Mobile data usage has elevated in the recent years. Cellular companies have not missed a chance to hike up the monthly charges for mobile data. So, with such limited and highly priced mobile data, one needs to be more conscious about the data usage on his smartphone as the installed apps might consume more data in the background without him knowing. And, it would be a nightmare with a 4G connection. So, today in this article I’d like to show some smart ways to reduce mobile data usage on Android. And, how you can take control over the mobile data consumption done by Apps in your smartphone.
1. Chrome’s Data Saver
Well, you might be already knowing about this but the recent updates in Chrome have made the Data Saver feature much better. It now compresses the web data more efficiently and not just that but it now compresses videos too. So, any video you watch on Facebook or YouTube (using Chrome) will be compressed with Data Saver.
Apart from that, the latest Chrome Beta update allows you to take the web data offline. Data can include web pages, videos, and audio. So, now you can access your favorite articles offline – on the go. This just eradicates the need of a Read-it-later app. It’s not yet released to the Stable Chrome app but soon will be. Here’s a sneak peek.
2. Aggressive Doze Mode
Doze mode is one of the best features that’s come to Android after a long time. If you’re on Marshmallow(and above) then you must have seen it already in action. Well, you might be thinking it’s for saving battery, how is it relevant to mobile data? – It actually is. Doze Mode basically makes the installed apps sleep after a particular period of time when screen if off. The WiFi and Mobile Data are also dozed (considering you’ve kept them on).
But, this only happens when your phone is idle for a period of time (viz. 3 to 4 hours). However, we can just force it to get into Doze mode as soon as the screen turns off. That way you don’t have to worry about apps consuming your crucial mobile data. So, to force the Doze mode you’ll need to install ForceDoze (Free). This app will allow your phone to get into Doze mode as soon as the screen turns off.
The app developer has provided further instructions in the app itself. You’ll have to execute an ADB command if you’re not rooted. Also, if you are rooted and want more control over how the Doze mode works then you should install Naptime (Free). It lets you control the different parameters of that trigger the mode.
3. Use Alternative Lightweight Apps
Now, the most power and data consuming apps are the social media apps. Facebook topping the list has many alternative lightweight apps on the Play Store. Some of the alternative apps allow you to control how the mobile data should be used for the app. They won’t suck your data in the background like the official Facebook app does. Apart from that, you can even block images and Ads during those low data situations. Also, the messenger comes built-in so, you there won’t be any hassle for a separate messenger app. Here are some alternative social media apps you can use.
4. Opera Max
Opera Max (Free) is not a new app. It’s been around for a while and it’s the perfect companion app for your smartphone to save mobile data. It compresses the data which includes streaming video, audio, and even web pages. Apart from that, data consumption done by other installed apps is also compressed.
It shows a timeline of how much data has been saved by particular apps. You can even control how much data should be compressed for video, audio, and images. It also works as a network monitor where it shows which app is taking the most amount of data.
5. Auto-Update apps on WiFi only
Well, even Play Store can become a nightmare if you’ve not changed the default setting of auto-updating apps. Play Store auto-updates your installed apps on mobile data and WiFi by default. So, it would be better to switch to WiFi-only to save your mobile data.
6. Restrict Background Data on non-rooted Devices
You can easily restrict background data for particular apps. Simply go to Data Usage in System settings and you’ll get a list of the apps that have used your mobile data. Now, tap on the app for which you want to restrict background data. And, select Restrict background data. This tip should be very effective to reduce mobile data usage on Android.
7. Use Tasker
Tasker ($2.99) is the ultimate app for automation on Android. However, you might find it more helpful for battery saving and other performance-based tasks but it even can be helpful in saving mobile data. One of the beginner profile you can set in Tasker is to automatically switch from mobile data to WiFi when you reach your home. Apart from that, you can set up a mobile data monitoring profile to quick get data of data usage right in front of you.
8. Read-it-Later Apps for the News Savvy
If you are a News Savvy and like to read great news stories and articles then a Read-it-later app will work as good data saver. It will take your articles and other news content offline. So, in the morning you can just pick some great stories you’d like to read later and then just save them to a Read-it-later app. You can use Pocket (Free) or Instapaper (Free).
9. Restrict apps from Connecting to the Internet
Well, restricting background data usage is useful but what if you want to completely restrict an app from connecting to the internet? Some offline apps and games can even use the internet to send crash reports and other useful data. Even your Launcher app can consume the internet for the same reasons. So, it’s better to completely turn off the internet for such apps.
You can achieve this by using a Firewall app. I recommend you to use NetGaurd(Free). It’ll give you the list of the apps and you can restrict the internet for both WiFi and Mobile data.
How effective were these ways in reducing mobile data usage?
So, these were some smart ways to reduce mobile data usage on your Android smartphone. Opera Max should work as a real player in saving your mobile data. So, let use know how much did you save and if you have more tips to share then do mention them down in the comments.