Shared Reading: How to Stay Below Your Data Cap on Android


If you're like me, you have a smart phone. If you're lucky, you currently have unlimited data. You're also painfully aware that most providers have already, or are preparing to, cap your data. Where in the past you could have unlimited data plans, now you will have to pay for every gigabyte you use. So how can you keep from paying a lot in overages? PC World wrote an article with ten tips for Android phones. Some of these tips are universal for all smart phones so even if you have an iPhone, Blackberry, or Window's phone, you will hopefully learn something useful.

Monitor Your Data Usage
The first step in reducing your data usage is figuring out how much data you actually use.
You might already be using less data than the new plans will provide. This is a quick way to see if you even need to change any of your habits. Your monthly bill should list your usage for that billing cycle.

Find Free Wi-Fi
You can also minimize how much cellular data you use by connecting to Wi-Fi networks whenever they're available.
Many restaurants and businesses now offer free Wi-Fi to customers. This is really useful if you like to stream entertainment while waiting for a table or to compare prices. Just hook onto their network and you won't pay for data. Set your phone to automatically connect to your Wi-Fi at home and work so that you don't even have to consciously think about it most of the time.

Use a Lighter Browser
You use a lot of data when you browse the Web--but you don't have to use as much as you do. Instead of using the stock browser that comes with Android, try downloading a lighter and more data-efficient browser such as Opera Mini or TextOnly to reduce your data usage while surfing the Web.
I had no idea that browsers can in data-efficient models. I had downloaded a non-stock e-mail app because I had problems with the stock program, but I never knew they could help with data usage as well. For email, I use K-9 mail.

Don't Obsessively Clear Your Cache
Another mobile browser tip: if you don't clear your cache often, you'll end up using less data because your browser won't have to constantly redownload images and other Website assets.
I never would have thought about this tip by myself. I am guilty of clearing my cache often because I thought it was better for the phone.  

There are even more great tips from PC World, so read the full article, How to Stay Below Your Data Cap on Android.


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