If you use your phone a lot, and stream music a lot, chances are that your data usage is off the charts. I have a few ways that you can cut back on that data usage, and none of these things are going to hurt your iPhone fun too much - but you will get a smaller cell phone bill, and that’s a good thing, right?
Tip 1: use WiFi whenever possible. This one might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many restaurants, public libraries, and cafes have WiFi. While most of those spots don’t advertise their WiFi, you can ask a nice server or the guy behind the bar what the password is. When it comes to public places like libraries, you usually don’t even need a password, just check for WiFi and log on (hint: you can usually pick up public WiFi when you’re standing outside of a building or simply near the building too).
Tip 2: Turn off that streaming music app. We all love the playlists that an app like Spotify offers, but it’s worth the upgrade price to purchase the better package, download a playlist, and go off of streaming. Trust me, you don’t want to be smacked with a seriously high data bill that’s a result of streaming your tunes everywhere you go. Spotify upgrades cost only $10 per month, but you’ll pay a lot more than that amount if you go over your data each month while happily streaming.
Tip 3: Use Opera Mini. If you find that you browse the Internet a lot, using Opera Mini will cut back on your data usage. This browser (iOS and Android) uses up to 90% less data, and Opera Mini also includes a small data bar that lets you see how much data you are using. Opera Mini also collects your browsing habits, though, so beware of that trade off.
Tip 4: No need to let go of Siri. Unless you use Siri for absolutely everything, you don’t need to worry about this virtual assistant. Studies show that Siri really doesn’t take that much data, but just don’t ask her everything, or you will breach that data cap.
Tip 5: Get a data tracking app. There’s an iPhone app called “Data Usage” that tracks how much data you are using each billing cycle. Further, you can plug in your data limits, how much you want to use, and other details. As soon as you are about to bust that line, the app will let you know that you’re about to reach your limit.
Getting Used to It
Coming from a serious music streaming addict, I know how hard it is to cut the streaming habit (because, let’s face it, that’s where most of your data overage comes from!). But like anything else, you will get used to not streaming or not using apps when you are not on WiFi. Think about all of those times you have traveled and didn’t use WiFi. What did you do? Chances are that you waited until you had WiFi to use an app, search for something on the Internet, or stream music, right?
Well, cutting back on your data usage is kind of like being on vacation - just wait until you have WiFi. Or, go the other route and download music to your phone by purchasing an iTunes card or through some other method. It’s hard, I know, but it’s a much better option than wondering how you’re going to pay your cellphone bill at the end of the month!
Got any good data saving tips?