It seems that there are an endless number of apps for our phones these days, that we have to be constantly connected to in order to survive. But if we’re not careful, constantly checking, updating, syncing and using these apps can quickly drain our data bundles. This can lead to us getting cut-off or with a nasty surprise bill at the end of the month for out-of-bundle data rates.
Here are five of the biggest data draining apps on your phone:
Facebook was already a data heavy app and now with its push to video content the data usage required to check your Facebook updates is increasing. It is estimated that if you spend just one hour on Facebook you use as much as 90MB of data. This means that spending one hour on Facebook a day will use 2.7GB of data a month!
It goes without saying that downloading video content is the quickest way to use up all of your mobile data. One media monitor we looked at showed that streaming video on a 3G network can use up to 250MB an hour. We know how easy it is to get sucked into an endless YouTube video marathon so this is definitely something to keep a close eye on.
Using Google Maps GPS to help you navigate to a location is a handy feature but it can use up to 1MB a minute. While some maps and routes might be cached on your phone, this is not always the case, especially when navigating untraveled routes. It might not seem like much, but if you use this frequently it can quickly add up.
Similar to Facebook, Instagram is moving towards more video content on its platform which can quickly drain your data plan. Be careful when uploading photo and video posts to Instagram as this can use up to 8MB each time you upload a new image.
Not only does Snapchat use a lot of your data it is also a battery drainer and phone storage ‘hog’ as well. When you open Snap Chat, snaps and stories instantly appear and download as you check your feed, sucking data. It is a good idea to only log on to Snap Chat in Wi-Fi enabled areas or change your Snap Chat settings to Travel Mode.
Better manage your mobile data usage
The best way to reduce your mobile data usage is to ensure you are connected to Wi-Fi when you download apps, play online games, watch videos or stream music. Make sure you are connected to the Wi-Fi network when you are at home or at work and keep an eye out for shops and restaurants that offer free Wi-Fi when you are out.
Here are four ways to better manage your mobile data usage:
1. Turn off video auto play
Go into the social media app settings for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and turn off the video auto play function. This means that you will be able to only play the videos you want to see and not waste data on the videos you don’t want to watch.
2. Put YouTube on Wi-Fi only
Go to the YouTube app settings and change it to Wi-Fi enabled only. That way you’ll be reminded when you are in areas that have no Wi-Fi not to play YouTube videos.
3. Download a data monitoring app
Download an app for your phone, such as My Data Manager, that monitors your data usage and shows you how your data is being used. If you find any data hungry apps you can then disable them on mobile data and enable them on Wi-Fi only.
4. Set a data limit on your phone
Go to your phone’s settings and under mobile data select ‘set a mobile data limit’. Whatever your data package is for the month, for example 1GB, set the limit to an amount below that, for example 800MBs. Your phone will then notify you when you have reached your limit so that you can either turn your mobile data off or buy an additional data bundle.