I am always using my smartphone. Most times you’ll find me online: be it listening to a podcast, downloading novels, accessing my emails, streaming music, or even a casual chat with a friend. It’s quite amazing how many endless possibilities the phone offers.
The downside, however, is spending so much money on Data. Wi-Fi has become accessible and available, yes. But what about when I’m at my grandparents for the holidays? I’m still forced to spend lots of cash on Data.
If you’re like me, I’d love to show you simple tips that helped me reduce data usage on my phone and at the same time saved me a few coins.
Tips To Reduce Mobile Data Usage
Disable Background app refresh
Even when you aren’t using them, apps continuously run in the background.
They’re either automatically syncing information and downloading updates. Automatic app refreshing uses up a lot of data and is less than necessary for your apps to function properly.
Disabling background app refresh on iPhones: Go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh. Once here you can turn off background activity for certain or all apps. You have the chance to choose for apps to only update while connected to Wifi.
On Android: Settings > Data Usage to view statistics on your apps’ data consumption. In the case that any app is using too much data contrary to your liking, click the app and turn on the “Restrict app background data”. This stops all background activity.
Take Your Navigation Offline
I had a hard time settling in in the Big City, Nairobi. I didn’t know street names, I didn’t know most buildings. Hence, I relied heavily on Google Maps. More data, right?
Do you know what can download data in advance and help you avoid expensive streaming? Google Maps.
The next time you know you’re going to need navigation, open the Maps app in advance, while you’re still somewhere with Wi-Fi. Search for the city where you’ll be navigating, then tap the city’s name in the middle of the screen and tap the Download button that appears on the next screen.
You’ll then be able to use the map of that area normally, and you can always see and manage all of your downloaded maps by tapping your profile picture in the app’s upper-right corner and then selecting “Offline maps” from the menu that appears.
Avoid Desktop Versions of Sites on Your Mobile Phone
When browsing on your mobile web browser, stick to mobile versions of the website. Mobile sites are optimized best for smaller screen sizes. They will not be bogged down by large files, clunky videos, or incompatible Flash features. Manually switching to the desktop version of the site may seem more familiar at first, but doing so will cause your phone to use extra data to load the full site.
Set data alerts to check on cellular usage
Your phone and cellular service can provide you with updates on your data usage. It’s a good idea to set up these alerts so you know when you have used too much data and need to start conserving.
To turn on data alerts on Android, go to Settings > Network & Internet > Data Usage > Mobile Data Usage. Once there, tap the “Set data warning” switch on to be blue.
This process is slightly different for Samsung Galaxy users. Within Settings, tap Connections > Data Usage > Billing Cycle and Data Warning. Turn on the “Data limit” switch. Now you will receive updates when your data is nearly used up and when it is fully gone.
iPhones unfortunately do not come with a built-in alert system like this. However, users can check their data usage under Settings > Cellular and manually keep track of their data usage month to month. Another way to track your data is by downloading your cellular provider’s app to set up data usage alerts. These apps are usually free and will send you updates when you have reached set increments of your monthly data.