Save your data: How to Take control of mobile data on Android and iPhone

Posted by amcink November 20, 2015 0 Comment 3294 views

App developers want you to have the best app experience possible.

How nice!

That means they typically want to run in the background and have unfettered access to your mobile data in order to ensure your newsfeed is always up to the second, that you’re the first to know when a friend has something funny to say via Snapchat. Etc. Etc.

How not so nice!

Simple ways to save on mobile data without sacrificing the experience

You can still have an amazing smartphone experience without paying through the nose for your cell phone data plan each month. You just need to be a little selective about which apps you allow to use your mobile data. Here’s what you need to do.

Cut data-hungry apps down to size

We’ve covered restricting background data; stuff that happens whether you’re actively using your phone or not. That will stem a lot of the mobile data bleeding. The next step is to take control of how apps access data when you are actively using them.

Following are a few simple examples for a few popular apps. First, check which of your apps are using the most data. In Android, open Settings menu, tap Data usage and you’ll find a ranked list in descending order of data used. In iOS, go to Settings app, tap on Cellular).

When you’ve got a sense of which apps are using the most mobile data, go into those apps individually, dig around in their respective settings menus and see what data-miser options are available to you.

Here are just a few examples.


Confine “autoplay” for videos to Wi-Fi only or turn it off entirely.


Turn off background syncing.


Turn on “vacation mode” so you only download and view the snaps you want to see.


Grab an offline reader and sync via Wi-Fi instead: Alien Blue on iOS, reddit Sync for Android.


Get a podcast catcher app that allows you to download via Wi-Fi. Pocketcasts is the best bet of those we’ve tried (Android | iOs

If nothing else, app updating at least can wait until you get home or to the office and in range of that sweet, sweet Wi-Fi.

So, if you do nothing else, turn off automatic updating using mobile data. Here’s how.


  1. Open the Play Store. Swipe in from the left to open the main menu.
  2. Tap Settings then choose Auto-update apps from the top of the menu.
  3. Select Auto-update apps over Wi-Fi only


  1. Open up the Settings app. Tap on iTunes & App Store.
  2. Under the Automatic Downloads heading, find Updates and tap the switch to turn it off (switch goes from green to grey).

    Those are but a few tips to help you save mobile data each month. Do you have your own data saving tip to share? We’d love to hear it in the comments below.

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