There are good surprises, then there are the ones that manifest themselves as an unwelcome data charge on your monthly bill. Streaming media and sharing files all contribute to our ever-increasing consumption of mobile data so you’re probably left wondering how you’ll ever keep it under control.
I’m here to help! A big part of my job, in the Mississauga customer care center, includes helping customers manage their mobile data usage. Below are a few tips that I like to recommend.
Use WiFi while roaming
This might be obvious when you’re at home, but when you’re on the road, make use of WiFi whenever you can. Turn off your mobile roaming data (cellular data when local) in your device settings and leave your WiFi on. Using the TELUS WiFi Finder app is an easy way to search for public WiFi in your area.
Many establishments now offer free WiFi for their patrons, so don’t forget to ask restaurants, coffee shops, and hotels if they have it. Sneak in a latte and catch up on your social media feeds all at the same time. This includes but is not limited to Twitter, Facebook, live video chat, Snapchat, facetime, GPS, etc.
Speaking of GPS…did you know you can download an OFFLINE MAPS & NAVIGATION APP which will not use your phone data while enjoying the convenience of GPS? Totally awesome right?!
Close apps running in the background
Always close any apps or windows that you are no longer using. For example, if you check Facebook make sure you close it completely to ensure it is not running in the background.
Double click the Home button (or 3D Touch press the left side of the screen on iPhone 6s) to bring up the fast app switcher.
Swipe to the app you want to force quit.
Touch the app card and flick it up and off the screen.
Enable Google Chrome data compression (for Android)
We consume websites using our mobile browser without giving much thought to the amount of media that is hosted on our favourite websites. Often, this can result in hundreds of megabytes of data (or more!) being consumed without our knowledge. Here’s how to enable data compression for your Android Chrome browser:
Tap on the 3 dots in the upper right corner
Tap on Data Saver
Enable Data Saver
Select when to use iMessage
Apple's instant messaging platform uses Wi-Fi or your data plan (3G) to send both text and picture messages. iMessages can be sent between any Apple devices that have the iMessage app and are indicated by a blue text bubble.
If you are running low on data and unable to connect to WiFi, you can disable the iMessage and send it strictly as SMS.
Leveraging your device’s native data management tools
Not everyone is a tinkerer, so it may come as a surprise to you that both Android and iOS offer native settings to help you take control of how much data your phone uses. Check out these two how-to articles: