Although the price for mobile data is getting more affordable, the truth is that we are consuming more of it. This happens because there are more apps and ways to send and receive large files. Our devices have also changed a lot in the past few years, and we used them a lot for different purposes. An example is the messaging service. We used to only send texts messages. Now we call and video call more, for example. Today, we are going to talk about some tricks to save mobile data on Android.

Saving data on Android

As we all know, Android is the most widely used OS in phones. A lot of users need to save data in order not to go over their plan. There are a lot of ways to do it, and these are some of the most useful examples.

Restricting data in background apps

Some apps keep consuming mobile data even when the phone is not being used. Background data allows us to keep apps running and up to date while we perform other tasks or while the screen is off. However, not every app needs data at all times.

To avoid this situation, we have to go to Settings > Data usage, and we will see the apps and the amount of data they are consuming.

If we tap an app, we will see both the foreground and the background data usage of that particular app. Foreground data usage is the data consumed by the app that we are actively using. Background data is the data consumed when the app is not being used but is running in the background. It does not required doing anything and it happens automatically, which can include automatic updates and syncing for the apps.

If we see that the background data usage is too high for an app and we do not need it to be open in the background at all times, we tap on “Restrict mobile background data”. This will make sure that the app only consumes data when open.

Data compression on Chrome.

We have already talked about this in a previous post where we showed you some tricks for this browser. As we know, Google Chrome is the most widely used browser in Android. There is a possibility to compress data, which will help us saving data while browsing webpages.

As we can imagine, we will not have the same quality if we compress data. However, it is a good option for users that want to keep browsing the web despite having little data on their plans.

All the traffic will go through a Google proxy once the compression is activated. To activate it, we have to go to Settings, and then scroll down to Data saver.

Updates over Wi-Fi only

This is something common. If we want to save data, the best option is to update apps over a Wi-Fi network only. Some apps only consume a few MB. However, other apps can have really large updates. It can also happen if we are going to update the OS or download large add-ons for some programs.

To avoid this, we have to go to the Play Store, Menu > Settings > Auto-update apps. We have to make sure to select “Auto-update apps over Wi-Fi only.” Alternatively, we can select “Do not auto-update apps,” but this is not recommended because we would have to update the apps manually.

Limiting streaming

Streaming music and videos is what consumes the most data. Just like it does seeing high-quality images. The best thing to do is to avoid doing that when using mobile data. We can choose to save music and videos on the phone or download them when connected to a Wi-Fi network.

When streaming using mobile data, we can reduce the streaming quality to save data. YouTube consumes a lot of data, so a good idea is to reduce the video resolution when using mobile data.

Beware of high-consuming apps

There are apps that can consume more data than normal, so we have to pay attention to them. It is possible that we fail to notice the Google Photos app is syncing photos in the background every time we tap them. Social networking apps like Facebook and Instagram consume a lot of data. We have to be careful when watching videos or gifs on these apps.