That the Android OS has a ravenous appetite for data is no news. Android users keep tearing their hair out as a result of the data guzzling nature of the OS.
Take a look at this U.S. data usage chart from Nielsen:
You can access the full Nielsen article here, if interested. Speaking of the various data usage activities engaged in, Nielsen reports:
But while a higher proportion of iPhone owners engage in these kinds of activities, consumers with Android devices who engage in these activities consume more data on average.
This is from a U.S. report, but our own in-house consumer surveys here at The Mobility Company here in Nigeria pretty much tallies. Android is the undisputed mobile OS data guzzling king.
What makes it more pertinent here is that many consumers use their mobiles as the primary point of access to the internet. This is in contrast to what obtains in the US where the majority have access to PCs, Wifi and cable internet. The likelihood of seeing higher mobile data consumption rates here is strong.
I was recently contacted by one such user who had recently converted to Android. She reported that her droid was using up 1 GB data plan in two weeks. On my recommendation, she disabled Background Data and subscribed to a 25MB plan to see how things would go. Her feedback was that 25MB was used up within a day, even though she had her smartphone switched off for a few hours.
If you really do want to use Android but don’t have deep pockets for data subscription, you must be ready to nurse your device. There is no way around this.
Tips To Manage Mobile Data Usage On Android & Save Money
I have a few tips to help you manage data consumption on your Android smartphone and save you some cash (please send some my way, in the spirit of give and take).
- You can turn off Background Data in the settings menu. Note though that when you need to sync or check your mail, your smartphone will ask you to turn it back on.
- Download a 3rd party app to restrict data usage on certain apps and services.
These apps generally tell you how much data you are using, or when an app is using a lot of data in the background. Some also let you block specific apps on 3G or shut off 3G data when they exceed a cap that you set, or limit data usage on certain apps to Wi-Fi only. There are dozens of them available in the Android Market, but you can start out with Onavo.
- For web browsing, forget the stock browser, do yourself a favour and install Opera Mini
- Install an app manager and shut down any app that requires an internet connection if you wont be using it.
By implementing the above tips, you may cut down your device’s data usage significantly. If the above tips are too much for you, then you have no business purchasing an Android smartphone. No?
Did I miss out anything?
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.