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Most of the people reading this use an Android or iOS smartphone for their daily needs. With the content on the Internet becoming richer with images and video each day, everyone is scared of finishing up the limit on their data allowance pack. Unlimited data packs are unfortunately a myth in India and there is only so much you can browse in a given period of time, over the Internet that is.
Here is a list of nifty tips and tricks that will help you optimize your data usage patterns and get the most out of your Internet browsing, even if it involves viewing cat GIFs.
With Full HD and 4K resolutions being the norm for smartphone cameras nowadays, a minute of footage can consume upto 400MB of your storage space. So, the biggest pro tip of all is not posting/uploading any such image and video on to the Internet, when you are not connected to your Home or Office WiFi.
Recently, Google launched the feature of offline Maps on their Google Maps service, something that was announced at Google I/O 2015. With this addition, you can now download the complete maps, including step-by-step directions, for specific areas or complete cities. All you need to do is download a relatively small file of your preferred area and you can then access directions, even when offline. Real-Time updates won't be available though.
It is a widely known fact that the native Android app is not exactly the most battery-friendly app on your smartphone. With 24/7 background app refreshes, Facebook takes up a lot of your data allowance. Best option here would be using its web app. Simply access your browser (preferably, Chrome) and open the Facebook website, click on Add To Home Screen in the Overflow menu and, voila, the web app is now on your homepage.
If the Chrome browser s your default browser for all the browsing and streaming needs, compressing webpages on it might help a lot. Launch Chrome, go into Settings and click on Data Saver. Toggling this option to Active will initiate compressing of all further Chrome web pages. Results show that almost 30-35% data usage is saved with this simple trick.
A lot of games and other applications nowadays require an active internet connection to operate, even if they aren't actually using it all the time. They require it for downloads that might occur at different intervals. If you are into such games it isn't exactly great news for your data plan as games like Asphalt 8 and Real Racing may automatically download updates, that go upto 800MB, while you are not connected to a WiFi network.
By default, the Google Play Store has a setting of auto-updating all the apps that are present on your Android smartphone. This leads to frequent downloads when you are using your data pack. For getting rid of this annoying feature, go into the Settings tab of the Google Play Store and click on Auto-Update Apps. From here you can select whether you wish to auto-update only on WiFi or not update at all.
Music streaming services including Apple Music, Spotify and Wynk are extremely popular currently due to their nature of providing most songs at great convenience. Although, great news for the lazy bums in us, these applications take up a lot of the data allowance, especially when songs are streamed in HD quality. To prevent this, you can download songs on your smartphone beforehand so that there is already an offline database when you get the urge to listen to songs on the go.
The default app for Android, GMail, is on auto-sync and push mail mode and that is one of the features that most users like, keeping them updated in real-time. While highly convenient, this feature may lead to high data usage when not needed. When you are expecting a lot of mails to arrive or just want to restrict data usage on the go, just go into the Settings menu for Gmail and unselect the Sync Gmail option.
With Facebook rolling out the Autoplay video feature last year, majority of people and pages on Facebook have started publishing more and more of video content. If you are a heavy social media user and browse multiple times, when on the go, you should disable the auto-play mode to restrict excessive data usage on the smartphone. Simply go into the App Settings for the Facebook app and toggle settings from the Video Autoplay tab.
If you are tired of repeating the practice of going over your data allowance every time, it's time to monitor all this usage keenly. Apps like MyDataManager help you track the amount and pattern of data packets that specific apps are using. It even categorizes the proportion of background usage that these apps so that you can manage and restrict the same. The app also notifies you when you go over your preset data limit, giving you warnings as you get closer.