With Zimbabwe having the third most expensive data we all need to come up with cost-effective methods to reduce our consumption and preserve data for when we need it on our phones.
Here are 12 ways to reduce your data consumption:
1. Disable Auto-Updates:
Many people are often victims of either their phone or applications auto-updating without them knowing. Nowadays phone software updates roll out at over 1GB (iOS 10 was 1.1GB), and some applications over 100mb (my last LinkedIn update on iOS was 211mb just yesterday). Such data consuming updates can literally knock your data allowance out cold. The best way to deal with this is to switch auto-updating off.
- Go to Play Store
- -> Settings
- -> Select Auto-Update Apps
- -> Choose either Do not auto-update apps/Auto-update apps over wifi only.
- Go To Settings
- -> iTunes & App Stores
- -> Either Disable all Automatic Downloads
- -> or Disable “Use Cellular Data” (if you have wifi).
2.Restrict background data:
The easiest way to reduce data consumption is to tell your apps to not work in the background, simply switch them off and have them run only when you open them.
- Open up Settings on your device
- -> Locate and tap Data usage
- -> Locate the app you want to prevent using your data in the background
- -> Scroll to the bottom of the app listing
- -> Tap to enable Restrict background data
- Go to Settings
- -> Cellular
- -> Either Switch off Cellular Data
- -> or Scroll down to each App
- -> Switch off data usage for each app
3.Use data-compression Apps:
Data compression apps connect to a server and download data, the traffic is routed through a third-party server that compresses the data for you saving you you data. The services do not tamper with encrypted data so you can still use your email and mobile banking apps safely. However, the data may come to you a bit slower as the data does a roundabout through a third party server.
Some popular data-compression apps include:
- Opera Max: takes over control, routing all apps’ traffic through Opera’s servers so it can be compressed to save your data allowance, the app is only available on Android here.
ExtendProject: a data-compressing solution that works with all the apps on your phone, the app is only available on iOS here.
- Chrome‘s Reduce Data Usage Feature: This feature only works in Chrome, so you’ll only get the benefits of data compression when browsing with Chrome. The feature is only available on Android devices, so to turn it on
- Open the Chrome app
- ->Tap More Settings
- ->Under “Advanced,” tap Data Saver
- ->Switch the setting on
- Opera Mini: It works similarly to Chrome, compressing data only when browsing the web only with Opera. tap the O menu and check out the new High and Extreme data-savings modes, with Extreme savings mode you will get the same amount of data saving as before and the high savings mode shrinks webpages less aggressively than extreme mode, but it gives you a whole new browsing experience. There is an Android, iOS and Windows Mobile version available.
4.Ditch the App version and use your mobile browser
In the case of facebook, stay away from the app if necessary, use your mobile browser to go on the soical network instead. The facebook app consumes much more data that browsing it. Other data consuming apps include Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
5. Remove Auto Download on WhatsApp and stop Uploading pictures to Instagram!
If left to to run in the background and auto-download media is on, your whatsapp could consume a larger chunk of your data, especially if you are in quite few group chats. If left uncontrolled, you can end up with over 100 images you have no clue how you got.
To disable Auto Download on WhatsApp:
- Open WhatsApp
- ->Tap on Settings
- ->Tap on Chat Settings
- ->Next, tap on Media Auto-Download
- ->For each of the three options (Images, Audio and Videos), tap on it and pick from the three: Never, Wifi, WiFi and Cellular.
Uploading images is just as data intensive as downloading, sometimes waiting to share a moment can save you your data. Uploading images and video to whatsapp, instagram etc can be put on hold until you have enough data or Wifi.
If you have other ways of reducing data consumption please share with others.