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Disable Touch ID with Emergency SOS in iOS 11

Touch ID

Keep your info safe with Emergency SOS

Apple’s iOS 11 comes with a built-in safety feature that helps keep unwanted intruders out of your phone.

Emergency SOS temporarily disables Touch ID so you can only get access with your passcode. The feature is being heralded as the “cop button” across the Internet. While law enforcement can compel individuals to open their phones using a thumbprint, they can’t ask for passwords or PINs.

Disabling Touch ID quickly and discreetly can keep your phone and info safe from anyone that tries to get you to open your phone when you don’t want to.

Here’s how to do it.

TIL: Metal detector apps for smartphones exist… and they actually work

There’s a metal detector in your smartphone

Metal Detector app androidToday I learned that modern smartphones make pretty good metal detectors.

I’m not suggesting you mount your smartphone to a stick and go sweeping the sands for buried loot. Instead, maybe just file this under “nice to know” and recall it should the need ever arise.

Here’s what happened.

Let’s get lazy with Google Assistant

Ting tip

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

Google Assistant

Do more with Google Assistant so you can do less

Today’s tip covers native Assistant, the one that comes with the latest Android smartphones and can open apps, send messages on your behalf, brief you with the news and more.

Google Assistant is available natively on Android and in the App Store for iOS. It’s also available inside Allo, Google’s latest messaging app, where it aims to help you with daily tasks based on what you’re chatting about.

A slight catch for iOS users – the Google Assistant app will not have the Always listening feature that’s available on Android. The quickest way to prompt Google Assistant on iOS is by adding it to your list of widgets so it’s never far from reach. You can also talk and type your requests directly inside the Google Assistant app (and through Allo).

We’re going to show you our favorite tips for making the most of Google Assistant. Put up your feet and let Google’s AI get to work. Maybe toss in a little please and thank you every now and then. We still don’t know how this whole Assistant thing is going to turn out (and if it turns out for the worst, may our robot overlords be merciful).

Understanding IMEI – Should I give out my IMEI number?

What is an IMEI number? The VIN of the mobile world

If you’ve ever looked at used cars, you know the importance of running a vehicle identification number (VIN) check before you commit to anything. This little 17-character string says a lot about the car you’re looking at.

If you’ve ever sold a used car privately, you know that the VIN is among the first things a serious buyer will ask for. Providing it shows you’re acting in good faith. Not providing it is probably a deal breaker.

The mobile phone world has an analog to automotive VIN. It’s called the IMEI. What that stands for isn’t important for this discussion, though you may sometimes see different initialisms (MEID, ESN) for what is, in effect, the same idea: A unique identifier that says a lot about a device.

tl;dr: Used device buyers: Always ask for the IMEI. Don’t buy without it. Used device sellers: If a buyer asks for a phone’s IMEI and seems cool, provide it.

The easiest way to find the IMEI of just about any smartphone is by simply opening the phone dialer and inputting *#06#. The IMEI will pop up on the screen. Here’s the same information in animated GIF form (the best of all the forms).

Finding an IMEI – Android.
Finding an IMEI – iPhone.

Customize notifications with Notification Channels in Oreo for Android

Ting tip

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

Use Notification Channels to customize your Android notifications

Mobile notifications can be a real hassle. Sorting through them can be a pain, and finding the important ones can be even trickier.

If you’re looking to streamline your notification experience on your Android device, Oreo comes with a cool new feature called Notification Channels.

Notification Channels let you set levels of importance and modify notifications on a case-by-case basis. One thing to note is that Notification Channels have to be programmed by app developers. So if you’re trying to customize notifications for an app, and it doesn’t support customization, then you’re out of luck.

There are a lot of apps that already support this customization like most apps in the Google Suite.

Let’s get started. We’ll walk you through how to use Notification Channels for Gmail.

How to do a proper Internet speed test

Internet speed test-

We’re going to show you how to perform a proper Internet speed test

Internet speeds can seem slow for a variety of reasons. Rogue programs using your bandwidth, poor Wi-Fi reception and other problems can make your Internet connection feel frustratingly slow.

Running a proper test will help you get started on diagnosing the problem.