16 tips for reducing data plan usage on Android
Considering how much we use the internet these days, it's hard to find someone who doesn't end up using a 3G or 4G data plan to connect when there's no Wi-Fi networks around. Despite being very useful, this is not a very cheap practice in Brazil, given that prices are abusive and the amount of internet offered is very low. This leads to people spending their entire franchise in a day without knowing it, which results in more money spent if they want to keep browsing. Fortunately, there are a few ways to decrease this usage and enjoy your 3G much longer on Android.
To check out some valuable tips on how to do this, just check out our article below to take advantage of our top tips!
1. Restrict background data usage
Our first tip is also one of the most valuable: simply restrict the use of background app data. You may not even notice it, but many apps (especially those on social networks) are constantly updating themselves for new notifications or messages.
This is fine if you are really expecting something important, but your franchise may end quickly in some cases. We recommend that you turn it off at least for apps you don't need that much. You can check how to do this in detail in this tutorial.
2. Only download files on Wi-Fi
Many people don't even think about it, but downloading files while using 3G or 4G is one of the easiest ways to get rid of it within minutes. This goes for photos, videos, documents and everything else you can imagine. If you're wondering, this goes for the files you get on WhatsApp, for example.
As much as you want to download something, avoid this practice while in the data plan and leave it for when you can connect to Wi-Fi.
3. Do not update apps
Speaking of downloads, we also recommend that you don't update your apps and games while using 3G. Most of these upgrades these days are huge and can suck up your franchise within minutes.
A lot of people leave the option of automatic updates, which causes them to be downloaded without you having to do anything. To prevent this from happening with the data plan enabled, you can check out this tutorial.
4. Restrict apps using 3G
In our first tip, we talked about restricting background data usage, but you can also choose not to allow some of them to use your 3G. This may seem a little more extreme, but it is a good option to save your deductible. To learn how to do this, just check out our tutorial at this link.
5. Avoid using many apps that require connection
If you don't want to start restricting your apps, we have a simpler tip that depends more on you. Simply avoid using apps that require connection or require network resources to function properly.
This is especially true for social networks, messaging apps, browsers, etc. No need to stop using everything, just use your common sense and use the apps you really need.
6. Don't watch high quality videos
Videos are the worst enemies of your data plan, especially if they are watched in high quality. They need to download information to upload, which is constantly wasting their deductible and unnoticed.
If you really need to watch a video, choose shorter ones and select a low quality. It may not be so good, but it ensures your franchise lasts longer.
7. Don't listen to streaming music
As you might have guessed, listening to music by streaming is not a good idea either while using 3G or 4G. The good news is that most streaming music services offer an offline mode in their paid versions.
Like it or not, paying for such a premium app can be a lot cheaper than a data package with a larger internet franchise.
8. Search for Wi-Fi hotspots
The most common is if you use the data plan in public places or when you have no Wi-Fi at home. So far so good, but it's okay to try to find a free Wi-Fi hotspot before you turn on 3G and start spending your franchise unnecessarily.
Many restaurants, colleges, malls, and even buses offer free Wi-Fi hotspots nowadays, so it costs nothing to ask the establishment if you can use the internet from there.
9. Give preference to offline maps
Instead of spending your mobile internet browsing Google Maps on the street, you can go ahead and spend an offline summer in your area or home. This procedure is quick, simple and can be done in more and more places.
The option is available in the Google Maps app itself, and these offline maps are often stored on your smartphone for months. If you want, you can check out our tutorial on this at this link.
10. Use a cheap browser
There is no problem surfing the internet while using 3G, after all, this is one of the major reasons for people to sign up for these franchises. But here's a tip for optimizing your data usage while visiting your favorite sites: Use a more economical browser.
The Google Chrome and Firefox apps are great for Wi-Fi, but can be a bit heavy on 3G. If you want a recommendation, Opera Mini is very good, light and fast to use. You can download it from this link.
11. Use lightweight app versions
A lot of people don't know, but many applications already offer light versions to be used by those who have a slow internet connection or who use a lot of 3G or 4G. Apps like this offer fewer features than the originals, but have all the core functions people need.
A good example of this is Facebook Lite, a much lighter and more economical version of the social network. There are other such apps out there that you can search according to your taste and need.
12. Beware of Emails
Remember we mentioned that there are apps that keep updating in the background to check for news? Email apps do the most, but for good reason to check for new messages for you.
If you're not expecting a really important email, we recommend turning off the option temporarily in the app or reducing the time it takes to check for new messages.
13. Turn off photo backup
The Google Photos app often checks and backs up most of your photos on its free cloud service. This is great for saving storage space on your Android device, but bad if you want to save your mobile internet.
Fortunately, this can easily be disabled by opening the app and clicking the "backup" button next to your photos. Just do the same procedure to turn it on again when using Wi-Fi.
14. Turn off sync with cloud services
Since we mentioned Google backup, it's worth talking about other cloud services in general. Many of them have synchronization features depending on how you set them up, so it's worth checking which features are enabled for 3G mode.
It may take a bit of work depending on how many apps of this type you use, but it's better than spending your franchise for nothing.
15. Don't play games online
Just as we recommend that you do not use applications that require or need the internet to work, you should also avoid online games. Nowadays, they are becoming more common, and many do so to prevent users from using tricks or modified versions of games.
Our tip for this is that you download some games with a strictly offline mode to ensure you can play something in boredom without Wi-Fi.
16. Use apps to monitor your data usage.
Finally, you can use applications that analyze your data usage and allow you to monitor and improve the way you use 3G overall.
There are many options available, but you can check out some of the best on this list with our own suggestions!
Did you save 3G on Android?
Can you take advantage of our tips to start saving your data plan on Android? Don't forget to leave your comment telling us if everything went well or if you had any questions.