All About Smartphones: How To Minimise Data Usage on A Smartphone

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

How To Minimise Data Usage on A Smartphone

Using a smartphone is a beautiful thing. You have so many applications installed, most running in the background.
The ability for smartphones to multitask compared to other phones gives it the superior edge over other kinds of phones. However, this multitask feature has its drawback.
One notable drawback is the consumption of battery power depending on the amount of applications running in the background. Another thing is the consistent usage of internet data plan for notifications, not to mention the bigger screens with brighter backlights and better browsers that these devices are embedded with which consumes battery and data.
Take for example, an iPhone 4 and a Nokia X2. Both devices have the capability to connect to the internet and surf it. However, when you open up say www.facebook.com on the Nokia, it won't display like when you open the same webpage on the iPhone 4. Consequently the iPhone will consumed more data compared to the Nokia phone. On the other hand, browser experience is much more wonderful than the Nokia device.
Furthermore, the battery life of both devices can't be compared at all. Of course, the Nokia device will stay longer because it doesn't multitask per se and the backlight isn't as great as the iPhone.

So, you have 1GB of internet data for a month and you plan to to use your data plan for that month well without it being exhausted before the month is over.
To achieve this, there are tips to follow that could help you achieve your aim. These tips are highlighted below.

TIPS FOR REDUCING DATA USAGE ON A SMARTPHON

1. Reduce tasks running in the background
Smartphones users have the habit of opening many programs on their smartphones. Some of these programs run in the background and are internet dependent. They constantly connect to find information that you may need.
So, kill some of these running apps via the Application Manager. For apple device, just double click the home button and hold app icons until they start to wiggle and then close.

2. Reduce apps that can notify
Smartphones users with larger disk size like 16GB,32GB and 64GB usually install more apps on their devices compared to peeps with 4GB and 8GB HDD.
With so many apps which by default are configured to have access to notifications, they will constantly check the internet for updates, messages etc and will bring in notification to you as they come.
Stop this by going into the notification settings of the device and reduce the number of apps that can notify you.

3. Location Services
Using Google maps or other mapping system in a smartphone consumes quite a lot amount of data.
Consequently, for heavy users of Facebook, Twitter, Waze, Weather app etc, more data will be used when connecting to the internet.
To minimize this, you can go to location settings on your device and manually turn off apps that have access to location services. For Apple device users, go to Settings, Location Services and switch off the apps you don't really need location service for.

4. Browser Type
Some browsers on some smartphones consume more internet data than others. e.g Safari browser, Google Chrome. However, there are others browsers too that consume less data. e.g Opera mini, UCBrowser.
What you can do in this case is to download these internet browsers on your device to connect if you have limited data quota. While some of these browsers will display compressed content fit for mobile use, the feel may not be like using the earlier mentioned browsers.

5. Data Roaming
For some Apple devices, switching of data roaming kills the EDGE or 3G network needed for internet connection.
In the event that you don't need to connect to the internet at a particular time, you can switch off the network needed for internet connection.
To do this, go to Settings, General, Network, Data Roaming.
I believe this is also possible on a Windows or Android device.

6. Push
Push utility is what mail apps use to fetch emails in smartphones. If you set your push setting to be every minutes, more data will be used and even battery drain will increase. This is because the email client will attempt to check the email server for new messages every minute which will utilize your internet data.
Therefore, endeavor to set the fetching of new data to about every 30mins or even 1hr.

Finally, Streaming videos or audios online consumes large internet data. It is better to download the media content unto the device and then watch rather than watching or listening directly. Therefore, refrain from doing this always. It is better to stream media contents using wi-fi.
I hope these tips help someone enjoy minimize  internet data usage on his or her smartphone.
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