Nothing can strike fear into an avid smartphone user's heart quite like a text from their mobile operator saying that they have reached their data limit.
This means no cute Snapchats, no GIFs on Twitter or WhatsApp soundbites unless you are lucky enough to be constantly connected to Wi-Fi (which we all know is virtually impossible).
So how can we make sure we are using our mobile data to its full capacity and not wasting a drop of it? Here are Ding’s four simple hacks for maximizing your cellphone data:
Check your settings
Most smartphones are set to default settings when purchased but this may not always be the best settings for you. Your current settings could be optimized to use up your data surreptitiously without you even knowing.
If you are working with an iPhone, head to your settings and scroll to the ‘cellular’ section. Here you can see all your apps and which ones are draining your data. You might find there’s apps there you don’t even use so make sure you switch them off. This is especially important for the ‘photos’ app. By disallowing this app to use your data, you are ensuring that it only backs up to iCloud when you have a Wi-Fi connection.
Also on an iPhone, you can turn off Wi-Fi assist. This function automatically switches you to data when you have a dodgy internet connection.
If you are using an Android phone, the best thing you can do to preserve your data is to set a limit. This will notify you when you are getting close to hitting that limit so you can adjust accordingly. You can also switch most Android phones to ‘Data Saver Mode’ which will automatically switch all your apps to a mode in which they are using as little data as possible!
Watch those apps
Even if you have your settings set up perfectly to preserve precious data, over-usage of apps are the real drainer of data no matter how careful you are.
The worst offenders are apps that stream media: music apps, podcast apps and book apps drain your data anytime you go to stream content. If you plan on downloading a new book or podcast make sure you do so when you are connected to Wi-Fi.
Apps like Netflix and YouTube that stream video are also a surefire way to hit your data allowance hard. Also if you are planning on a road trip – apps like Google Maps drain data and battery.
Get outside help
If you are still at a loss as to why you are also going way over your data limit and have tried all of the above, there are some handy apps out there that can give you a hand tracking your data usage.
For iPhone you can try Smartapp which can help you track your data and see trends over monthly period. You can also set alarms when you hit certain data points. This app also suggests new data plans that might help you stay within your monthly limits.
For Android, there’s My Data Manger which you can easily find in the Play Store. This app easily allows you to track where your data is going and which app are the main culprits for draining it.
Shop around for better plans
If you have tried all of the above steps and cannot keep your data in check, you are probably on the wrong data plan.
Why not investigate all available operators and consider switching. Or present your issue to your current carrier and if you are a long-time customer they may consider increasing your data limit.
Alternatively, you can use top-up service providers to top-up your own phone or have someone else top it up for you. This credit or airtime can be used for calls, text and of course, data!
With Ding, you can use our handy app or website to send a top-up to your own phone which is an easy and efficient way to extend your data limit until your plan renews.
Or if you have very generous friends and family, you can get them to top-up your phone as well from anywhere in the world!
Whatever the reason for over-indulging on your data, you should be able to keep your mobile data in check even if it means sending one less cat GIF to your BFF.