Apple's iPhone has come along way but the one thing that still sucks is mobile phone data and just how expensive it's here in Australia. Not everyone has unlimited cellular data. If you’re on a particularly small phone plan with Vodafone,Telstra, Optus etc things can be even worse for you. Like that latest snap-chat fails to send -bad. Or maybe you’re just 1 days away from your next billing cycle and you don’t want to be stung $10 for an extra Gb. Here are some handy ways to reduce your mobile data usage using the latest iOS 10 release.
1. Disable Auto play Videos Settings Everywhere
This is a massive data saver because an app like Facebook by default auto-plays videos even when you’re on cellular data. Before doing anything else disable auto-play videos for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Follow these steps below.
Facebook: Tap the “More” tab, select “Settings” -> “Account Settings” -> “Videos and Photos” -> “Video Settings” -> “Auto-play” and either select “On Wi-Fi Connections Only” or “Never Auto-plays Videos”.
Twitter: From your profile view, tap the “Gear” icon, select “Settings” -> “Data” -> “Video Autoplay” and then either choose “Never play videos automatically” or “Use Wi-Fi only”.
Instagram: From your profile view, tap the “Gear” icon on the top, select “Mobile Data Use” and toggle the “Use Less Data” option.
2. How Much Data Are Each Of Your Apps Actually Using?
Navigate to the “Cellular” option in the Settings, and by browsing through all the apps you can see how much data they’ve used- prepare yourself for some surprises.
Find the high use apps that you can make do without; disable their access to cellular data. If you need, you can come back and enable it later on.
3. Disable Cellular Data for Apple iCloud
If you use iCloud Drive for backing up files and data from apps, you should check to see if the “Use Cellular Data” in “iCloud Drive” section of the Settings app is turned on or not. Some apps might be backing up data on 4G without you knowing.
4. Disable Automatic Downloads
The Automatic Downloads option is going to be one of the biggest killers of your data plan. In the Settings app, go to “iTunes and App Store” and make sure “Use Cellular Data” option is disabled.
This means you won’t be able to download new app or automatically update them when on cellular data. Just wait until your home or at work and connected to Wi-Fi to save dollars every month.
5. Disable Wi-Fi Assist
When it came out, this sounded like a great idea- BUT its eats all your data. In theory, Wi-Fi Assist feature is supposed to “assist” your browsing when Wi-Fi becomes spotty, using Cellular Data to fill in the ups and downs.
But turns out, if you have a really spotty connection this could be that even big stuff like downloads and updates over data. Worst of all, you wouldn’t even know about it.
Thankfully, in the latest iOS update, Apple now tells a user how much data Wi-Fi Assist has used. But still it’s best to turn this feature off by going to “Cellular” -> “Wi-Fi Assist” inside the Settings app.
6. Disable Background App Refresh Settings
This feature is meant to make sure that your favourite apps launch instantly and sort of idle behind the scenes. The problem is that with apps like Facebook they keep refreshing in the background and download new updates. Updates you aren’t even viewing.
So go to “Settings” -> “General” -> “Background App Refresh” and turn it off for apps like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and more. You’ll end up saving more of your battery life as well.
7. Don’t Use Cellular Data For Apple Music
If you use Apple Music you might be streaming songs on cellular, taking up a lot of the data without you knowing. Go to “Music” section in the Settings app and select “Cellular Data“.You can either turn off the data, or you can only disable either streaming or downloads over cellular.
8. Take Care Of the Mail App
Depending on how you use your Mail app it can end up costing you a lot of your data plan. If your work depends on it then it’s worth it. But in some cases, it might be best to stop the Mail app from downloading stuff in the background altogether.
One way to do that is do to disable the Mail app’s Cellular Data and Background App Refresh rights, like we showed above.
Or you can go into “Settings” -> “Mail” and turn off the “Load Remote Images” option.
9. Use Chrome’s Reduce Data Mode
If you’re browsing heavy sites like Engadget, it’s possible to lose 5-13 MBs of data per page. Try using Google Chrome and enabling its “Reduce Data” feature from the settings. It turns the data through Google’s servers, compresses it and then sends it out to you (sites secured with HTTPS, like login pages, don’t go through Google). Another good option is Opera’s mini web browser.
10. Constantly Monitor Your Data Usage
Download and use your carriers data/usage app. Alternatively, use a third party app like DataMan Next or smartsapp. Tell these apps your billing cycle dates, data allowance and they’ll alert you when you’re about to max out.
11. Send Low Quality Images via Apple iMessage
If you send a lot of media via iMessage, you can turn on the “Low Quality Image Mode” option from the “Messages” section in the Settings app.
This will send a compressed version of the image instead of the full resolution. This feature is only available in iOS 10.
12. Just Turn Off Cellular Data All-together
The last tip is the most obvious! Simply turn off your data all-together! (aah but can you live like that?) Think about all the spare money you will have to spend of these must have protective cases for your iPhone!