How to Keep Your Cell Phone App’s From eating your Data


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Here in Australia Data costs and arm and a leg, USA not so bad, as there is more competition. If you have a whole family on your plan it probably is costing you a lot more than you would like. I am under contract with Telstra in Australia which is up in October, so will definitely be looking for another provider to see if I can get a better deal.

Because we have such a love affair with data our cell phone plan does not seem to provide anywhere near enough. One minute we have heaps then next minute it’s all gone, well almost.

It’s best to understand how much data your favorite apps use and how to track and adjust that usage. It will help you avoid costly coverage or painfully slow speeds. That depends on your carrier of course.

Most suppliers will charge an extra $15 for an extra gigabyte when you go over your plan, others will bump you down to a 2G speed which you will notice when you are used to 4G.

Where does your Data go:
Streaming music or video will gobble up your data very quickly. Uploading photo’s or large email attachments. A good example of this is streaming 30 minutes of video a day via apps such as Facebook, YouTube or Netflix will use more that 5GB data a month. Streaming an hour of music a day will add up to almost 2GB over 30 days.

Spotify for example has four streaming settings, Google Play has three and YouTube has se en and will adjust your stream based on you connection unless you select a streaming quality.

Spotify
Normal: Uses noun 0.7MB per minute so you can listen to roughly 24 hours of music for 1GB of data
High: Uses around 1.2MB per minute so you can listen to roughly 14 hours of music for 1GB of data
Extreme: Uses around 2.5MB per minute, so you can listen to roughly 7 hours of music or 1GB of data.

Google Play

You can stream about 7 hours of music per gigabyte at the highest quality setting. Normal and low quality settings are also available.

Pandora

Uses about 0.5MB per minute at most, so you can listen to almost 35 hours of music for GB.

YouTube

Data usage varies widely on YouTube based on the video quality which ranges from 240p to 1080p and can be adjusted manually for each video. According to Verizon customers in NY City Metro used an average 24MB per minute while on You Tube in February this year. At that rate you would burn through 1.5GB in an hour.

Netflix

You will use about 1GB per our if streaming in standard definition and as much as 3GB per hour if streaming in HD.

Facebook and Instagram

Roughly 2MB per minute with video autoplay turned off. It would take more than 8 hours to burn through 1GB of data. But watching videos or uploading photos or videos will use more. Check your phone to see how much you have used of data.

To see how much some of you apps are using go to ‘Settings’ on an Android and then Data usage. That information on an iPhone is in ‘Settings under Cellular’.

How to keep your data in check

Adjusting your settings is one way to reduce your data usage without really changing how you use your phone.
This needs to be done in each app. Focus on the ones you use the most.
Your music and video apps change your streaming quality to a lower level. This option is usually found in the apps settings menu. Check the settings on your social media apps, many of which also play videos.

On Facebook videos in your feed automatically play as you scroll, this can eat up a lot of Data. Change the setting to never automatically play videos. To do this go to ‘App settings’ while in your Facebook app and click on Autoplay then select never autoplay video’s. You can also select to play automatically when connected to WiFi.

Of course the best way to minimize data usage is to be connected to WiFi. When on WiFi you stop using Cellular Data. That means you can stream and upload to your heart’s content.

If you listen to Spotify on your commute, download you playlist while you are at home connected to WiFi then you can listen offline mode and save your data.

The power of Information: Look for the data breakdown on your phone setting. Once you realize where your data is going you can make adjustments.
If you have made adjustments and still using a lot of data go have a chat to your provider. The guys in the store know these phone operations inside out so go to them for help.

You should look at an unlimited plan which is offered by some provider companies. Some companies have unlimited music streaming built into some of its plans.

So there you have it. Hope this information has been helpful.

Source USA Today

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