know your limits with these tips on reducing data usage
Mobile | 31 January 2018
Have you noticed that your mobile device is racking up data usage like a starving horse?
In today’s age of fancy electronic gadgets and more apps than you could possibly count, data usage can easily go through the roof in a short period of time.
There are ways to regain your power over the data-ravenous beast that is your phone. Here are some tips and tricks to optimise your device’s data consumption.
tip #1: limit your data usage
The most obvious step in the right direction is to control your cellular data usage. This may seem trivial, but it’s easy to lose track and have absolutely no clue how much you are actually using. Fortunately, with most mobile phones, you can set a specific limit on how much data you want to use in a certain time-frame. This change can be made through the cellular data menu in your mobile device’s settings.
tip # 2: save data on Facebook
Facebook has a new feature that automatically plays videos that appear in your newsfeed. You might not even be aware when this happens, and most importantly, it eats up a lot of cellular data. To keep these videos from downloading without your permission, you can go to the settings menu in your Facebook app and select the option of auto-playing videos only over WiFi.
tip #3: update apps using WiFi only
Disabling automatic app updates is one of the most effective ways to reduce cellular data usage. On Android devices, you have the option to either “Auto-update apps over WiFi only” or “Do not auto-update apps.” However, the latter choice is probably not a good idea since it would require you to update each app manually. Both choices are effective for the purpose of reducing overall data consumption.
tip #4: download Google Maps for offline use
One of the most convenient functions of Google Maps is its caching feature, which allows you to download an area over WiFi and use it offline at another time. This saves you tons of mobile data, and it can be a lifesaver if you are travelling through a low-reception area. However, there is a limit on the data you can download, so only save areas that you absolutely need.
tip #5: restrict apps from data access
If you have an iOS device, you have the option to deny cellular access to as many apps as you want. The best thing about this is that you can grant or deny data access to each app individually. Just go to “Settings,” click “Cellular Data,” and scroll down to view each app and adjust its cellular restrictions with just the tap of a button.
tip #6: disable 3G and 4G data
FaceTime, iCloud Drive, and iTunes are some of the most data-consuming apps on iOS devices. Fortunately, there is a way to limit their consumption. For FaceTime, you can use the previous tip to go into Settings and restrict data usage for this particular app. You can turn off data for iCloud by going into settings and clicking on iCloud and then iCloud Drive, where you can ensure that the updates will occur over WiFi only. For managing the data usage in iTunes, go to Settings and tap “iTunes and App Store,”where you can turn off cellular data for this app.
While cellular data will always be a necessary tool in this age of technological growth and advancement, there are ways for us, as individuals, to greatly reduce the amounts that our own devices are using.
Some of these tips may seem like small and insignificant changes, but over time, they could save you a lot of headaches – and even your budget. Hopefully, these tips have given you some inspiration on how to define your limit and make it possible for your own device and lifestyle.