Conserving cell data, money, sanity this summer

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FLASH STAFF REPORT

ERATH COUNTY (June 8, 2017) – “Well, it’s the first week of summer vacation and the oldest child (the only one with a cell phone) has already gone through the entire family’s data for June.” – a mom on Facebook

With so many so-called “unlimited” plans out there dramatically slowing down after 22 gb used and other family plans that share data in amounts like 10 gb, 20 gb, 30 gb and so on, charging you a fee for every gigabyte (gb) you go over after that out there and so many students with smartphones home for the summer, The Flash Today wanted to give readers a few tips we’ve picked up.

• Limiting Updates

Apps can be very helpful, reminding us of things, keeping us up-to-date on the latest and getting us where we need to be. Many apps constantly refresh themselves to give you the most recent information available. That’s great when you need to know something, not so much when you’re wanting to conserve data. This is an easy fix – just turn the auto-refresh off for apps you don’t need to update constantly. IOS: Go to settings > General > Background App Refresh > select which apps you do and don’t want to refresh. ANDROID: Go to settings > Data Usage > select which apps you want and select Restrict App Background Data. There are many versions of Android phones, these are general directions, some will vary.

• Always Use Wi-Fi

Most smartphones have a feature that uses cell data to aid in searching or sending and receiving data when Wi-Fi signal is low or slow. This is very useful when we need information fast, but, again, not so much when we’re trying to save data. Once again, it’s an easy fix on most phones and can really help save data. IOS: Settings > Cellular > Turn off Wi-Fi Assist. ANDROID: Settings > Wi-Fi > Advanced > Auto Network Switch or Smart Network Switch. There are many versions of Android phones, these are general directions, some will vary.

• Disable Heavy Data Usage Apps

A great way to conserve data when it’s low is to disable apps that suck data. Or you can simply turn off cellular data for those apps. This means those apps will only update when the phone is connected to Wi-Fi. If you (or someone else on your plan) likes to use streaming services like Spotify, Netflix or others, you’ll need to download those shows and music to your device before you are disconnected from Wi-Fi. IOS: Settings > Cellular > Use Cellular Data > turn off apps you don’t want to use your data. ANDROID: Settings > Data Usage > turn off apps you don’t want to use your data. There are many versions of Android phones, these are general directions, some will vary.


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