Chances are that if you’re using a smartphone, you’ll have your WiFi turned on as often as you possibly can. This helps to keep data hogs (applications that use a ton of your monthly allotted mobile data) at bay. However, not everyone has the convenience of an Internet connection at all times, particularly while you’re out of the office. Here’s how you can limit the damage done by your favorite smartphone apps.
Many of the most common mobile apps include social media applications like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, while others are media-streaming services, like YouTube or Spotify. Social media apps are good for browsing here and there, while media-streaming is good for some quick entertainment while on the move. How can you effectively use these apps without sacrificing precious bytes of your mobile data plan?
If you check Facebook consistently throughout the day, you’ll notice that you might see videos in your news feed. These videos will automatically play if you don’t do something about it, and they will use even more of your mobile data. You can turn off autoplay, or limit it to WiFi only, by going through the settings. The path to this will vary depending on your device and mobile OS, but a good key feature to check for is either App Settings or Account Settings, and look for Autoplay. Then, make your choice for either Never Autoplay Videos or On Wi-Fi Connections Only.
Similar to Facebook, Twitter will autoplay videos unless you tell it not to. Select Settings > Data > Video autoplay, and select Use Wi-Fi only or Never play videos automatically.
The Instagram app preloads videos and photos so that they appear immediately and start playing in your feed. You can prevent this from happening by going through Settings > Cellular Data Use > Use Less Data.
YouTube won’t autoplay videos, but by nature YouTube will be a data hog if you choose to use it. You can reduce the amount of data that it uses when it doesn’t have access to a WiFi signal. Open Settings > Play HD on Wi-Fi only. If you’re using YouTube Music, you can also go through Settings > Stream via Wi-Fi only, which will further decrease usage.
If you use Spotify Premium on your mobile device, you can set albums or playlists to Available Offline in order to avoid using your mobile data to stream them. However, if you want to ensure that the Spotify app doesn’t accidentally use your mobile data for anything other than what you want it to use, you can go into its settings and check Offline. This will allow your device to only play songs that you’ve downloaded to your device.
Can you think of any other apps that are known to consume mobile data unbeknownst to users? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to subscribe to our blog for more great technology tips and tricks.