and easier than you’d expect.

Transferring texts from iPhone to Android messages does involve a few steps, but it’s nothing complicated. If you have the know-how to navigate through your computer’s file system (such as Finder or Windows Explorer), you should be good to go.

Note: You do not have to own both devices at the same time. Just complete step 1 and (most of) 2 while you still have your iPhone, and the last part of step 2, along with steps 3 and 4 once you’ve picked up your Android device.