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What’s New at Ting: Login and Pay with Amazon, real-time ESN checker and more!

We’ve been working hard over the past few weeks to launch some great features that we think you’ll find useful. These recent improvements affect our website and your Ting account, including billing, activation, devices and more.

Screenshot 2014-04-04 16.27.50

We’ve made some important updates that should help serve you better, along with minor tweaks here and there. Read ahead to learn more about what’s new at Ting!

Login and Pay with Amazon

We’ve launched Login with Amazon and Pay with Amazon! Whether you’re currently with Ting or have yet to make an account, you can now use our new Login with Amazon option, in addition to the native Ting login and Persona. You can also use our Pay with Amazon feature to purchase devices and cover your monthly bill. (FYI: Ting is the first third-party to go live with the new Amazon Payments platform!)

We’re giving away five Amazon Fire TVs to celebrate! Five lucky Tingfolk who have enabled Login with Amazon, bought a device or SIM card using Pay with Amazon, or signed up for Amazon Payments to cover their Ting bill before next Friday, April 11, 2014 at midnight (Pacific time, in honor of our Seattleite friends) will be randomly picked to receive a killer new Amazon Fire TV from Ting. Find out all the details here.

BYOD page improvements and more

Screenshot 2014-04-04 11.44.39We now have a real-time ESN checker on our BYOD page! You’ll get a near-instantaneous response when checking any particular device, rather than having to wait on an email. We’ve added a reCaptcha check to ensure aliens, robots, toddlers, pets, and scripts are not using our real-time ESN check tool to nefarious ends.

We’ve also launched a wildly improved whitelist on the BYOD page that’s visually appealing and quickly navigable. It’s a bit like going from a dot matrix printer to a colour laser printer. Or, maybe stone tablets to telepathy. Something along those lines. And we hope it brings a tear (and some relief) to the eye of every person trying to figure out what devices they might be able to bring to Ting.

You should also be seeing a few navigation improvements across the Ting site. Activate is now more prominently featured on the main navigation bar and the upper utility strip has been reorganized, with smarter, state-aware “Your account” and “Sign up / Sign in” options. Drawer alerts (i.e. the device review solicitations in your control panel) are now center-aligned, which should look a little more pleasing.

Last but not least, we’re now including a breakdown of taxes and fees on the downloadable PDF bill that customers can generate from their control panel. This should clarify any discrepancies between your online bill and what you see on the PDF.


Have some feedback or suggestions for us? We’re always listening on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube. As well, check out our feature requests forum to submit your ideas and join the discussion!

Login and Pay with Amazon… We’re giving away five Amazon Fire TVs!

Amazon Payments comes to Ting!We’re stoked to announce that you can now use Login with Amazon to sign in to or sign up for Ting! While you’re at it, you can also use Pay with Amazon to buy a new device. And, if you’re as excited about all of this as we are, you can now even use Amazon Payments to cover your monthly Ting bill.

One of the reasons that we’re especially aflutter about all of this is that Ting is the first mobile service to launch with Login and Pay with Amazon. I’m pretty sure we won’t be the last, but we’re going to bask in our early adopter sunlight (or Seattle fog, as it were) for now…

But, what does it all mean, you ask? For starters, if you use Login with Amazon you won’t have to remember another password just for Ting anymore. (And you’ll be able to use your same Amazon login across a growing number of sites… Shoes or deals, anyone?) If you’re buying a fancy new phone, you already know Ting has awesome customer service and a rock solid return policy. But you’ll also now have the added protection of the Amazon A-to-z Guarantee, which we think is a great way for folks to feel even more comfortable getting to know Ting. And, you’ll never have to enter or update your credit or debit card number again… Just fix it over at Amazon Payments and you’re good to go. How easy is that?! Plus, if you happen to want to pay your Ting bill with a JCB or Diner’s Club card, you can use those cards — in addition to Discover, American Express, Visa, and MasterCard — directly through Amazon Payments.

Which brings me to… Amazon Fire TV! Five lucky Tingfolk who have enabled Login with Amazon, bought a device or SIM card using Pay with Amazon, or signed up for Amazon Payments to cover their Ting bill before next Friday, April 11, 2014 at midnight (Pacific time, in honor of our Seattleite friends) will be randomly picked to receive a killer new Amazon Fire TV from Ting. (Although we’d love for you to, you don’t need to actually activate Ting service or buy anything right away. Just using Login with Amazon to create a Ting account and providing a phone number so we can reach you if you win is all you need to do to get on the list.)

If you’re already a Ting customer, all of these options are open to you, as well. Just head over to your account to enable Amazon Payments. If you’d like to give Login with Amazon a try, just signout of your Ting account and then click the Login with Amazon button the next time you sign in. (Just be sure you’re using the same email address with both Amazon and Ting.) You’ll be asked to confirm your old Ting password once, but then you’ll be good to go. And check out this Ting Help article for all the gripping details.

And let me just go on record as saying that I, for one, welcome our new Oiorpata overlords.

Quick update! Congrats to our winners… Kelv from Provo, Utah; Christy from Portland, Oregon; Irene from St. Martin Parish, Louisiana; Gregory from Gig Harbor, Washington; and Hally from Essex Junction, Vermont.

Get the new Ting Android skin!

Update: Just to be clear, we were kidding about the Ting skin. Happy April 1 🙂

android_screen_360Everybody gather ’round. We’ve got some great news to share.

Today, we’re launching our own custom carrier modifications to Android. We’re pre-installing several awesome and useful apps on all devices before they leave the Ting warehouses.

Think of this as the Ting skin for Android devices. Our developer team has been gestating this particular baby for nine months and so it’s based on the foundation of Ice Cream Sandwich.

Not running Ice Cream Sandwich? Don’t worry! The installer will automatically migrate your device running Jelly Bean or Kit Kat over to ICS. If you’re running an older version of Android, you’ll have 30 full days to buy a new phone before support for your device ends!

Another branch of our developer team started working on the Jelly Bean update just a couple of short months after Jelly Bean was released. We expect to release the Jelly Bean version of the Ting skin before the end of Q1 2015.

When the next Android version is released (Lollipop?), we’ll move the best minds from the team working on our Ice Cream Sandwich fork over to brainstorm whether we should consider thinking about possibly supporting the newest version.

Ready to download the Ting Android skin now? You don’t have to do anything! We’ll be rolling out the Ting skin to existing customers with Android devices running Android 4.0 or higher today! We’ve made the entire process seamless! You don’t even need to click “OK!” The whole process happens automagically over the mobile data network! No need to opt in!

Hot new features of the Ting Skin include (but are not limited to) the following. A brief outline of each app follows the bullet list.

  • Ting Splash Screen
  • Ting Music Store
  • Ting App Store
  • Ting Wallpaper Store
  • Ting Ringtone Store
  • Ting Remote
  • Ting Account Center

Ting Splash Screen

Get a nifty Ting logo animation every time your phone reboots (whether user-initiated or otherwise)! While the Ting Skin is in beta, you’ll be seeing a lot of this screen.

Ting Music

Ting Music Store
Get the latest hits from the artists of yesterday. As the Ting Music Store app grows in popularity, we’ll endeavor to sign today’s artists too!

Download any or all of the hundreds of songs in the Ting Music Store library for just $1.99 each! Play songs as many times as you want, any time, right on your phone*.

Ting Apps

appstore
Taking the place of the Google Play Store on your phone, the Ting App Store offers a huge selection of over 1,000 apps! Choose from perennial favorites like MySpace, AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, MSN Live Bing and 997 more.

You don’t even have to register a credit card! Downloads will automatically appear on your Ting bill.

We’re also revealing our Ting SDK** today so developers can jump onboard.

Ting Wallpaper Rental

wallpaper_360
Get stunning high-resolution*** wallpapers to completely customize your homescreen! Wallpapers download in mere minutes and can be used for up to three days.

Ting Ringtone Store

newringtone_360
More than 20% of the songs available in the Ting Music Store are also available as a ringtone. Better still: If you’ve already purchased a song, you get a 50% discount on the ringtone****!

Ting Remote

remote_360
If your device has an IR blaster and a remote control app, it’s been rebranded! The Ting Remote is entirely free***** and lets you change the channel, adjust the volume and take complete****** control of your home theater gear.

Ting Account Center

dashboard2_360
The Ting account control panel has been completely redesigned to be super light on data. The new text-only control panel features ASCII line graphs to help you gauge your usage in real time*******.

If for whatever reason you don’t want to receive these completely free add-on apps, you can opt-out here.

* In the Ting Music app.
** Ting developer SDK available for the introductory price of $97
*** 800x480px. $0.99 per wallpaper download
**** Applies to first purchase only
***** “Free” refers to trial version that lets you change the channel or adjust the volume on up to two devices up to three times per hour
****** Partial
******* Please allow up to 72h for usage levels to update in app.

Bring an iPhone 5 to Ting

Now is the time to bring an iPhone 5 to Ting

bring an iphone 5 to ting

If you’ve got a Sprint network-compatible iPhone 5, you can now activate it on Ting. If not, you can grab one and bring it over.

If that’s all you need to know, jump into the bring your own device flow and move your iPhone 5 to a happier home.

That sound you hear is people leaving this blog post in droves.

A couple of months after we added support for the iPhone 4 and 4S, we’re getting a little more current on the Apple front.

No doubt, the first question we’ll hear is “when will you add the iPhone 5s and 5c?”

It’s a fair one: We’re looking forward to the day we can activate those too.

We’ve talked before about some of the limitations on bringing your own device to Ting. Our network partner keeps some of the best phones for itself for a year. It’s a business move as they want to recoup some of the money they spent in marketing them. We get it. That doesn’t stop us from pushing though.

We’re able to offer primo devices for sale at the same time as the major carriers. Some recent examples include the Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One, Samsung Galaxy Note III and the Moto X. At launch though, these devices are excluded from the bring your device to Ting program.

Back to the question at hand: The iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c hit the Sprint lineup in late September of 2013. So, we expect they’ll be able to make the move to Ting at about the same time this year.

In summation:

If you’ve got one, now you can bring an iPhone 5 to Ting and you can activate it now too. If you don’t have one in hand but you’re in the market, you’ve got options.

Hit the Ting used devices page to let the Ting personal shopper team scour the used device listings on sites like eBay for you and then send along a few worthy candidates for your hard-earned money. Or, buy an iPhone via our partner Glyde.

In either case, this is good news and we’re pretty excited about it.

The Ting app arrives on iPhone!

Sally Field: You Like Me!“I haven’t had an orthodox career, and I’ve wanted more than anything to have your respect […] and I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!”

For those of you who were still in diapers (or not yet even a zygote) in 1984, that was Sally Field in her Academy Award acceptance speech for Places in the Heart. It pretty well sums up how we’ve felt over the past few days as a bunch of you have downloaded our snazzy new Ting app for iOS and shared awesome feedback.

Ting app for iOSChad, our mobile app guru (and generally awesome guy), is already hard at work in Michigan with your ideas, suggestions, and unintended feature discoveries… On the App Store, we are currently at version 0.9, with 0.9.1 likely going live later this week with a few small repairs. (Thank you, Shawn Colvin. Can you tell I lived through the 1990s?)

But we’re not stopping there. Next up on our timeline is a total review of our mobile app usability. We’re thinking of ways to really improve how we display usage to make things more intuitive, how to improve device feature management, looking at ideas to make referrals both fun and easy through our mobile apps, and more.

So if you have any ideas, suggestions, or feature requests you’d like to see in our future mobile apps, share away in the comments here… And if you haven’t already installed our new app on your iPhone, go get it!

New rates : we have slashed our data pricing

New rates for everyone

This week marks the two year anniversary of our launch. We are celebrating by slashing prices, particularly on heavy data usage. (If that’s about all you need to hear from me, check out the new Rates page now.)

This is not a promotion, these are just our new rates. Current customers do not need to weigh a move to a new plan. New customers do not need to come from any particular provider or sign up for a particular plan. You don’t need to buy a device or make any commitment. We are simply dropping our prices.

We have a very simple business model. We invest heavily in engineering and customer support. We spend comparatively little on marketing. We take nothing on devices. We take a fair margin on service. We offer the best prices and the best experience we possibly can. We hope that you stick around and tell your friends.

We also listen. You repeatedly told us that our Achilles’ heel was our pricing on high data usage.

After two years of fantastic growth, we are now in a position to offer even better prices. We cannot think of a better way to spend our “winnings” than pouring them right back into our customers.

There had been talk in the forums about shifting or adding levels. We decided that felt, well, shifty (or addy). It’s so much purer to just drop prices across the board.

new rates

The highlights:

  • Every data graduation beyond the $3 ‘Small’ is cheaper.
  • We’ve dropped the XXL level across the board so pure per-unit pricing kicks in sooner.
  • Perhaps most importantly for our heavy data users and business customers, we have dropped the per-unit pricing on megabytes beyond 2,000 from 2.25 cents to just 1.5 cents. That means a gig (or gigabyte or GB) of data is $15 beyond the XL level.
  • Finally, just to make sure that jump from XL to unit pricing is a win for everyone, we dropped the pricing on minutes beyond 2,000 from 2 cents to 1.9 cents, raised the ceiling on the XL minutes bucket to 2,100 and raised the ceiling on the XL messages bucket to 4,800. Do the math, I promise it works.

 

If you are already a Ting customer, you will begin enjoying the new rates in your next billing period (the one that starts after today). So, to be clear, the billing period you are in the middle of right now will still be on the old rates.

If you are just considering Ting, now would be a great time to re-calculate your potential savings.