12 tips to curb data usage in Android

Here are 12 steps you can follow to track your data and lessen its effect on your — or your company’s — budget. (Note: Any tips that are specific to a particular version of Android will be noted.)

1. Diagnose your data usage

You have to understand a problem before you can fix it — so start by heading into your system settings and looking for the section labeled “Data usage.” Tap that line, then tap “Cellular data usage” on the next screen.

2. Battle unnecessary background trickles

Now that we know what’s eating through your mobile data, it’s time to start addressing it.

We’ll start by seeking out and limiting specific instances of unnecessary background data use. Social and news apps tend to be among the worst at this, as they often check in at regular intervals throughout the day in order to pull in new updates. You can opt to disable that behavior — and in most cases, you probably won’t notice much of a downside from doing so.

4. Compress your mobile web experience

Next up is an easy fix: Making your browser less of a data hog. Google’s Chrome Android browser has an option called Data Saver that routes pages through Google’s servers so they’re compressed when they reach you. It can save a significant amount of data and actually make your browsing faster, too.

5. Optimize your music apps

Got Google Play Music? Head into the app’s settings and look for the “Quality on mobile network” option. Try setting it to “Low” or “Normal” and then see if the more data-friendly audio quality is good enough for your ears.

While you’re in the settings, take a moment to confirm that the option for “Download only on Wi-Fi” is activated — and think carefully about the option to “Cache music while streaming.” That’ll cause the app to download every song while you stream it, which means the song will then be locally stored and won’t require any additional data if you listen to it again in the future.

By JR Raphael

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Three quick and easy ways to reduce data usage on your Android device

With shared or tiered data plans fast becoming the new normal, many of us will want to find ways to maximize the small pool of data we draw from. Though we typically don’t use more than 2GB monthly, there is a glass ceiling. After the limit, it’s usually pretty expensive to get past it.
You can maximize your data, though. With a few easy tricks, you might find yourself living comfortably in the field of data your carrier offers you. These tricks can also be helpful if you have a data throttling limit, where you get severely reduced speeds after a predetermined limit.

Bandwidth Management in Chrome

In Chrome, there is an opt-in for Bandwidth management. Doing so can greatly reduce the data you use within Chrome, saving you a ton of data. As you can see from the picture above, though I don’t use Chrome a lot while mobile, the reduction in data used is noticeable. To scale, that could end up saving you a lot of data, which counts against your plan.

If you’re not prompted to sign up for the service, go to Chrome > Settings > Advanced > Bandwidth Management. You should see an option for Bandwidth Management. If you don’t see the option, try downloading Chrome Beta — it’s definitely there.

Bandwidth Management Chrome AC2

 

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