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How to use Google Assistant’s “What’s on my screen?”

Ting tip

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

Stop me if you’ve heard this one.

You’re on your phone, reading about a cool new band, so you open a new Chrome tab and search for their social media page.

Or, you get a text from your friend with a location to meet. So you hop out of Hangouts and open Google Maps to manually enter the address.

If you use your phone on a daily basis, situations like these should feel all too familiar. The coolest addition to the latest Android operating system, 6.0 Marshmallow, takes manual searching out of your smartphone routine by bridging the gap between Google and the rest of your phone.

“What’s on my screen?” (previously called Now on Tap) removes this middle-step by letting you “Google Search” anything you see on your smartphone screen. All of the neat stuff you see when using Google in a browser is displayed directly through Now on Tap, like recent sports scores, upcoming movie showtimes and restaurant reviews.

Simply long-press the home button and Google will look at what you’re currently viewing, pulling up all the relevant information relating to the topic(s) at hand. You can use this all across your smartphone – it’s not app specific or requires any development support.

Find out how to enable Now on Tap and watch it work its magic in the GIFs below.

Enable Travel Mode to save data in Snapchat

snapchatSnapchat is a great way to stay in touch with friends and family and share moments in your life that may not be worthy of a Facebook profile picture or Instagram post.

What’s not so great about Snapchat is the amount of data the app consumes. Snapchat preloads content so you don’t have to wait for a photo or video to load, which can use a ton of mobile data when you’re not expecting it to.

Fortunately, Snapchat has added a useful “Travel Mode” toggle to give you control over how much cellular data the app can use. Snaps from friends, Stories and Discovery content will only load when you tap them, instead of loading in the background or automatically when opening the app. Snaps typically load in just a few seconds, so you won’t notice much of a difference, other than paying less for your monthly cell phone service with a pay-for-what-you-use provider like Ting.

To enable Travel Mode, open your Snapchat profile (swipe down on the main page), tap the Settings cog in the top right, scroll down to Additional Services and tap Manage. Turn on Travel Mode and let the data saving begin!

Disable Wi-Fi Assist to save your mobile data

Ting tip

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

Wi-Fi Assist is an undeniably handy feature that shows Apple’s classic attention to the user experience. Unless you’ve chosen to go with an unlimited data plan though, you should probably turn it off. Wi-Fi Assist is on by default, whether you’re buying a new iPhone 7 or upgrading an older iPhone to the latest operating system.

Wi-Fi Assist automatically switches you from Wi-Fi to mobile data in the event you’re getting a weak signal or, in a coffee shop for example, you haven’t gone through the proper steps to gain access to the network. Basically, if Wi-Fi is proving unreliable, you’ll be seamlessly moved over to using the mobile data network instead. As we said, that’s a good user experience, but it’s also far too easy to blow through a bunch of mobile data without realizing it.

To deactivate Wi-Fi Assist, go to Settings > Cellular, scroll alllll the way to the bottom of that menu, and then turn off Wi-Fi Assist.

lowpowermode

Looking for more ways to lower mobile data usage?


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Ting tip for iOS9: Three tips Apple isn’t talking about

Become a smartphone power user with the bare minimum of geekery involved. Each week, we’ll share a simple, useful mobile trick. No fluff – just the tips.

ios9_pngIt’s the time of year again, Apple has officially released the latest version of iOS (iOS 9) to the world. All iPhone (and iPad) users who are within at least a few generations of the latest hardware can access all the new features that Cupertino has been touting since earlier this year.

Unlike the previous two releases which refocused and reimagined the operating system for the modern times, this year’s iOS is all about stability and performance enhancements. Fret not though, there’s still plenty of new here, including a Flipboard-esque news app, Siri’s improved intelligence and true multitasking on the iPad.

Then again, everyone’s talking about those features. Why should we?

Instead, we’re going to share three lesser-known features that we found handy during our time with the iOS 9 beta.

Let’s begin, shall we? (If you’d prefer to watch a video version, click here to head to YouTube.)

Find your iPhone using iCloud

Tip

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

We recently showed you how to find an Android phone using Google Search.

This week, we’re turning the spotlight on iOS. While Apple doesn’t have a search engine (yet) that locates your device with a simple search, they do offer the ability to easily track your iPhone and iPad.

Full instructions after the jump.

Find your phone using Google Search

Tip

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

So you’ve lost your phone, now what?

Thankfully, Android Device Manager is a simple way to find the exact location of your device, ring it and more. If you have an iPhone, here’s how you can find your phone using iCloud.

Google recently made it even easier to locate your misplaced smartphone. It’s now just a Google Search away.

Allow us to blow your mind a little.