Keeping data usage in check on your mobile phone

What did we ever do before the advent of smartphones? It is nearly impossible to imagine life without them, yet a mere decade ago, these incredible gadgets simply did not exist.

Luckily, today we can use them to do just about anything – surf the internet, book travel tickets, help us navigate, check emails, keep in contact with our friends and play games. Actually, the list of their uses is practically endless.

Even in the world of business, the smartphone has become indispensable. It gives businessmen a mini-office right at their fingertips. The only thing missing is a secretary!

Now if there is a slight problem with smartphones (other than their cost), it is the fact that these gadgets are certainly very data hungry. That’s not a problem if you have an unlimited data contract but unfortunately, unless you are a businessman, the chances are pretty slim.

Many people, especially those upgrading to a smartphone for the first time find that they use data far quicker than they ever did before. And there are a number of reasons for that but generally, it is because smartphones are simply more data hungry than a regular mobile phone. Their applications and processes need data. Think of the simple weather widget. It might be set to update every hour. How does it do that? By accessing the internet of course and that means it uses data to do so.

In this blog we are going to look at a few tips you can use to help cut your data usage on your smartphone, ensuring your data package lasts longer than ever before.

Compression web browsers are key

Most smartphones come with either Google Chrome (Android) or Safari (iOS). These browsers are great but they tend to use a lot of data. Turn on compression mode in Google Chrome (settings/data save) or download Opera, a browser specially made to compress data. This can save as much as 30% in the long run.

Check background data usage

Many processes and apps on your smartphone need to perform an operation known as synching. This uses data. Luckily you can set this in various apps. For example, your mailbox might look for new mail every 5 minutes. Each time it does this, it uses a little bit of data. Set it to check every hour instead. If you are expecting an important mail, you can check for it manually.

Auto updates are a no-no!

It’s fun having a wide range of apps on our smartphones. Games, news updates, and other applications all get updated regularly. Make sure you turn auto updates off on your phone otherwise these will update without you knowing and your data will be gone in a flash. To update these apps, do it when you are in a free Wi-Fi zone. Your phone can be set to only update these apps when entering one so as not to use all your mobile data.

Secure Wi-Fi connections whenever you can

Wi-Fi is the perfect way to save on data. You should ensure that your phone connects whenever possible. Visiting a friend with Wi-Fi? Ask for the password and make sure your phone connects automatically when you visit. If you have Wi-Fi at home, stay connected at all times.

Keep track

Your phone has built-in data usage tools that you can study. This is a great way to see how much data you are using and which apps use the most. You will quickly find that social media are most to blame when it comes to data usage. Limiting your time on social media can help make those precious kilobytes last a little longer.