Skip to content
Controlling Mobile Data Usage on iOS and Android
Zakira PatelAugust 28, 20214 min read

Controlling Mobile Data Usage on iOS and Android

Remember the good old days when you didn’t have to worry about monitoring your data use? Saving data was simple, all we had to worry about was call minutes and how many text messages we were getting. Now, with new developments in technology, like smartphone apps and streaming services, our allotted monthly data is gone in the blink of an eye.


What Uses Data on Your Phone?


What exactly is eating up all of your mobile phone data? The Autoplay features on your favorite social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram tend to consume the most data. Luckily, these apps also have settings to turn this feature off.

To do so, go to Settings and turn off the Autoplay option or set it to Wi-Fi only. TikTok is gaining a lot of popularity these days, and it’s another big culprit of data consumption with its Autoplay feature. You can’t turn off Autoplay for TikTok, however, you can turn on “Data Saver” mode in the app’s settings which will help you better manage your data use.

Streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and Disney+ take up a significant portion of your data as well, especially if you’re using the highest video quality. To save data, you can go into the app’s settings and switch to a lower video quality instead of HD. 

For Netflix in particular, launch the app, click the triple-line button, and select App Settings. Then, click on the option for “Cellular Data Usage” and adjust your settings as needed.

Regarding music streaming platforms, streaming audio doesn’t use up nearly as much data as video streaming does. However, if you want to save some more data, you can download music and playlists for offline listening. You’re always better off using Wi-Fi to stream videos and audio. Make sure you have a data package that covers all your needs.

A few other ways to reduce mobile data use include:

  • Downloading large files with Wi-Fi only (if a strong Wi-Fi connection isn’t readily available, wait until you can find one)
  • Managing your notifications and alerts. Turn off email and push notifications for unnecessary applications
  • Close your apps when you’re not using them

There are also mobile data reduction features that are unique to the type of phone you have.


How to Manage Data Consumption on Android


On your Android device, you can access the Data Usage section in your Settings. There you can monitor your data usage for each application on your phone. 

To monitor your mobile data usage on an Android device:

  • Go to Settings
  • Select Network & Internet
  • Next, select Data Usage


If you want to limit certain apps that are using too much data:

  • Scroll through the list of applications in the Data Usage section, and select one which you’d like to restrict
  • Toggle off the feature that says “Allow background data usage”. This will stop the application from using data in the background

To make sure apps update on Wi-Fi only:

  • Go to the Google Play Store application
  • Select Settings and then “Auto-update Apps”
  • Choose the option that says “Auto-update Apps Over Wi-Fi Only”



Managing Data Consumption on iPhone


There are numerous ways to reduce data consumption on your iPhone. First, you can prevent the App Store from automatically downloading purchases and updating apps. 

To prevent Automatic Downloads and updates:

  • Go to Settings
  • Select App Store
  • Toggle off the features for App Updates and Apps
  • You can also toggle off the feature for Automatic Downloads

Another way to reduce data is by disabling Background App Refresh in your device’s settings:

  • Go to Settings
  • Select General
  • Click on Background App Refresh and turn off the feature or set it to Wi-Fi only. You can also select specific apps that you want this feature to be turned on for


Your iPhone has another unique feature you may not know of called Wi-Fi Assist. Wi-Fi Assist switches you over to your cellular network when your current Wi-Fi signal is too weak. While this can be helpful in loading pages and applications faster, it also uses up your data faster. 

To disable this feature:

  • Go to Settings
  • Click on Cellular
  • Scroll all the way to the bottom of the screen until you see the Wi-Fi Assist section
  • Toggle off this feature


How Can POND IoT Help?


When you’re traveling internationally, using data will result in astronomical fees on your bill if you’re using your domestic carrier. If you’re a frequent traveler that needs constant access to the Internet, social networking apps, and digital media, you may be better off using an international service provider. 

POND IoT provides Voice, SMS, and Data services worldwide! With our service, you can select the plan that best fits your needs and pay a fixed monthly fee (so there’s no need to consider hidden costs). This price will remain the same across all countries, so you’ll have one less thing to worry about during your travels. If you can’t find a plan that matches your specific needs, reach out to us and we’ll come up with a customized plan, specially made for you.