Those of you who keep getting caught out by telecoms companies because you’re exceeding your data limits or those of you who would like to save money on their phone bill, will find the following data saving tips useful. Having access to mobile data is the reason many of us now buy expensive smart phones, but this doesn’t mean we need to be locked into spending large amounts of money every month for data too.
We are going to look at ways to save money on mobile data by limiting our phones from consuming unnecessary amounts. Implementing these tips and tricks should help you remain within your monthly data limits or enable you to move onto a cheaper plan to save money where it counts.
Social Media Apps
Social media apps such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can sometimes have their settings set to automatically play videos for example. You have the choice of selecting this to only happen when connected to Wi-Fi or to not happen at all. If you use social media on your phone then each time one of those videos starts, it will eat your data by downloading it, this can be stopped immediately to reduce data consumption.
Using Wi-Fi and Cellular Data
The biggest problem can be when a person turns off their Wi-Fi when they are out and about to save battery, but when they get back into one of their Wi-Fi zones they forget to turn it back on. The type of download and upload activity you do on a Wi-Fi network will differ compared to when you’re on your mobile data and could quickly cause data quota depletion.
Furthermore, when you are not using your phone try turning off cellular data completely because this will stop apps from communicating with the server. This is easy to do on Android, simply slide down the top panel and click the button that looks like an arrow going up and an arrow going down. Apple users must go to your settings and cellular networks to turn it off.
Data Hungry Apps
If you need to receive messages and emails when they come in, turning off your data wont be practical but, disabling data hungry apps can save you money. If you have data hungry apps then you can adjust them in the settings to ensure that they only work when connected to a Wi-Fi connection rather than cellular data.
Turning off your automatic downloads will prevent your smartphone from using cellular data to complete these actions. An iOS device can be turned off by going to settings > iTunes & App Store > use cellular data for automatic downloads. This is the same for iBooks too.
Android devices can be turned off by going into the settings too, simply visit the Play Store > General > auto-update apps > over Wi-Fi only.
Turn Off Wi-Fi Assist
This is a fairly new feature that allows your phone to use cellular data to support your Wi-Fi connection when it’s slow or connectivity is poor. This could mean that you are using up your data when you aren’t expecting it.
Background App Refresh
Apps are programmed to automatically refresh their content e.g. Facebook, in the background. Turning off this setting will prevent them from streaming data and it can drastically improve your battery life too.
Music Apps Offline
If you use Spotify rather than your phones own music system then you can drastically reduce your cellular data by selecting playlists to be ‘available offline’. Be sure to do this when you are connected to Wi-Fi so that the app doesn’t consume your data downloading the playlist.
Photo Cloud Storage
If you have Google Photos or iCloud photo library turned on, your photos will automatically get uploaded to the cloud to prevent losing special moments if you lose your phone. Photos taken on smartphones can be very large and backing up and entire day of sightseeing for example can consume a large amount of data that you may need for other reasons.
Low Power Mode
Most smartphones will offer a ‘low power mode’ and it’s advisable to use this wherever possible because it temporarily reduces power and data consumption. Besides that it will also prevent apps from refreshing, fetching mail and automatically downloading updates without you having to turn settings off if you like to have these on at other times.
Apps like Google Drive and iCloud Drive can automatically backup your apps and any new data created within those apps and this will consume cellular data when you’re least expecting it. Turning these settings onto only using Wi-Fi will speed things up and it will usually mean you’re closer to a power outlet when this battery consuming process occurs.
If after all of these data saving tips and tricks you find that your device is still consuming unusually large amounts, contact your service provider and ask for their assistance. It may be no fault of your own, but of the device instead.