Most mobile carriers has apps you can install on your smart devices to keep track of your mobile usage. But how do you know they are not cheating you? For all operating systems, be it Android, Apple or Windows Devices – there are easy steps to check your data usage and to set a limit. These limits help you stay away from those horrendous out-of-bundle rates. Here are a few videos and step-by step guides below that will guide you for each Operating System. If you wish to manage your data usage with even more details, you can always install a nifty 3rd party app, for example My Data Manager is especially useful for iPhone / iPad.
Apple iPhone / iPad
Android: Step by Step
- First go to Android settings, either from the Apps menu or pulling the information header down. The icon for the settings is a gear wheel.
- Under the Wireless & Networks tab, select Data usage.
- You can now select the period to investigate. This is called the usage cycle.
- Set this cycle to the same cycle your mobile operator use to invoice. You can get this information from your bill or contact their call centre.
- If you want, you can control and set limits for data usage. This can help you stay out of those ridiculously pricey out-of-bundle rates for data. You can also set up a warning limit that will notify you that you have reached this limit.
- You will notice a red bar and orange bar appearing on the screen. The red bar is the data limit, your phone will cut off data usage completely when this limit has been reached. The orange bar is a warning limit. The phone will warn you when data usage has reached the limit of the orange bar, but will still allow mobile data to be consumed.
- By dragging the red and orange bar, you can set these limits. When the data usage hits the red, you will only be able to access data (internet) via Wifi connections and not 3G/4G mobile data until the next cycle, unless you change these limits again in the settings.
The screenshots are courtesy of http://blog.laptopmag.com/
iPhone / iPad Step by Step
The iPhone and iPad do not have the same settings as the Android to set warnings and limits. However it is possible to see how much cellular data has been used in a period. Also, an awesome inherent feature which iPhone / iPad has, but not Android, is the ability to turn on / off mobile data for each app individually on your device. It also shows you, just like Android, the amount of cellular data each app has consumed. Here is a few tips / steps to help you reduce your mobile data usage and keep an eye on how much has been consumed in a period.
- Check data used. To see how much data has been consumed in a period, you should open the settings app and go to the Cellular category. The screen will display the amount of data used. Note that the period do not automatically reset such as in Android, but you should reset it manually on this screen at the beginning of your cellphone contract cycle every month. I know, a bit of a slept. The My Data Manager app has these automatic, if that is what you are after.
- You can see which apps are the biggest culprits and restrict them from using your valuable data. These apps will only use data on WiFi networks. A great inherent feature of iPhone / iPad is to restrict data per app.
- When you see that you are at your limit, you can always disable cellular data completely. And remember that data roaming prices overseas can be as high as R25 per MB or more! Always turn off mobile data and roaming when abroad.
- Apps can automatically download and update in the background, leaving you blind to its activities. This can not only cause unknown cellular data usage, but can also be bad for battery life. You can disable background app refresh in order for the app to only use data when it is actually opened by you.
- Last, but probably most important. Another BIG data consumption can be email services, especially when it is allowed to automatically download massive attachments. Since you rarely need all your attachments available on your device, it is best to set the device up to only download the attachments when you open the email. This will save huge amounts of data and valuable storage space!
The screenshots are courtesy of http://www.howtogeek.com/