By Joyce Reyes-Aguila
These days, we only need a gadget (or two) and connectivity to accomplish a myriad of tasks. We feel almost omnipotent as we are able to pay bills, buy and sell items, get a ride, monitor the news, and remain active on multiple social media sites while sitting in a corner. The good feeling stays — until we notice the lower speed when we surf or when the phone bill arrives. Unlike the endless list of things we want to do, we sooner or later realize that our access to mobile data is limited.
Data plans come in different packages these days. And even after careful decision-making in choosing the best arrangement that is most suitable to our needs, we end up watching more videos or downloading to our heart’s content. We have gone from budgeting text messages and phone call credits to obsessively monitoring mobile data usage. For, yes, you can (and should) manage your cellular data use every month. And by doing so, you will be able to maximize your mobile plan and stay within limits. Go on and see if these will do the trick:
1. Accredit the culprits.
Some apps consume more data than others. You can identify which ones demand more from your data plan by going through the list of apps you have on your phone. The settings of phones allow you to view just how much every app consumes. For example, a social media site can consume 3.26 GB of data while a game you love playing only takes up 205 KB from your plan. Turn off apps that you do not use often (or at all) to help you save some megabytes on your phone.
2. Get lost in some apps.
Location services eat up lots of cellular or 3G data. The best practice some have developed is to only turn on their location settings when needed. On iPhones, for example, users have an option to set their preference per app as far as letting it know where they are is concerned. They can choose if they want it always on, available only while using, or never at all.
3. Allocate appropriately.
Are there apps that you use solely for work? An example could be one that offers free text messaging and calls that you use to keep in touch at work only. Multiple communications apps certainly add to our data usage. So for ones that you minimally use, set its settings to low data usage. Go to the settings of an app and search under the call settings and look for the option that enables you to do so.
4. Manually check your e-mail.
And by this we mean swiping to update your inbox. Review your settings. It may be allowing your e-mail to fetch new messages automatically. Doing so helps you save some data usage and gives you power, to a certain extent, to choose when to be updated at work.
5. Attend to App Updates.
By now, many of us have realized that it’s never good to let apps do as they please with our data usage. If they are freely able to install updates without you being aware, it’s time to take control of things. Automatic app updates consume many MBs of data from your plan. Opt to update your updates when you are connected to your home Wi-Fi to also maximize your plan there.
6. Stream on Wi-Fi.
Videos and music on-demand are nice to have but they also use a lot of data. You can opt to enjoy these with Wi-Fi connection instead. If you have already developed a habit of accessing these with your data plan, you can invest on apps that allow you to listen to music even when you are offline.