After purchasing your new Android device, your get very excited about owning such a powerful gadget. Your next question usually is "how do i get Android apps " ? After a few days of exploring your new smartphone / tablet, a shocking reality hits you; Your Android data consumption is VERY HEAVY, same thing goes for iPhones and iPads. Smartphones / tablets running Android or iOS are very powerful devices, but these 'come at a price'; heavy data consumption. Android data consumption left unmanaged could leave you very frustrated. There are a lot of complaints about this issue, many unanswered questions so i'll guide you through a step-by-step guide on how to control heavy data consumption first on your Android smartphone / tablet and then on your iPhone / iPad.
How do I check my Android data consumption / data usage so far?
Checking your old bills is a great way to see your data usage over the previous months/years but it will always lag by a billing cycle. In order to check your current usage you want to monitor consumption from within Android. If your smartphone / tablet is running Android 4.0 or above, here's how you can check your Android data usage:
- Navigate to Settings.
- Select Wireless & Networks.
- Select Data Usage.
If your smartphone / tablet is not currently running Android 4.0 or above, you'll either want to Upgrade Android OS running on your tablet / smartphone or download any good third-party data manager for Android. You can visit the Play Store to download mobile apps for Android (a good android application monitor).
How do i manage / control heavy data consumption on Android?
It's a rather simple process. There are aa number of methods you can employ. Some are:
Disable Auto-updates: Ensure to disable auto-updates. To do this:
- Go to Settings
- Select Wireless & Networks
- Select Mobile networks and disable (untick) 'Data enabled' or 'Use packet data' (or something similar).
- This will stop your Android from accessing the internet without your permission.
- Next, return to Settings.
- Go to Accounts & Sync
- Disable background data ( This will stop auto-updates which drain your data [mb] plan)
Disable Unneeded apps: Leaving too many internet requiring apps open could also drain your data. To disable unneeded apps:
- Go to Settings.
- Select Applications.
- Select Manage Applications.
- Click on the running app that you don't really need.
- 'Force Stop' it.
- Select 'Clear Data'.
If you really don't need an app then simply uninstall it.
Restrict app updates to Wi-Fi only: One of the easiest background data hogs to strike down right out of the gate is the background data consumed by application updates. Updates are necessary and welcome both for security purposes and access to new features, but there aren't any updates so critical that you absolutely need to get at them before you connect to the next Wi-Fi access point. By default, any apps set to automatically update will do so over both mobile data and Wi-Fi. You can change this by:
- Launching the Play Store app.
- Pressing the menu button.
- Selecting Settings
- Selecting Update over Wi-Fi only.
Toggling this setting on will save you untold amounts of mobile data usage over the life of the phone.
Switch to a Lightweight Browser: While the default browser in Android gets better with each release, it still leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to minimizing data usage. Fortunately there are several alternatives that feature data compression and optimization to help reduce usage, like Chrome Beta and Opera Mini.
Limit the use of streaming media: Watching 15 minutes of streaming video or listening to steaming music a day on your phone a couple funny YouTube videos or just half an episode of a sitcom on Hulu or Netflix is enough to add 1.25GB of data to your monthly usage. Stream some music while working out at the gym? Listening to Pandora for a daily 30 minute workout will add 800MB of data to your bill. Snap a lot of photos and sync them to your Dropbox account or Facebook Uploading a dozen high resolution photos a day can easily add 300-400MB to your usage.
How do i manage / control heavy data consumption / heavy data usage on iPhone / iPad?
iPhones aren't allowed to do a whole lot in the background. Despite these limitations, apps can still do a fair amount of downloading when they're not open and regardless of how they're connected to the internet. Now, lets go through how to figure out which apps are eating your data unnecessarily and how to stop them. On an iPhone, you can't track exactly which apps are using your data unless you're jailbroken. If you are, you can grab iNetUsage ($2) from Cydia and monitor the breakdown. If not, you'll need to do a little detective work, conduct an investigation and find the culprit(s) with some trial and error. Let's go over a few methods.
Ensure Wi-Fi Is Actually Enabled: Sometimes high data usage happens because you turned off Wi-Fi and just forgot. When my internet access goes down, I often do this and forget to turn it back on for a week. Fortunately I just don't use that much data in general, but if I did it could turn into a major problem. Before you spend a bunch of your time investigating the problem, make sure your data settings are actually correct.
Look at the Apps that Use the Most Battery: On an iPhone, if an app is draining your battery it has a better chance of eating up your data plan as well. Battery-sucking apps run in the background, and there are only a few things background apps can do on an iPhone: use the GPS, play music, and download files. While apps that download files might seem like guilty party, iOS only allows background downloading for a short amount of time. If the app isn't open on your phone, iOS will shut off its download privileges after about 10 minutes. As a result, you're probably aware of when an app is downloading something in the background. You're more likely to run into wasted data when you leave a music or location-aware app open in the background. Music apps can play indefinitely, and if they're streaming that music you can use a lot of data simply by forgetting to stop playback. Location-aware apps use your GPS and may need to download data relevant to that GPS. While it's unlikely that they're constantly grabbing new data (e.g. maps or location-based photos), you want to be sure these kind of apps aren't accessing your location without your knowledge. Fortunately, this is very easy to do. Simply:
- Go into the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Tap Privacy (in iOS 6, Location Services in earlier versions).
- Tap Location Services.
- Peruse the list of apps.
- Most apps will just have an ON and OFF switch, but some will have a purple solid, purple outline, or gray solid arrow next to them.
- A purple arrow means the app has used your location recently.
- A gray arrow indicates the app has used your location in the last 24 hours
- A purple outline arrow indicates the app is using a geofence (meaning that it's waiting to carry out an event when you're in a certain location, like when the Reminders app provides a location-based reminder).
- The purple solid and outline arrows are the ones that cause the most trouble, so if you see them, try quitting those apps to see if your data usage decreases.
Employ a Data Monitoring App and Use It Strategically: If you'd prefer to avoid your cellular provider, Apple includes a bandwidth meter on the iPhone. to use it:
- Open the Settings app
- Tap its General heading
- Select Network / for the 3G and 4G versions of the iPad (Settings, then Cellular Data).
This will report the total data consumed by the device; third-party apps can provide the same info for WiFi-only iPads and the iPod touch. you can also use a data monitoring app to keep an eye on your overall usage. This won't tell you which app is causing trouble, but it will tell you when a lot of data was used. You can use the date and time information to try and pinpoint what happened when large amounts of data was consumed. Sure, this isn't a definitive method but it might help you zero in on the culprit(s).
Call Your Cellular Provider: Wasted data may not be your fault, it may be an error on the part of your provider. Don't just assume it's your fault. Chances are you did use the data, but sometimes mistakes happen (nobody's perfect, after all). If you've looked around and something seems a little fishy, call your provider and ask. There may be an error and you may be in the clear.
Brand specific issues: Verizon iPhones have had a killer problem since the iPhone 5 launched The new Apple handset has been sucking down a TON of data, even when it's connected to Wi-Fi. Apple has pushed a patch live. here's how to get it super quickly and easily. All you need to do is:
- Go into Settings
- Select General
- Select About
- Wait for a message that reads: "Carrier Settings Updated: To install important new settings, tap OK, then press and hold the power button, drag the slider, and restart" .
- Turn your phone off and on again.