10 tips to help you use less mobile data on your Android smartphone

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[/blockquote]We like complaining to our carriers when our data bundles are depleted faster than we imagined. Unlimited data plans are so expensive and at times throttled that most of us have to live in fear of exceeding our monthly smartphone data allowance. But what if we told you that you could cut your mobile data usage in half in less than a minute? Well, Techjaja is not new to giving you tips on helping you reduce your data usage. We now have more new tips to help you do that. Here are 10 ways to help you use less mobile data on your Android smartphone.


1.Opera’s video compression comes in handy

Opera for Android browser has always come in handy when it comes saving data on mobile phone as they offer a very useful video compression option, which can save you a load of data especially if video watching is your daily bread.

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To use it, simply download the Opera browser, go to Settings > Data savings and tick the box that says Video compression. This setting not only saves you data, but also means that videos are more likely to load faster. Enjoy.

Opera video compression

2.Remove the Facebook app

Its more like a public secrete and we have written about it. The Facebook app by its self is not only a battery-hog but also won’t be kind on your data bundle not to forget its high resource use .  So why not replace it with something less demanding?

There are lots of other apps you can use as we have recommended before but many of those are just as hungry as the official version. Even Facebook Lite, which claims to reduce data consumption by 50 percent, still chews through hundreds of MB in a month, so stand warned.

So why not try Tinfoil for Facebook, which is simply a web app that displays the Facebook website (you can still get push notifications by using IFTTT and Pushbullet). Or you could simply create a Chrome shortcut in your web browser. Just open Facebook in Chrome, open the overflow menu and select Add to Home Screen.

3.Compress webpages using Chrome

For those who use Chrome for all your web traffic, this tip alone can save you 30-35 percent of your mobile browser data consumption. This browser comes with a Data Saver option that will help you compresses web pages before loading them in your browser. It should be noted that this feature can slow things down a bit, but you quickly get used to it and a moment’s delay is worth it when your data lasts so much longer.

To activate this feature, launch the Chrome browser, tap the three dots in the top right-hand corner, go down to Settings and then to Data Saver. Keep an eye on the graph to see your data savings accumulate.

4.Use offline apps and games

If there is an offline alternative to an app or a game you love most, we recommend you opt for those, as some apps and games require constant internet access to function: this can be simply a security measure or because they constantly need to retrieve and update data. There are some apps and games that don’t require internet access at all after the initial download. So look out for those.

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5.Avoid Streaming make use of your SD card

For those that are now hooked to media streaming services like YouTube, Apple Music, Vine and other video and music sites are huge data killers. If there’s a tune or album you’re constantly listening to at the gym or on the way to work, you’ll use much less data by loading it onto your phone and listening to it offline, than endlessly streaming it from the web. If your phone doesn’t have a micro-SD card or enough space in its internal memory for you to save music, you can use a microSD adapter. It is also a good idea to save music for offline listening.

6.Use Google Maps -Navigate offline

Google Maps can use up quite a bit of your mobile data if you’re not careful, but thankfully it is possible to use Google Maps offline. Just activate the feature in Google Maps and get saving.

7.Stop apps from performing background tasks

One way is save all that data from being wasted is by telling your apps (or the Android system itself) to restrict background data. Background data is all that internet traffic that goes on when you’re not actually using an app: email syncing, feeds updating, weather widgets and so on. You can also tell the Android system to restrict background data in Settings > Data usage > Restrict Background Data or for individual apps in Settings > Apps (depending on which version of Android you have). You can also change your sync settings for Google services in Settings > Accounts > Google > select the account and then un-check the services you don’t want to sync automatically.

8.Avoid sending heavy media

We all love to share those quick WhatsApp audio, video and high-resolution pictures. Note that a single minute of high-definition footage captured on a modern smartphone can take up as much as 200 MB of data. Single photos can easily exceed 40 MB. Don’t even think about uploading these to Facebook, or downloading pictures and videos from friends, unless your mobile data plan can handle it.

9.Disable auto-updating apps

Another huge drain of your data allowance comes from the occasional bout of Google Play app updating. If you have the Play Store set to auto-update apps, even over a data connection, this could be chewing its way through your allowance every month without you even knowing.

To check, go to the Play Store and swipe out the left-hand navigation drawer. Tap Settings and at the top, you’ll see Auto-Update Apps. Tap this and make sure you either have it set to ‘Do not auto-update apps’ or ‘Auto-update apps over Wi-Fi only’. To manage individual apps, go to My Apps, select an app and then tap the overflow menu to check, or un-check Auto-Update.

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10.Sort out all high consuming apps and remove/ limit them

In Settings > Data usage you can get a look at the apps which are consuming the most data both in the foreground and the background. This can be really useful for knowing which apps you should restrict.

Take WhatsApp, for example. On my phone, it has downloaded 70MB of media in the background. If I felt I didn’t use the app enough to justify that much data use, I could remove the app, limit how often it syncs or prevent it from downloading attachments, all of which would reduce data consumption. Some apps support turning off download or streaming of media over mobile data.


How do you manage your mobile data usage? Any other great tips to share? Let us know in the comments.