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Back to school tech tips from the Ting community

The Ting community recently shared some of their favorite back to school tips, tricks, apps and life hacks with us on Facebook. We got so many great suggestions that we decided to share some of our favorites here on the Ting blog, along with adding in a few of our own. Also, we must just say that if we aren’t already Facebook friends, well, there’s no time like the present to rectify that.

Remember your schedule

Pull up your timetable or schedule, take a screenshot and make that screenshot your lock screen wallpaper. You can quickly figure out where you’re supposed to be just with a glance. Keep this lockscreen wallpaper in place until you have your school schedule down pat.

Ting customers spend less

Every time a major wireless carrier piles more gigabytes onto their “family plan” or lowers the price of their “starter plan,” we get the same questions and claims.

Does Ting charge less than AT&T for 10 GB?!
I can pay less for 2 GB on T-Mobile!

Forget how much money you are wasting if you go under that 10GB on AT&T in a given month. Forget what happens to you if you go over the 2GB on T-Mobile in a given month. Forget which company you would trust when you have a problem or which company you would most want to have over for dinner.

The simple answer is this. We have over 70,000 Ting customers now and they are spending less money on their cellphone bills than anybody spends on any of the major carriers by using less.

These are iPhone and Samsung Galaxy users. They are educated, employed and banked. They love email, Facebook, podcasts and Taylor Swift videos. They have just decided that they do not want to spend $100 a month on their family phone bill. In fact, they do not want to spend $45 for a single device. So they are using Wi-Fi whenever it is available. They are preloading or turning off videos in Facebook and Instagram. They are setting up alerts just to let them know when they’ve reached certain levels every month.

Here are the results in black and white for the month of July. These are mean bills and usage levels…

july bills

(If you are an analyst or investor poking around in my conversation with regular people here, this is not data we intend to disclose regularly going forward. Don’t start building models or tracking trends. There is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding about how much folks need and how much they should spend on their cellphones. I thought it would be helpful and refreshing to reveal this one very specific snapshot.)

If you simply do not want to think about your mobile usage at all, then you should absolutely enjoy the luxury of not thinking about it. We all choose items in our life where we budget and items where we splurge. I have been bringing a sandwich to work for lunch and wearing the same pair of shoes every weekday for over three years. I also take family vacations in southern France.

If you want to spend less than $25 a month on your smartphone bill, ask over 70,000 Ting customers how they do it. They tend to be happy to share and their suggestions may be surprisingly easy to implement.

Top Ting smartphone cameras compared

The smartphone market is quickly becoming more and more saturated, and with it, comes the confusion of finding the perfect device for your needs. For many people, the quality of a smartphone’s camera is the most important aspect when deciding on a new device.

cameracomparisonsimage11_border_usemeTerms like “HDR”, “Ultra Pixel”, and “Image Stabilization” are being thrown around on the regular and it’s often difficult to figure out which smartphone camera actually performs the best.

So, we decided to compare the cameras of the top six devices on the Ting lineup in indoor and outdoor light settings! While we wouldn’t consider ourselves camera experts, we’ve taken our fair share of smartphone snaps and hope this article provides some valuable insight for you.

The frontrunners we compared are:

  1. Nexus 5 (8 MP )
  2. iPhone 5 (8 MP )
  3. HTC One M8 (5 MP )
  4. LG G2 (13 MP )
  5. Galaxy Note 3 (13 MP )
  6. Galaxy S5 (16 MP )

Google Photos: How awesome is Auto Awesome?

Google Auto Awesome auto edits your photos

Is that a robotic photo editor in your pocket? After getting used to Google Photos’ automatic editing technology, Auto Awesome, it might just feel that way!

Google Photos has recently been updated to give you endless picture possibilities. It examines the media you’ve backed up in the cloud and creates impressive copies of your images. Whether you’re taking landscape shots, group photos or a selfie, Google has the tools and effects to turn your snaps into altered masterpieces.

Own an iPhone and feeling left out? Grab Google+ in the App Store to get in on the action.

In a contract? We’ll remind you when it’s up!

contract_calendarWe hear it all the time. You’re eager to come to Ting, only to be stuck in a contract with X months to go. While we do offer some compelling reasons to cancel your contract early (as well as our helpful ETF Relief offer), we understand that sometimes waiting it out is the best option for you.

If that’s the case, let us help you count down the days with our new Contract Reminder tool! Head over to ting.com/remindme to sign yourself up. We’ll email you 3 weeks before your contract is set to expire with some helpful tips on how to get started.

In the mean time, sign up for a Ting account so you’re all ready to go when that fateful day arrives.

set_reminder

Black Friday app deals!

In case you weren’t aware, Black Friday is one of the best times of the year to save big on mobile apps. If you weren’t interested in fighting through today’s crowds (or even if you were), you can always take advantage of some great deals from the comfort of your own home!

Gizmodo has conveniently put together a complete list of the best Black Friday app deals that are happening across the web. Below, we’ve listed five of our favorite Android Apps on sale today!

Note that all the freebie deals are available through the Amazon App Store as opposed to through Google Play. To access the Amazon App Store, you’ll need to first install the app and log in with your Amazon account. Details on how to do so are available here

Bloons TD 5

BloonsTD5
Available from: Amazon App Store
Price:Free (regular $3)

The best tower defence game available on Android is completely free for today only! As one of the most addicting mobile games out there, you’ll be sucked in almost immediately, so we advise you to proceed with caution…

Drisk

Drisk
Available from: Amazon App Store
Price: $1 down from $2

If you love Risk, you’re going to love Drisk, which is on sale for just a buck! With 37 different maps, smart AI, online multiplayer and streamlined gameplay, you might actually even enjoy it more than the original!

Reddit Sync Pro

Reddit Sync Pro
Available from: Google Play store
Price: $1 down from $2

Our go-to reddit app for Android is half off at $1! With offline syncing, multiple themes and timely updates, it’s by far the most feature-packed reddit app available on the market.

SwiftKey Keyboard

Swiftkey
Available from: Google Play store
Price: $3 down from $4

Not the best deal going at $1 off but arguably the best Android keyboard available to date. With Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail syncing, Swiftkey automatically adds the words you frequently use for an easier typing experience. You’ll be blown away by its prediction abilities and surprised at the features you’ve been missing out on!

Need for Speed Most Wanted

NFS
Available from: Google Play store
Price: $2 down $5

Considered the best racing gaming out for the mobile platform, you can outrun cops, chase rivals, and race against your friends! Keep in mind the app is 550 MB+, so make sure to use WiFi while downloading it (Requires Android 2.3 or higher).

If you’re looking for Windows Phone or iOS deals, you can also find them in the Gizmodo article!