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How much data will my smartphone use?

Your smartphone gives you access to just about any information you would ever need with the click of a few buttons.

It’s armed with helpful apps, entertaining games, video streaming, and functionality that our pre-Apple society could only have dreamed of.

But, how much data is your smartphone using as you scroll, stream, and search everything and anything that comes to mind?

We’ve pulled together some tips to help keep your budget on track and some ways to extend your data further.

Calling and SMS are free (At least as far as data goes)

When you place a phone call on your Smartphone, it uses the cell tower network to connect your call, not the internet. The same thing applies to text messaging. So, if you are worried about using up your data while chatting with your BFF, keep on talking. However, don’t forget that standard rates for calls and texts still apply.

Too many selfies can be a problem

Snap a pic! No problem. That only uses the memory card on your phone. However, if you are constantly uploading snaps of you and your French Bulldog, that will use up data. A single image averages about 4 MB – bigger if you have the newest iPhone. When you upload 100 pics a month – that’s almost half a GB. So, take all the pics you want, just be a little choosy about the ones you want to share.

Video loves eating data

If you are wondering how much data that latest app you downloaded uses that counts your steps, tracks your groceries, or feeds your dog – whatever it does – check to see if it is running any videos. If you see a video or animation on the screen, it is using data at an alarming rate.

As well, if you are watching YouTube, that will gobble up 70 MB in just 10 minutes at a low definition. Should you decide to catch up on the whole season of Stranger Things, there goes your entire month’s data in just a few hours.

Radio apps are data-friendly

We all love our tunes and can’t wait to hear our favourite song again and again. While most radio apps do use some data, they don’t use too much. You can stream your music library at an average rate of 10 MB per 10 minutes. But, there is another way. It is likely that your Smartphone has an FM receiver in it. With the right app – Simple Radio is a popular one – you can unlock your FM receiver and listen to live radio stations while using NO data. Now we’re talking!

Gaming is a surefire way to use all of your data

Gaming apps are probably the sneakiest data users on your phone. If you download a crossword app, you might think it will use very little data. That is true until it starts showing you 30-second ads after every game. Other action games like Clash of Clans or Battle Royale can use almost as much data as YouTube when you are connected to your network of friends.

Just remember, if there is action on the screen, the data monster is being fed.

What about Facebook and Snapchat?

If you are scrolling through your timeline, clicking on a link or adding a comment, you can eat up about 30 MB in an hour. If you are uploading video, a two-minute clip at 720p can equal an entire GB. Wait until you are connected to free WiFi before adding a video file to your channel.

Check your settings and save

If you want to keep a tight cap on your data usage, shut off the mobile data in your phone’s settings page. This means that you will only be able to stream, play games, and upload video or images when you are connected to a wireless network. You will still receive text messages and calls as usual. Or, alternatively, get an affordable mobile plan with generous data limits!