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How can you limit the app data usage on your phone?

Digital lifestyle
How can you limit the app data usage on your phone?
Digital lifestyle

Using Netflix, Instagram or WhatsApp apps on your phone? Learn how to lower the app data usage and make your phone credit last!

With a mobile internet plan you can usually only use a certain amount of GB per month of data, before you need to recharge mobile data. How fast phone data is used depends on what you do with your phone or tablet when you are on the Internet. Just looking up a website or a factoid via Google uses few data. Watching a long video on Netflix or on Youtube uses up more MBs. Using apps on your cell phone also increases the amount of data used. The amount of app data usage varies from app to app. Let’s find out more.
By being aware of your app data usage, you can save on your mobile data. If you have a prepaid cell phone plan it is of course important to use as little data as possible. How can you see how much data you are using with certain apps?

How do you check the app data usage on an Android phone?

If you don’t have unlimited app data usage (and therefore need to reup your prepaid phone more often if you use a lot of app data), it’s useful to know how you can check your app data usage. On an Android phone it is easy to keep an eye on your app data usage. You can do this with the following steps:
  • Go to the Settings of your Android phone.
  • In the settings, go to “network and internet” and tap mobile internet. Here you can see how much data you have used this month; Want more detailed information? Tap ‘Data usage from app’;
  • You’ll see a graph with your app data usage for specific apps.
  • Below the graph, you can see which apps consume the most data.
This allows you to take into account the use of certain apps if you want to watch your app data usage on your Android phone. In the Settings of your phone, you can also set an alert under “mobile internet” when you go to “Data alert and limit”.
Have you set this up? Then your phone will give you a signal when you’re close to using up the data on your Android phone for the month. Handy! So you know how you are doing with your app data usage.

How do you check your app data usage on an iPhone?

Of course you can also check your data usage per app on an iPhone. You can even indicate per app whether you want the app to consume data only when you are on WiFi. This prevents your precious data from being used by apps when you are on a 3G or 4G network. How do you check data usage on an iPhone? Follow these steps:
  • On your iPhone, go to the Settings app.
  • On your iPhone, go to Settings.
  • Tap Mobile network and scroll down
  • You will now see a list of all the apps on your iPhone.
Under each app you have installed you will see the data usage of the app on your iPhone.

Which apps consume the most data on your Android phone or iPhone?

Using internet apps costs data. When you don’t want to pay too much and choose a cheap sim-only prepaid phone plan, it is useful to take into account your app data usage. But which apps on your phone consume the most data? And how can you use your IPhone or Android apps and use less data? Do you also like to watch an episode of your favorite Netflix series on your phone while on the go? You are not the only one! So first, let’s take a look at the Netflix app data usage.

How much data does Netflix use on your phone?

How much data you use on your phone with the Netflix app depends on the video quality you’re watching. Do you like to watch your Netflix movies and series at the highest quality? Then watching them will cost you more data (mb’s). Are you watching Netflix on your phone with the default settings? Then you can count on a Netflix data usage of about 0.33GB per hour. Apps for streaming services on your phone have a high data usage when you want to watch TV. Do you prefer the video quality to be higher? Then you use more data with Netflix. Some examples of the Netflix data usage on an Android or iPhone:
  • Video quality of Netflix low: Consumption per hour: 0.3 GB
  • Video quality of Netflix medium: Usage per hour: 0.7 GB
  • Video quality on Netflix high: Usage per hour: 3 GB
  • Video quality on Netflix Ultra HD: Hourly usage: 7 GB
So how much data Netflix data usage you’ve got on your phone depends mainly on the quality you set for watching Netflix. Fortunately, there re ways to make sure that your phone uses less data with Netflix.

How to limit your Netflix data usage?

These days it is possible to download episodes of your favorite show on Netflix. Do this as much as possible before you leave a Wifi zone. This way you can download episodes or movies without using a lot of phone data. Are you on the road and want to watch Netflix? Then simply select the episode you downloaded for yourself. It’s that simple. You can now watch without much Netflix data usage on your phone.

Lower your Netflix app data usage with Wifi

Are you staying at someone’s house, are you at work or are you staying in a hotel? Make good use of the (free) Wifi Network and turn off 3G or 4G on your phone before you use the Netflix app. That way you won’t use any data from your phone plan.
Go to the Netflix app settings on your phone and lower the video quality of Netflix before you want to watch a series or movie in the Netflix app. This way you will use less app data and will still be able to watch movies and series just fine. Besides Netflix, there are of course more popular phone apps that use up a lot of data, including WhatsApp.

How much data does WhatsApp use on your phone?

WhatsApp app data usage on your phone starts as soon as you open the app. It depends on what you use your WhatsApp for the most. Do you do a lot of video calling? Or do you send and open a lot of videos and photos? Then you can count on your WhatsApp data usage to be high. The average WhatsApp app data usage is around 6 GB per month. Do you do more than reading and sending messages? Then your WhatsApp app data usage on your Android phone or iPhone is probably higher.
WhatsApp automatically backs up the messages, photos and videos you view, receive and share through the application. This is another way in which the WhatsApp app uses data. And occasionally WhatsApp performs an automatic update. This update is downloaded automatically. All in all, the data usage of WhatsApp can be significant. This is especially noticeable when using a prepaid SIM card.

Reduce your WhatsApp data usage

In the WhatsApp settings, you can set the automatic download of pictures and videos to download only when you are on a (free) Wifi connection. This will save you a lot of call credit and data. The following tips will help you reduce your WhatsApp data usage:
  • Lower the call quality in WhatsApp slightly. You can do this in the Settings of the WhatsApp app. With this, you may experience the occasional background hum during a call. Or the picture may be a little less sharp during a video call. Don’t mind that? Then lower the quality of your calls in the Call settings. This is how you lower your WhatsApp app data usage.
  • You can turn off automatic conversation backups in WhatsApp’s Settings and Conversation settings. Or; set the Chat Backup settings to only performing a backup during a connection to Wifi.

How much data does Instagram use on your phone?

Browsing around on Instagram uses a lot of data. An hour of checking what your friends are doing quickly results in an Instagram data usage of about 100 MB. That’s an average of 3 GB per month. In other words, the app data usage of Instagram on your phone is higher than that of streaming music on your phone.

Why is Instagram’s app data usage so high?

One of the reasons for Instagram’s high app data usage is the fact that the app immediately starts loading videos after opening. This allows the app to play the videos in your timeline faster. Do you have a prepaid phone? Then you will notice that your data will run out faster if you are on Instagram a lot (and not via a Wifi network).

How can you lower Instagram’s app data usage?

Would you like to browse around on Instagram at your leisure without worrying about your Instagram app data usage? Then you can change Instagram’s settings to use less data. When changing this setting, Instagram will not start loading content automatically as soon as you use the app. This is how you do it:
  • Open the Instagram app
  • Tap the profile button on the bottom right
  • At the top, select the cogwheel to open the settings
  • Open the menu option ‘Mobile data usage’
  • Enable the option ‘Use less data’
And…try to use Instagram as much as possible when you are on a Wifi network with your Android phone or with your iPhone. This way, just like with the Netflix data usage, you can avoid using too much costly data from your phone plan.

A very quick top up for your phone data

Do you want to continue using WhatsApp as usual? Then it is useful to know that you can top up your phone and data anytime, from anywhere within 30 seconds. You can do that quickly, safely and easily online here, for all operators such as AT&T, Movistar and Simple Mobile. You’ll receive the call credit code in your mailbox in less than a minute. So you can always call and surf the net, even with high app data usage.



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Written by

Ravian Ruys