Smartphones of today have become pocket sized computers providing us with photography, gaming, video messaging, web surfing, social media, and work relevant documents and emails. All of this requires bandwidth on a data plan, but still data plans are very restrictive on the amount of data that they provide you for your browsing needs. How can you ensure that you don’t use up too much data through your contract on your phone?
Minimising the the amount of data you use unnecessarly is useful to keeping data plan always under its limit. Its useful to download an app that monitors your data usage, and tells you exactly how much you have used. To help keep your usage down, here are 10 tips and tricks to use on your smartphone.
Keep streaming video catch ups to when you’re in range of a Wi-Fi connection at home or in coffee shop. There is no point in catching up on the latest videos that are on Netflix if you’re standing waiting on lunch at the local sandwich shop. If you are in another country then you will have to make sure that this number one way of eating up smartphone data allowance is kept to a minimum.
Remember to close down any apps that you are not using, or have finished with completely. Not only will this save on data usage, you will also save much needed battery power. Closing apps from running in the background is easy with an iPhone, just double tap the home button, and swipe up to close the app. If you’re an android user you can press and hold the home button, and swipe the app to the right to close them. With newer phone like the Samsung, you can tap the lower left icon on the bottom bar to close the apps.
Keep pushed data content to a minimum. This includes things such as regular automatic weather updates, real time stock quotes, or live sports scores. These are ways for your phone to consume data even if you’re not looking at them all the time, they are still updating and costing you valuable bandwidth. Make sure you change the data pushing all the apps that you have as they all soon add up to a large chunk if you don’t.
If you carry your laptop or tablet device with you and you want to tether your smartphone to work with your other device to access the internet, quite simply don’t. This is one of the biggest way’s to eat up your data allowance. When browsing sites on your smartphone, the websites and the content are usually optimized to show on mobile devices. This means they try to use
as little as possible. When you connect a laptop to the internet, you are consuming the full amount of data that will be on
that website. Usually 3 times as much as you would on a smartphone. Wait until you can use a Wi-Fi hotspot for your other devices.
Bunch your work related or communication tasks together on your home computer rather than smartphone. It can be easy to update everyone you have on your social media list, or communicate to all your inbox emails, but your better of waiting until you get to a computer where you can do it all without affecting your mobile data allowance. Its also much faster, and easier to type on the keyboard, by distracting yourself with the on screen keyboard. Its also a major distraction, especially if you’re doing something like driving.
Try to use apps that are data friendly. This requires a little research before hand but its invaluable to keeping data usage to a minimum. If you use GPS navigation you can get an app called CoPilot Live, that uses preloaded map information to get you to your destination. However, map programs like Google Maps, and Apple Maps eat up your data allowance constantly by repeatedly updating while you navigate your way around.
Change your email settings to turn of the automatic push feature. When you get to a local Wi-Fi hotspot, you can pull down all your emails in one go, and reply to them separate as your on the go. Make sure that you set your email to not download attachments. Many attachments that you receive are large files such as .PDF files. Go to the options settings section of your phones email app and change the settings from there.
Rent a SIM if you are travelling abroad. Its easy to rack up large charges with your data plan if you exceed it. You’ll get a very nasty surprise bill that could cost you hundreds. If you’re travelling abroad make an effort to find a local SIM from that country that offers you a data plan that you can use.
Use messaging clients that don’t take up much of your data allowance. Programs cuhas as Viber, BBM, KIK and WhatsApp have all been designed to use as little data as possible. Plus, they are all fast and reliable, and perfect for staying in touch with essential contacts. Yes, they don’t have all the fancy emoticons like many smartphone chat programs, but do you really need them if they are going to take up lots of valuable data?
Keep the updating of apps until you reach Wi-Fi zones. You can also update via your computer with a USB connection too, its a great way to charge your phone and update it at the same time. When you are updating programs its not a small update to the program you’ll be downloading, but a new complete version of the application. If you have lots of apps on your smartphone, this amount of data updating can really eat up your allowance so follow the steps to ensure you don’t waste anything.