With all the advantages that come with a smart phone, there are also some big disadvantages. The biggest is data usage. If you have an unlimited data plan this article is not for you. Here I will show you how to conserve it.
First lets hit the obvious one. Apps and cellular data in general. iOS has a setting that prevents apps from using data when on a cellular network. Great! Or so you think. There is a drawback. If you disable data over cellular you will not be able to send picture messages while on cellular or Wi-Fi. If you still want to turn off data over cellular, open Settings, General, Cellular. Next to “Cellular Data”, move the slider from ON to OFF. Do the same for “Data Roaming”.
Next let’s address iMessage. That’s right, iMessage for any and of the benefits it gives to messaging, it also has a dirty secret. It uses your data plan to send and receive instead of your carriers SMS (text messaging) plan. Many of us have unlimited text messaging (especially if there is a teen in the house), but not unlimited data. In this situation iMessage can work against you. Take control of iMessage by turning it off. Open Settings, Messages. Next to “iMessage”, move the slider from ON to OFF.
If you do turn it off and decide to turn it back on, you will have to sign back in to the Apple account used by iMessage, which could potentially be different from the account used for iCloud depending on how and when you set them up.
We’ve tackled the big ones, now lets look at a few others that could potentially run your data usage up unknowingly.
The next one that can cause some pain is the automatic download of Music, Apps, or Books. Open Settings, iTunes & App Stores. You can leave the individual settings turned on so they will work when you are on Wi-Fi. Next to “Use Cellular Data” move the slider from ON to OFF.
Next up, FaceTime. Your carrier may not allow FaceTime over cellular. In that case you don’t need to worry. If it does and you use FaceTime, you can set iOS so it won’t allow it over cellular. To turn it off open Settings, FaceTime. Scroll to the bottom . Next to “Use Cellular Data” move the slider from ON to OFF.
The final piece I will cover relates to Safari’s Reading List (which allows offline reading of web pages). If you don’t use Reading List this won’t apply to you. To turn its use of cellular data off then open Settings, Safari. Scroll down to Reading List. Next to “Use Cellular Data” move the slider from ON to OFF.
With all these settings complete you should start seeing a decrease in your cellular data usage. Your mileage may vary. You can check your usage daily by opening Settings, General Usage, Cellular Usage. Look at the “Cellular Network Data” section and note the Sent and Received values. These are cumulative until you reset them with the “Reset Statistics” button at the bottom.
Hopefully this will help you take control of your data usage.