For anyone on a limited data cell plan, data usage can get very expensive very quickly. Above-average charges typically cost several hundred dollars per month – and your phone is using data without your knowledge or proper configuration.
Matt offered a great starting point for saving mobile data: 5 smart ways to reduce data usage Saving Mobile Data: 5 Smart Ways to Reduce Data Usage If you have a limited mobile data plan, your bill may seem staggering. Is there an overage charge? How much? And why was so much data used? While the… Read more to reduce data usage. This article expands on the ideas Matt laid out. It details eleven tips for saving data, apps, configuration methods, and general strategies to keep your phone bill down.
#1 Manage mobile data with a widget
Turning off data and managing it manually using a widget remains the most effective way to keep data costs down. While using widgets is inconvenient, Android’s default operating system doesn’t provide a way to access the phone’s data connection. Therefore, a widget provides our only way to quickly manage data connections. I recommend Data ON-OFF because it is simple and easy to use.
In Android 4.0 and above, adding a widget to your home screen is very simple:
- Install Data ON-OFF and go to the app drawer.
- Select “Widgets” from the tab up.
- Find the widgets and drag them to your home screen. In older Android versions, you need to long press on the home screen to access your widgets.
# 2 Manage WLAN with a widget
Matt has already pointed out the need to use WLAN as often as possible, as this reduces data usage. However, it is often useful to quickly disable WLAN or other wireless features using a widget.
Stock Android offers a wireless management widget that lets you control five functions of your phone: (1) WLAN, (2) Bluetooth, (3) GPS, (4) sync, (5) screen brightness.
Just select “Widget” in the app drawer. Then select Power Switch and drag it to your home screen. When turning off Wi-Fi, also remember to turn it off Sync.
# 3 Find free wifi
Finding it for free, however, can be a hassle. Fortunately, MakeUseOf provides comprehensive information. Here’s how to get free wifi in almost any location. Here’s how to get free wifi in almost any location. Public wireless networks are becoming an increasingly popular way to attract people to a particular business or service One of the many ways in which free (or almost… more about where wifi flows freely.
# 4 Optimize your browser for limited data usage.
Simply go to the settings and then block images.
#5 Get Pocket
Another useful app for reading articles offline is Pocket. Pocket can store a very large number of articles in the phone memory for later offline use.
For more information on Pocket, check out James’ great article Pocket – The ultimate digital bookmarking service Pocket – The ultimate digital bookmarking service As Bakari reported earlier, Read It Later popular apps with which it was integrated – was discontinued and replaced… Read More .
# 6 The offline mode of JustReader
Of the RSS apps for Android, JustReader syncs best with Google Reader. In addition, it can be configured to work offline. I use it to download content while connected to wifi, and then pull it out when I’m not home.
Just open the app and go to the settings. Once you are in the settings, go to sync.
Pick mode then choose offline and you’re done. Once you connect to wifi, a copy of your Google Reader account will be saved on your phone from now on.
# 7 Google Voice instead of SMS
Google Voice lets you receive text messages over a data connection on your phone. Even the cheapest SMS plans charge outrageous amounts. Plus, the GV app allows you to transcribe voicemail, which saves on call minutes. You don’t have to check your voicemail often.
#8 Disable automatic syncing for all apps.
I strongly recommend disabling automatic account syncing for all Google services. Although the Gmail app uses a minimal amount of data, you can tremendously stop syncing all accounts and running them manually.
# 9 Do not use ad-supported apps. TIME.
Apps that are ad-supported not only drain battery and reduce performance, but also transmit data to ad banners that consume significant amounts of data.
In my experience, data usage adds up very quickly and without much warning, as some of these apps are launched at boot time and run in the background. A paid or completely free app is unlikely to suffer from such issues.
#10 Offline Wikis
I’ve already written about how offline wikis can help. Hitchhiking the Internet with Three Free Apps [Android] Anyone who has heard, seen, or read The Hitchhiker’s Guide The Galaxy remembers the guide of the same name, a source of far-ranging and questionable knowledge that saved or confused travelers time and again. They… Read more in out-of-the-way places. However, offline guides can also help those who want to save money on their cell phone bill. On the downside, my favorite app, Wiki Encyclopedia Offline – Free [no longer available], requires 3.5 GB of data on your phone.
# 11 Use a cloud browser
Browsers like Opera Mobile Optimize your mobile browsing with Opera Mini Browser Optimize your mobile browsing with Opera Mini Browser Read more, UC Browser, Maxthon, and Puffin all render images on a different server. Normally, when you visit a website, your browser downloads the images in full size, even though these images are displayed on a very small screen. The host server of a cloud browser receives this image and resizes it to fit your screen. This method saves both computing power and bandwidth.
While there are some privacy concerns with this technique, assuming you don’t visit sensitive websites, you don’t have to worry.
No one should have an unlimited data plan, except extremely intensive users.
Keep the following in mind: The average user consumes no more than 150 to 250 megabytes of data. However, his contract includes unlimited data usage yet never Uses. The average smartphone contract is between $60 and $80 per month. Why continue to overpay?
One way to cut costs is to switch to a limited data plan and customize the phone to use less data.