Many smartphone users rant about how fast their Internet data bundles deplete and often point fingers at their network operators. Perhaps they should have a look at their app updates first.

Blame your App Updates, not your network operator, for burning your data bundle

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If you have been frustrated about how fast your data bundle depletes and you have been ranting at your network operator, hold it right there. Look at your app updates first.

Yesterday evening, I connected to a hotspot and immediately my phone began to update apps – 38 of them in all. Thirty eight app updates. 2GB of data was wiped out on those updates.

Tonight, right after I connected to the same hotspot again, I noticed that updates began to run again. I checked and there were 26 of them. More of my data bundle down the drain. And if the pattern I have observed over time is anything to go by, there will be more updates to run tomorrow and the day after and the day after that.

App Updates Are Of The Devil

Mobile app updates have become a daily affair for most apps. The developers seem to have something to change in their apps on a daily basis. If you have a lot of apps installed on your phone, that is a huge amount of data being burned on app updates alone.

Mobile app updates

Sometimes, one single app update is 25MB in size. Ten of those is 250MB gone – in one day. As already mentioned, some days ago, I sat down and observed how 38 apps on my phone were updates and about 2GB of my data baundles disappeared right before my eyes.

If I was on the typical N1,000 monthly plan that offers 1.5GB volume of data, I would have been properly screwed and be needing to renew my subscription.

What can you do?

Well, you can turn off automatic application updates. That way, you run updates at your own pace – weekly, monthly, or as random as you want. Nobody will die if apps are not updated daily.

You can set automatic updates to happen only when you are connected to a WiFi network. Not like that helps all the time. Sometimes, WiFi means a different data plan. For example, the WiFi I am connected to tonight is a Smile 4G connection. That is very expensive data bring burned on mobile app updates. Bummer. I might just take my own advice and turn off automatic app updates completely.

You don’t need to update your apps daily

background apps

To be honest, you really do not need to update your aps daily. Sometimes, the developers are just fooling around with one tiny line of code to change a dot on the app from pink to red. A lot of trivial things are behind many app updates.

You should perhaps only check for an individual app update if a specific app is misbehaving or has stooped working. Open your phone’s app store, look for an update for that app only and run only that.

So, if you want to cut down on your data expenses, reduce how often you update the apps on your smartphone. Try once a week. Try once a month. Try doing it only when you find a free hotspot. You will see a huge difference in how long your data plan lasts and how much less you have to spend on it.

Keep your eye on your network operator too though

Having said that and pointed out how automatic app updates are data burners, there is still a chance that your network operator is also “stealing” your data. I know some of you were probably itching to jump into the comment area and tackle me over the title of this post. Calm down: I just needed to emphasize the app updates angle.

Speaking of WiFi, is the Google Station hotspot at Ikeja City Mall back in operation? It went AWOL some months ago. Is it back up now? I haven’t been there in a while.

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  1. Good points .

    But something was left out..

    If you are someone who gets app from The Wild (and even if you don’t) , you could have some of them apps surreptitiously burning your data in the background.

    Many Android apps like to do things in the back while you aren’t loolng.

    If you are using a smartphone, it is essential to have a firewall app installed (unless you are Mister Mobility with scant regard for data conservation). Firewall like NetGuard for example, would be great in Android..

    A firewall app gives you control of which app can / cannot access the internet and do damage to your data – also called pocket.

    Ensure a Firewall runs all the time. That way, you are in control.

    After all,

    Pirelli says ….. power is nothing without control -.


    Eye_Bee_Kay says, your data will diminish to nothingness without control.

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