Cellular data plans still cost a small fortune for many users. Data (measured in KB, MB, and GB) is being sent from cellular towers to main Internet lines, and this process often begets a premium to traditional broadband or cable. Unlimited data plans are often more expensive than limited options; if you’re frugal, you’re likely sticking with a pre-paid option.
If you’re stuck on pre-paid, family, or limited data plans, you might have lofty bills, angry siblings, and/or go data-less if you’re over the limit. The inherent problem with many apps is that they are constructed to be data intensive, rich. All the flash and pomp adds up. This can leave your monthly data plan on empty. With some forethought and these three applications, you’ll see your data plan have new power.
Over the last week, Google released major updates to the iPhone iOS version of its app. Branded as Chrome for iOS, users can activate bandwidth compression technologies that can reduce your data traffic substantially and speed up browsing. Here’s some more information about this development:
By having your web browsing flow through Google’s servers, the company can compress your data (and especially images) to help you save up to 50 percent of bandwidth while you are browsing. Google will not, however, use the proxy for any connections to any sites that use secure connections (HTTPS). (Techcrunch.com)
Like the rest of these apps, some settings must be enabled to engage in data savings. Most everything that Google releases requires an opt-in (especially if it has new privacy implications). The Google Chrome Blog details the necessary settings:
To start saving data and turn on an even more secure browsing experience, visit “Settings” > “Bandwidth management” > “Reduce data usage.” Then simply turn the toggle to “On.” From this menu, you’ll also be able to track how much bandwidth you save each month as you browse on Chrome.
Oftentimes, when flying, in no-service areas, and/or nearing the end of my data plan budget for the month, I need an app that gives me access to news offline and on the go. That’s why Pocket is perfect! It downloads everything to the app, in the background (whether open or not). When I save an article on my computer, it automatically syncs the article to my phone for access anywhere, anytime.
The app works smoothly on every platform I’ve ever used and the staff is inspirational in their design. It could not be simpler to use and setup. Once you start syncing articles for access offline (pictures and all), you may find that your data use is escalating. That’s why you need to go into the app and enable a simple setting.
Start by going to “Offline Downloading” within “Settings.” Under this main section, slide the switch on to “Download Only on Wi-Fi.” Now, you can have all the news articles and financial info downloaded right to your phone – no more browsing necessary – and without the massive bandwidth usage.
3. Mailbox (iOS)
The founder of Mailbox app wanted to design a program that finally treated email in a new, functional way. Instead of slowly going through the massive piles of email, the creative team at Mailbox devised a way to organize the clutter for easy reading and task management.
Unlike most mail apps for mobile platforms, Mailbox strips all messages of rich text, images, and videos. By limiting the type of information to pass through the email system, your phone can receive messages that are comparable to the size of a text message (very small). Moreover, you can expect email to be delivered faster and with less latency. A pretty wicked combo!
What smartphone apps do you use to save data? Do you have any programs that hog much of your plan? Any other apps that you’d recommend?