With mobile data now the primary feature that people look for in mobile phone plans, what you pay for your monthly service is directly proportional to the amount of data you use. That means that simple management of your data allocation can have a material impact on the quantity of data you download over your mobile network.
The major alternative you have to expensive mobile network GB (data) is to perform the heavy lifting tasks like downloading video files and updating apps on your phone when you’re on a WiFi network. Here are some hints as to how you can do just that, and use apps, most of which are free, plus the core capabilities of your phone, to turn your small data entitlement in to a monthly feast.
First – hints for the busiest phone users : Shop around for ‘fairer’ offers
Phone companies are no longer competing for your custom just by offering larger and larger data allocations in their plans. Many are looking to redefine the game entirely, including new types of data features in their plans. Some offer data rollover – a facility which allows you to hand unused data from one month to the next without a fee. Others offer a ‘Data Vault’ which lets you keep all the data you’re ever given for as long as you have your phone plan with the same company.
If you are too busy to check your data usage, it is these services which will help you the most.
The 4 simplest ways to make more of your mobile data
- Use the settings on your phone: Getting in to the settings on your phone is a bit like going to the garden shed. For those that enjoy doing it, there are adventures to be had. In Settings, make sure hot-spotting is turned off – that’s the biggest possible drain on your usage. Set a hard limit for usage – if your bundle is 2GB of data for the month, limit the phone so it can’t use more than that without sending you an alert. Familiarize yourself with the basics – they are the key to your success in the fight to lower your data usage.
- Make use of the free phone company app: Whichever telco you’re with, I can guarantee they have a free self service app. They would much rather you use that app and service yourself than call them. It works out cheaper (for them) that way. Apps like this work for users, too. Check the self service app as often as you do Facebook and you’ll never blow your bundle again. If you do need more data, this is the place to buy it.
- Try ‘Datally’ from Google: As usual, Google are at the forefront of improving technology in the field of data management. In December 2017, they released a new, also free to use app, called Datally. Datally does many of the things competitors do. It tells you how much data you’re using and how much you have left. Perhaps most ingeniously, Datally knows where nearby WiFi hotspots are and can warn you if you’re about to download a large file but are in proximity to one. AI is at the heart of this service, as with most Google products these days.
- Use ‘My Data Manager’: MyData Manager is a free app now in it’s sixth year of availability. They’ve used that time to hone the feature set to be one of the best available. Those who intend to employ this app as part of their data management approach should be aware that the people behind the service will amalgamate and sell the meta data they record about you. That’s why it’s ‘free’. If you’re prepared to accept that (and I am) My Data Manager has facilities that will show you when you’ve exceeded your daily allocation and how much you have left. The interface is clean and understands the problem well – as it should after being around so long.
Summing it all up
5G is coming, the new data transmission capability which will replace 4G. It’s set to be worldwide by 2020 with some areas developing and trialing the capabilities even before then. With 5G, you’ll be able to download an entire season of your favorite Netflix show in less than 10 seconds. When that happens, you’re going to want to have some familiarity with the tools we’ve outlined on this page, or your bill is going to get large, quickly.