Free Up Space on Your Phone With Lite Versions of Your Favorite Apps

iStock
iStock

There comes a time in every smartphone user's life when they must decide which matters most: 421 photos of the neighbor’s cat or the ability to check Facebook while in the bathroom. But that choice could be a thing of the past: Developers now offer simpler, less data-hungry versions of popular apps like Facebook, Skype, and Twitter.

Most of these "lite" versions weren’t actually designed to solve your cat-shrine issue. They’re an answer to a more pressing need: how to keep mobile users connected in countries with underdeveloped telecom infrastructure. Phones in these regions are often cheap and limited in data storage and functionality, which had previously made it impossible for users to access the platforms we so often take for granted.

The Facebook Lite app is tricky to download from the U.S. and more developed parts of the world, but it can be done—at least on Android phones. The app isn't as pretty as the full version, but it's much nimbler. It has the messaging feature built right in, but you can also download the stand-alone version if you prefer. iPhone users can save battery life by using Facebook’s mobile site instead of the app.

The above download process also works for Skype Lite, which is also currently only available for Android phones. This slimmed-down version plays nicer with your phone's battery and will even tell you how much data you’ve used.

Twitter and Instagram’s lite versions aren’t apps at all, but fully functioning sites. You can access Twitter Lite here and Instagram here. David Nield at Gizmodo’s Field Guide has a few tips for getting even more out of your data:

Tap your avatar then turn on Data Saver. To pin a shortcut to Twitter Lite to your home screen, open the main Chrome app menu and choose Add to Home screen (Android) or tap the Share button in Safari then select Add to Home Screen. Tap the icon you’ve created and Twitter Lite opens in your browser.

All set? Good. Now let's see that pic of Fluffy in the chef's toque again.

[h/t Field Guide]

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.
Allwood/Amazon

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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More Than 38,000 Pounds of Ground Beef Has Been Recalled

Beef-ware.
Beef-ware.
Angele J, Pexels

Your lettuce-based summer salads are safe for the moment, but there are other products you should be careful about using these days: Certain brands of hand sanitizer, for example, have been recalled for containing methanol. And as Real Simple reports, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) recently recalled 38,406 pounds of ground beef.

When JBS Food Canada ULC shipped the beef over the border from its plant in Alberta, Canada, it somehow skirted the import reinspection process, so FSIS never verified that it met U.S. food safety standards. In other words, we don’t know if there’s anything wrong with it—and no reports of illness have been tied to it so far—but eating unapproved beef is simply not worth the risk.

The beef entered the country on July 13 as raw, frozen, boneless head meat products, and Balter Meat Company processed it into 80-pound boxes of ground beef. It was sent to holding locations in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina before heading to retailers that may not be specific to those four states. According to a press release, FSIS will post the list of retailers on its website after it confirms them.

In the meantime, it’s up to consumers to toss any ground beef with labels that match those here [PDF]. Keep an eye out for lot codes 2020A and 2030A, establishment number 11126, and use-or-freeze-by dates August 9 and August 10.

[h/t Real Simple]