We have all been there, getting the text message that saying we are dangerously close to going over our data for the month. If you do not subscribe to an unlimited data plan, this is a constant battle in this smartphone era. But which popular apps are the biggest culprit for eating all of your data? It should be no surprise that a majority of the data leeches are social media apps. Luckily, there are ways to curtail data usage for these apps.
As much as we love to fire off insults to one another in the cesspool that is Twitter, constantly checking and refreshing the app results in constant data use. Similar to other social media apps, Twitter has an auto play feature for their videos. Merely scrolling pass a video will prompt it to play, which is a death sentence for your data. Simply change the data settings in the Me tap and switch video auto play to Never or Wi-Fi only.
Another one of horsemen of the data apocalypse, Facebook operates similarly to Twitter regarding their video auto play features. Changing the options to only play videos when you are connected to Wi-Fi is a crucial step in conserving your data. You can change the feature by selecting account settings then selecting videos and photos and finally choosing the never auto play videos options.
Of all the social media platforms out there, none relies more heavily on pictures and videos like Instagram. However, as you might have guessed, there is a way to minimize the effects these pictures and videos have on your data. For IG, you can find a setting called cellular data use which can be found in your profile settings. Once there activate the use less data option and this will stop the app from preloading videos.
Perhaps one of the best apps out there, Spotify’s library of music comes at a price in the form of your data. However, you can combat this by downloading albums for offline use. Granted, you trade off storage space on your phone for saving data when you play this game, but rarely does using storage result in a higher bill. Once you have selected the album or songs to be available offline, you will no longer be streaming them when they are played.
YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, HBOGo/Now
It should be known by now that video streaming is the chief offender for data usage. As much as we love to watch videos of cats jumping from cucumbers or diving into an episode of Stranger Things, it’s best to do that when connected to a Wi-Fi network rather than streaming while on the subway. Similar to the social media apps, these streaming apps also have a Wi-Fi only video play back or settings that reduce the quality of video.
Virtually Any Fantasy Sports App
For those who partake in fantasy sports should be aware of the potential pitfalls of using the app has on your data. Most apps these days have a live scoring feature that gives the user up to the second scores for the players on their fantasy team. Pretty cool feature, but that constant stream of updates drains your data. Be sure to check infrequently or use a Wi-Fi network to see how your team is doing.
It should be apparent that the safest route you can take when enjoying these apps, or any app for that matter, is use your Wi-Fi whenever it is available. Also, it is a good practice to always look at the user settings and see if you can adjust anything that can limit the app’s usage rate. Your data and your wallet will thank you in the long run.