Tweak your apps to use less data when you’re on the move

With apps using more data and limited data plans, it's easy to hit the limit

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Many popular apps are making a move to the cloud, and streaming apps like Netflix, NowTV and Spotify can be quite data-intensive. When using a WiFi connection there’s no issue with maxing out usage on these apps, but a mobile connection is an entirely different ballgame. Take a look at our tips to use less mobile data and make the most of the data you have available.

Update apps on mobile data only

Downloading a single app will use around 20MB of your data, and around three times as much if downloading a game. With this in mind, it’s important to restrict when you download apps, and keeping it WiFi-only. Luckily, there’s a simple way to do this.

Change your settings to download apps only on WiFi

Update your apps on iOS (left) and Android (right) over WiFi to save mobile data.

For Android users

Open the Google Play Store, open the menu and click on Settings. Within the Settings menu, click on Auto-update apps and select Auto-update apps over Wi-Fi only.

For iOS users

From your home screen, open the settings menu and click on iTunes & App Stores. Once there, drag the Use Mobile Data slider to the left to disable it.

Check video quality settings

Streaming apps use up a lot of data, so if you do plan on streaming on the go, it’s worth tweaking the settings to avoid losing your month’s allowance in a single day.

Adjust the settings on NowTV and Netflix

Adjust the settings for Netflix (left) and NowTV (right) to reduce your mobile data usage.

Stream over Wifi with NowTV

To avoid any accidental spurts of data use, Netflix, NowTV (right) have a setting that allows you to watch your favourite shows only when connected to a WiFi network. To enable this setting, navigate to My Account and swipe the Wi-Fi only slider to the right

Adjust your settings with Netflix

When using the Netflix app (left) on a mobile device or tablet, to limit your data usage you can either limit your account to watch on Wi-Fi only or choose a lower video quality to save data. To do this, access the app settings in the menu and choose your type of celular data usage. This ranges from off to higher definitions, which may use over 1GB of data per hour.

Restrict Chrome data usage

Change your Chrome settings to save data

Google Chrome’s data saver can reduce the app’s usage by 35%

Depending on how much you use your browser, this may or may not have a significant effect – but every little counts, right? If you’d like to see your browser (Chrome specifically) use less data, open the settings menu by clicking on the three dots in the right-hand corner. Then scroll down and turn Data Saver on. This nifty little trick can help you save up to 35% of your data!

Cache App data

Cache maps to save data on the go

Cache frequently used maps to use offline

Caching – which means pre-downloading – data on apps can save you data when on the move, so keep an eye out for it.

Google Maps

Open the menu and select the Offline Maps menu item. In the next page, you can create your own maps, but also enter the settings to choose whether you want to download maps over Wi-Fi only, update preferences and storage options. This can be an excellent option if you don’t have much data available on your phone and use Maps a lot.

Spotify

Spotify offer a similar caching service by allowing you to download songs – but only if you have the premium subscription. To do this, open the Settings pane and select offline mode to listen to your downloaded songs on the go.

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