We’ve all had that moment of frustration: you’re away from a wi-fi zone, checking out cute puppy videos on Instagram, and then BAM—you get that dreaded message from your service provider informing you that you have ‘only 100MB remaining from your allocated data quota.’
This is especially annoying when you know you ‘topped up’ just a little while ago. How could it finish so fast,and where does all that data disappear to?
You’d probably end up blaming your service provider for this!
What you may not know is that, your phone can use data without you even knowing about it. There are apps which run quietly in the background, eating up not just data, but your phone’s battery life as well. It’s not entirely only what you use it on.
That’s the bad news. The good news is, we’re here to help you minimise the chances of this happening, and to tell you how to extend your data quota. Here are a few top tips which have been tried and tested:
Restrict App Background Data
Background data consumption has its pros and cons. The pros would be that your apps will be automatically updated whenever an update becomes available; the con is that your apps can be running even when your phone isn’t in use. Not all your apps need to have access to data 24/7—so you’re better off restricting it. To do this, go to settings > apps. You will get a list of all the apps on your phone. Once you click on one of them, you get info about how much foreground and background data it uses. The foreground data is what’s consumed while the app is open. Background data is well, the opposite. Deselect the ‘Allow background data usage’ option, and you’re good to go!
Disable Autoplay For Video
Videos consumes a ton of data – perhaps the majority of your data consumption.
Facebook and Twitter tend to autoplay videos as you scroll. As we all know, videos take up a lot of data, especially if it plays every time you pass one on social media.
Thankfully, this is customisable. Go to the apps’ settings for two other options: choose to autoplay videos only over wi-fi connections, or never autoplay videos. We’d recommend the latter.
Adding to that, you can also lower video resolution on YouTube (set YouTube videos to 360p or less!) and watch more videos for the same amount of data!
Set Data Limits
Setting a data limit helps you keep tabs on how much you consume: and you get a notification or warning whenever you are about to reach your limit.
To do this, go to your settings > connections > data usage on your Android device.
You can also choose to enable a data saver option, and see which apps use most of your data.
Use Offline Functions
When you have the option to ‘watch offline’ or save an offline webpage, use it! Try limiting what you stream while using data as well—watching music videos or trailers can consume way more data than expected. If you really want to stream something, disable the high-quality option.
Adding to that, you can use Google Maps offline as well. You need to download the map beforehand though, so do that while you’re in a wi-fi zone. The map you downloaded can be saved for up to a month. Simply tap on the menu option (the three bars on the top left of your screen), and then select ‘offline maps’. From there, click on the ‘select your own map’ option, and then zoom in/out to pick the area you want to save.
Use Chrome’s Data Saver Mode
Google created a data saving mode for Chrome, and says it saves as much as 70% of your data.
They say it’s faster and cheaper to access, and operates by removing most of the images while the page loads, or when your connection is being slow. However, you can opt to view all or an individual image once the page loads, by tapping on it.
To enable data saver mode, go to Chrome’s menu, then settings > data saver.
So there you have it! Five simple yet effective hacks to maximise your data usage. Use them responsibly and happy surfing!
Cover image courtesy: Pixabay