Ways to better manage mobile data use

Two weeks into your telco billing cycle, you receive a notification from your telco that you are close to busting your monthly data allowance. You scramble to cut back on data use for the rest of the month to avoid extra charges.

But this does not have to happen. Here are five tips to help you better manage mobile data use.

TURN OFF WI-FI ASSIST

If you are using the latest iOS 9 firmware in your iPhone, you will find a feature in Settings under Cellular, called Wi-Fi Assist. It ensures that video streaming stays smooth throughout by automatically hopping onto your telco's 4G network if your Wi-Fi connection weakens. Turn it off if you want to save on mobile data.

MANUALLY TURN OFF CELLULAR DATA USAGE FOR INDIVIDUAL APPS

Many apps use data in the background.

iPhone users can track how much data each individual app consumes by clicking on Settings and Cellular. They can also turn off mobile data use for individual apps, say, YouTube or FaceTime, and restrict their use to only when there is a Wi-Fi connection.

Android users can also track how much data each individual app consumes by clicking on Settings and Data Usage. To restrict the amount of data used by individual apps, turn on Restrict background data.

TURN OFF FACEBOOK'S VIDEO AUTOPLAY FEATURE

If you do not want Facebook to play videos automatically and suck up precious data, follow these steps. Click on the Facebook app. Tap on More, Account Settings, Videos and Photos. Turn off the autoplay feature. Or have it on only when there is a Wi-Fi connection.

TURN OFF AUTOMATED UPDATES

The default setting on most phones allows apps to update automatically via cellular data. Turn it off or have it turn on only when there is a Wi-Fi connection, to save on mobile data.

Android users can do so by going to Play Store, Settings, and Auto-update apps. Turn off the auto-update feature or select auto-update only over Wi-Fi.

iPhone users can go to Settings, then iTunes & App Store to turn off Updates.

DOWNLOAD YOUR TELCO'S APP SUCH AS MY STARHUB

The app lets mobile users keep track of their monthly usage.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 27, 2016, with the headline 'Ways to better manage mobile data use'. Print Edition | Subscribe