As mentioned in an earlier blogpost about my data usage, I was going to do another article on a few things one can do to keep their data usage at a minimum and still manage to be upto date with the internet. These are just a few and there are many many more little things and settings that one can tinker with on their phone to save a penny here and there on data. In these days of advanced apps and more and more need for data, the best one can do is to continuously keep researching on ways to save on data, learning something new every other day and implementing what they can for themselves and sharing the information with friends and relatives who may not be in a position to do the same. Apps are sneaky alright but there are ways to go around them.

Keep your apps limited to what you use

This may sound obvious but you’ll be surprised that you may have apps that just sit in your phone and you don’t use them. Go through your apps and decide whether you really need all that list sitting in your menu, and see whether there are some you can uninstall, either because you used them temporarily for a purpose or you downloaded them in the heat of the moment but don’t really use or need them any more. That’s a good place to start. Not only will this save on memory and battery use for your device but your data usage too.

Use lite versions of your apps

Apps like Facebook and Twitter are some of the biggest data guzzlers and considering that is where many people spend their time, they can really add up in terms of data usage. For these, you can use the lite versions and save upto almost 50% not only data but also other resources like memory and battery as well. Sure, there are some trade offs on user experience but all in all you’ll still be able to keep upto date with your social media. The lite versions of these softwares are available on google Playstore alongside their heavier brothers and sisters.

Stop app auto-updates on PlayStore

You can either choose to only ever update on WiFi but since we’re saving on phone memory and battery too, it would be a good idea to only update what you really need to, when you need to.  Go to playstore settings therefore, and if you want to be extreme, disable app applications completely and be doing so manually.

This tip can really save huge on data considering that when an app updates, it does not just update, rather re-downloads and re-installs. If you’re updating manually, read the brief description of what the makers say they’re updating and decide whether you really need that update. Otherwise if it serves you just well without the update you can always skip till the next update. Or the next until there’s a significant update that you feel will be of help to you.

Stop auto-play and downloads of GIFs, videos and images

In Facebook for example, do videos play automatically as you scroll down? Videos clips are some of the biggest consumers of data. You can stop them autoplaying by going to Facebook settings, settings and privacy menu, and selecting App settings, then AutoPlay. You’ll be able to choose different ways of playing videos, including never autoplaying, giving you the power to play videos only when you want to.  Here, other than be able to disable autoplay, you’ll also be able to chose not to upload videos and photos on HD and this will cumulatively save you a lot data with time.

In Twitter, go to settings and privacy and select data usage. Here you’ll be able to restrict high quality videos from playing on mobile data and also disable AutoPlay – both of which hog data. You can also opt out of data sync, with which Twitter runs in the background.

Whatsapp

With whatsapp jokes and ‘send as received’ coming from left right and centre and from numerous groups, a lot of what ends up downloading into your phone is useless and duplicated. Go to whatsapp settings and disable auto download of videos, audios, and documents. With time you’ll be surprised at just how much data you’ll be able to save.

Install My Safaricom App

The data usage option on MySafaricomApp has really been of great help in monitoring exactly what my phone is upto during the course of a month or even down to a single day. Due to the nature of my work, I do not have the luxury of keeping my data off at any time. But with continued use of MySafaricomApp, I’m able to make sense of what is going on and be in the comfort that I’m spending money for my work and nobody is stealing it. Also in conjunction with the inbuild android data manager and a few other tricks, it works really well in data management and control. Of course other than data usage, the App has a lot of other options that make my mobile selfcare a whole lot easier.

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