Here’s how to adjust your settings to curb data usage from this article:
- Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: Many social networking apps have the ability to auto-play videos as you scroll through your feed, which can use data quickly. If you find this happening in your favorite social app, head to the app’s settings and look for the auto-playing video option — set it to Wi-Fi only, or turn it off altogether.
App updates: It’s a good idea to keep your apps up-to-date, but letting automatic updates run wild on cellular data isn’t really necessary. On Android, open the Google Play Store, tap the three lines in the upper left corner, and head to Settings > Auto-Update Apps and choose Over Wi-Fi Only.
See which apps are using the most data. For Android software, open the Settings app and head to Network & Internet > Mobile Network > App Data Usage. (This location may vary depending on your phone — on Samsung devices, for example, you will find it under Settings > Connections > Data Usage > Mobile Data Usage.) You will see a graph of your data usage over the last month, along with the apps that have used the most data. If your billing cycle ends on a different day of the month (mine, for example, ends on the fifth), you can tap the gear icon to adjust the cycle date. You can also set an alert after a certain amount of data usage, so you aren’t caught off guard.
If the app in question doesn’t have a setting that does what you want, you may be able to limit it at the operating system level. Android users can tap on an app from the Mobile Data Usage screen to turn off background data.
Billing Cycle vs. "Current Period"
Your “current period” isn’t your current billing period. Instead, it is reporting all the data you’ve used since you last reset these settings. So if you haven’t manually reset them in a while (or ever), there is a good chance you aren’t getting useful information here. Scroll down to the very bottom, tap Reset Statistics and go about your life for another few days. Then you can come back to this screen and see which app is using the most data.
[Copied and edited from the NY Times article. The last bit here is my own advice.]
Finally, my advice for for travelers who buy a foreign SIM, you can avoid an incredibly large data swipe when Google decides to update all fifty apps one day. Don’t blow off that notification screen. It could be costly. I once unknowingly spent 18 euros simply allowing evil Google to update all my apps. Who knew? Turn off background updates as mentioned in the text above and do not forget to turn it back on, if that’s what you want, when you arrive back home after inserting your Republic SIM.
Dean in Dunedin
member since August, 2016
Moto G7 Play