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Smartphones can access Internet through mobile data connection, but data plans can be very expensive and it is very easy to hit your limit. Check out the 12 ways to trick your Android device into using less data.
1. Update Applications via Wi-Fi Only
Some applications may update itself with an Internet connection, which can eat away your data limit. Launch the Google Play Store app and select "menu > settings > auto-update apps." This will ensure that "auto-update apps over Wi-Fi only" is active. If you want to manually update your applications, select "do not auto-update apps."
2. Configure In-App Data Syncing Settings
There are applications which constantly update their contents if an Internet connection is available. For example, Google+ app automatically updates the contents such as photos and videos which will consume data limit. Manually configure applications to prevent automatic updates of contents.
3. Restrict Background Data
Background applications may continue to be active even you have manually configured in-apps settings. Go to "settings > data usage > scroll down to see apps using data." The first pie indicates the "foreground" which refers to data consumption when used actively while the other pie represents the "background" which reflects the data used when the app is running in the background. You can select "restrict background data" which completely blocks update of all applications.
4. Preload Contents from Streaming-Apps
Whenever you are online via Wi-Fi, use it to download contents called pre-loads. Pre-loading contents in advance while on Wi-Fi saves it for later use without taking data limit. YouTube and Google Maps can do pre-load of contents.
5. Download Files on Wi-Fi Only
Do not download songs, videos any other large files via mobile data connection, unless necessary. Downloading multimedia apps or huge files will consume a lot on your data limit. Perform any downloads if your device is connected to a Wi-Fi.
6. Cache Maps
You can save some parts of an area using the Google Maps through cache maps. Download the cache maps using a Wi-Fi connection and the next time you open the area, you do not need a mobile data connectivity just to see details again. This is highly advised before travelling.
7. Change Account Sync Settings
During the initial setup of your Android device, all of the accounts you have added such as Gmail are synced automatically which consumes data whenever an Internet connection is active. Go to "settings > accounts > select an account" and uncheck all items you do not want to be synced automatically.
8. Switch off Syncing
For users who are depending on automatic syncing of all account contents, you can switch off the auto-sync function by using one toggle. Go to "settings > data usage > uncheck auto-sync" or create a "power tool/tools" widget on your home screen which may include auto-sync toggle.
9. Compress Data Usage on Browsers
Web browsers can be data-hungry agents on your Android device which is normal. But some Web sites have optimisation on mobile devices that eat less on your data limit while others do not care what agent is browsing and bombards your device with bulky ads. Use the "data compression" or "reduced data usage" feature on your mobile browser to compress Web pages that significantly reduces download size.
10. Monitor Your Data Usage
Do not forget to monitor your data limit to prevent additional charges on your monthly bill. Go to "settings > data usage" and check if you are close on reaching the limit. If this step is troublesome, download a third-party application which monitors it for you while supports widget for easy and quick access.
11. Compress All Data Activity
Use data savings app from the Play Store to further compress Web pages and download size. One suggested app is the Onavo Count which offers 5x more of your data limit due to compression and save up to 80 per cent in roaming.
12. Manual Log Out
Aside from reducing background applications in the RAM and data consumption, manually logging out of accounts or apps such as Facebook also saves more energy. If you don't rely on auto-syncing and prefers a computer to view social apps, log out all applications you can to save mobile data count.
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