How to Save Money and Use Less iPhone Data

If you’re on the road a lot, chances are that you use up a lot of data, and that could be costing you overage fees if you’re not careful. According to a survey of mobile data consumption in 2013 conducted by JDSU, iPhone 5s users (and iPhone users in general) are using up the most data compared to any other smartphone or tablet.

The survey examined data usage habits of over a million mobile subscribers using over 150 different mobile devices over a 24-hour timespan in Europe, and it was discovered that Apple flagship smartphone owners gobble up more data than anyone else. Using a lot of data can end up costing subscribers at the end of the month, whether it’d be in overage fees or the need to upgrade their data plan to account for more data.

iPhone data usage

This got us thinking. Aren’t there ways to try and reduce your monthly data usage without making a ton of sacrifices while out on the go? Indeed, there are. Let’s take a look at some simple tricks that you can pull in order to save yourself the embarrassment of overage fees.

Get on WiFi

One of the most effortless methods to save precious data is to simply jump on a WiFi network, whether that be at home, at work or at a coffee shop. You can watch all the YouTube videos you want without having to worry about using up your allotted data amount. However, if a WiFi network isn’t around, there are still a few settings that you can change to at least lessen the damage done to your data plan.

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Turn Off Cellular Access for Specific Apps

More than likely, most of your apps need to access the internet to download data and other information so that it’s up to date and can provide a better user experience. However, that requires the app to tap into your data allotment and go wild, and the damage can be pretty bad if it’s an app like Netflix or Spotify.

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However, you can easily disable these kinds of apps from connecting to the internet if you’re on a data connection. Simply open up the Settings app, tap on Cellular and then scroll down to the section titled Use Cellular Data For. You’ll see a list of the apps that you have installed and from there, you can disable any specific app from accessing the internet when you’re on a 3G or LTE connection.

Personally, I have the data-hogging apps disabled, including the App Store, Netflix, Spotify, Downcast and even FaceTime (because video chatting uses up a lot of data if you’re not on WiFi).

Disable Background App Refresh

On smartphones, apps can automatically refresh with new information, even when they’re not open and being used. This new information has to be downloaded, though, and if you’re not on a WiFi connection, the data used can add up quickly, depending on how many of your apps are refreshing in the background.

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However, you can disable this feature on specific apps. Simply open up the Settings app and navigate to General > Background App Refresh. You can flip the main switch at the top to completely disable Background App Refresh, or you can disable it only on specific apps. Disabling this feature also saves battery life, so it’s a win-win situation.

Disable Data Usage in Cloud and Photo Apps

While you can disable certain apps from using cellular data, it’s also a good idea to disable the feature inside of the app itself, if it provides such a setting. In many cloud storage apps and photo apps, you’ll find a setting that allows you upload files only over a WiFi connection or use a data connection if WiFi isn’t available.

It’s always safe to only allow uploads over WiFi, that way you’re not hit with any surprise overage fees when you’re next statement rolls out.

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