A while back, we showed you how to get data usage on your Android under control using built-in features of the mobile OS. Today we’re doing the same for iPhone users with the exception that you will need to download an app for it. We have found an app that is free so the net cost of getting data under control will be nothing. The app will be used in conjunction with default features of iOS to help you control how many MBs you consume when using your phone on the go.
Before you get started, install My Data Manager from the App store.
Understand Data Usage Stats
Before you can manage data usage, you need to know which apps use the most data. Head over to the Settings app and tap Cellular. Scroll down until you see the list of apps that you’ve allowed access to cellular data. Under each app, you will see how much cellular data the app has consumed to date.
Go through this list and identify which apps you use the most when you’re on the go. Decide which apps are necessary and which aren’t. Now scroll further and tap System Services. Here you can see which services run by the OS use the most data. You can’t disable any of these services but you get a very useful stat from this screen; Software Updates. This tells you if you’re updating apps over your mobile network and just how much, in terms of data, it costs you. You can disable updates over mobile data by going to the Settings app. Under iTunes & App Store, turn the Use Cellular Data option off.
Limit Data Usage
iOs is as flexible as it gets in terms of limiting which apps can use mobile data. From the stats you observed, and knowing your own app usage habits, turn off cellular data for apps that don’t need to be used on the go. One thing you should probably turn off is any and all sort of updates made over your cellular network.
Restrict Background Data Usage
Apps update data in the background so that when you open an app, you see fresh up-to-date information. Apps like Facebook, Dropbox, and messaging apps do this constantly and they may be one reason why you see so much data has been used by an app. Go to Settings App>General>Background App Refresh and turn it off either completely or selectively, to meet your mobile browsing requirements. Understandably, you may not want to disable background refresh for messaging apps but can be selective with other app types.
Set A Data Usage Quota
Remember that app we asked you to install at the start of this post? You’re probably wondering what you need it for since iOS offers so many tools for managing data. The app will let you set a data usage quota. This is the one difference between managing data on an iPhone and an Android. Android has this feature built-in, iOS needs an app.
Platform comparisons aside, fire up the app and open the side drawer. Tap Plans & Alarms and record how much data you want to use daily, weekly, or monthly. You can set separate data plans for mobile data, roaming data plans, and for WiFi. Under the Mobile data plan, set the number of days until expiration to match the quote period. You can set it to 1 for a daily data limit, 7 for weekly, 14 for bi-weekly, or any other number of days that suit you. Next, select how much data you want to use in that time period and you’re done. When you exceed data usage, the app will sound an alarm to alert you. You will have to the manually manage which apps you want to continue using over cellular or turn it off.
That’s all it takes. Invest some time and get your mobile data plan under control. If you know a great way to mange mobile data, let us know. Remember that some apps use mobile data only for the sake of showing you ads and you can safely restrict their use of cellular data without affecting the app’s performance.