Wireless carrier rates have been increasing over the years as more and more mobile apps have dominated the smartphone market. If smartphone customers don’t watch their data usage, their monthly phone bill might go up or they might experience data tethering. Data charges will also keep going up as consumers of different ages take advantage of the interesting features of smartphones. The average smartphone customer consumes about 800 megabytes of data per month, according to the CTIA.
Here’s five smart tips on how smartphone users can enjoy their smartphones while cutting back on their data consumption.
1. Where there’s Wi-Fi, use Wi-Fi.
According to Don Kellogg, Nielsen’s director of telecom research and insights, only half of smartphone users connect to Wi-Fi on their phone over the last month. This means many consumers do not take advantage of free surfing, browsing, email, social networking, and downloads. Carriers do not charge data transmitted through Wi-Fi; using it when you can will save your data usage.
Android and iOS smartphones can automatically connect to known Wi-Fi networks, so you just need to save the password on your phone. When you want to do download a big file, update your apps or do something that will incur big data, wait until you are connected to Wi-Fi. It’s free!
2. Say “Off” to location settings.
This tip actually saves both your battery and data usage. A lot of apps and features make use of the phone’s GPS to track its location. This is especially useful when you need a map for directions, but when you’re not, the location tracker will keep running in the background. This will drain your data and your battery.
Adjust the settings on your phone and turn off the location access on every individual app you have. You can just easily turn on the access on some apps where you really need it. If you want to turn off/on the location tracker of your entire phone, there’s a switch you can find in the general settings.
3. Control your video-streaming urges.
Videos eat the most of your data. In fact, streaming one movie can suck about 1 gigabyte of data. Based on T-Mobile’s data use-estimation tool, occasional video-streaming might use 5.86 gigabytes per month, while combined, occasional use of apps and games, file transfers, surfing, and email use only 3.5 gigabytes per month.
If you really can’t wait to get home to watch it on TV, watch downloaded rather than streamed content while using the carrier’s data network. And again, use Wi-Fi whenever possible.
4. No music-streaming as well.
Streaming music from Pandora or Spotify for an hour will suck 50-70 megabytes of your data. Here’s how you can cut back on your data without sacrificing your need for beat. Cache music to your phone if you pay for a streaming music app. While using your Wi-Fi at home, download your songs and listen to those while you’re out.
5. Change your browser.
You may not notice it, but browsing a fully rendered Web page on Safari can take 2-3 megabytes of your data. Consider downloading the Opera Mini app and use it for your browsing needs to keep the page file sizes low. Opera Mini compresses the pages on its servers before it sends them to your phone. The average Opera Mini page will use up 200-300 kilobytes only. That’s a big difference!