With smartphones, there’s one small problem: data usage is consistently up, sometimes draining your cellular quota pretty fast. Well, with more and more of us turning to wards internet-based services, our smartphones too get to tune into the world of internet for almost everything: mail, social networking, games, entertainment.
If you are on Wifi, it’s not so much of a big deal but when you rely on cellular, you’ve got to be careful. This is so true especially in countries where cellular data is costly and often, severely limited. That’s pretty much a lot of countries across the globe.
What can you do to conserve data on the iPhone? How can you save the bandwidth usage when you’re on cellular?
We’ve tried to list below a few of our favorite ways to conserve data when we’re on cellular.
Don’t Stream Video on Cellular
One of the easiest ways to dry up your data allowance is to stream video. This includes from apps like YouTube, Vine or any other specific video streaming app. Even videos on Safari/Chrome or any other browser that you’re using is going to dry up your data allocation pretty fast.
In truth, there’s no solid alternative to this. You’ve got to control the temptation to watch a video when you’re on cellular. You can of course bookmark the video / save it to a read-later list and catch up on it when you’re in a Wi-fi zone.
Use offline Maps
Maps eat up a lot of data and battery. Since we’re concerned here with the data, the partial solution is to use offline maps. The problem with a maps app is that every time you use it, it loads the tiles which is a data transfer. When you quit the app, cache is cleared and when you re-open it again, a place you’ve already seen is not picked up from cache (which can save data) but reloaded again. This means more data consumption.
Offline maps do have their own disadvantages but if you’ve got a complete package of your city, you’ll most likely not use data any more when you look at maps.
Turn off iCloud Sync
Another major source for data consumption is iCloud. Imagine this: every change to the photos, to the contacts, to the Mail, to calendars and almost every thing else is pushed to the cloud. When it’s just Mail or Calendars, it’s not a big deal but when you’re dealing with photos, they’re large.
Of course, turning off iCloud defeats the purpose when you have multiple iOS devices and sync is necessary, but if you’re on cellular, you can turn off iCloud and switch it back on when you’re on Wi-fi.
User Better Browsers (like Opera Mini)
Opera Mini compresses images before loading them. Since you’re on a retina display, stock browser (Safari) aims to provide you the richest experience. This costs data. A lot in the case of images. However, if you’re not specific about these things, you can switch to a data-conscious browser like Opera Mini to save a little.
If you’re playing games on your iPhone that access data from the internet in real-time (for instance, graphics over a server etc.), that’s going to dry up your cellular data too. It’s not easy to figure out if you are using up data when you’re playing a game (unless you check the Stats from Settings → General → Usage → Cellular Usage).
If you’re really concerned about this but can’t let up on playing the games, you can turn off data temporarily and play the game.
Turn off / Tweak Auto-downloads In Podcasts
There’s this option of auto-downloading the latest episodes of a podcast in most podcasts app. This happens in the background so that you can catch up on the episodes without having to download each one of them manually. While being helpful, this can pretty soon turn out to be a massive data drainer.
You can either turn this thing off or you can enable the Wi-fi download mode so the podcasts are downloaded only when you’re connected to a Wi-fi network.
Data Monitors and Apps
You can also use apps like Onavo in order to make sure your data usage is under the limit. There are a ton of data monitors too for the iPhone that you can use to keep a track.
This is not an exhaustive list, though. Depending upon the apps you use and the preferences you have – for iTunes, iCloud and more – your data usage patterns can be tweaked to save more on data. Got a tip on this? Please do share it with others in the comments section!
You may also like to check out how to stop images from loading automatically in mail app on iPhone & iPad.