Monday, 7 May 2012

How to avoid unnecessary smart phone mobile charges

It's handy to have a smartphone. You can do almost anything. And there's no need to bring along a load full of gadgets. Just one device will do, the mobile phone. But sometimes there is an unpleasant news that can happen to anyone with a smartphone. And that's the shocking unexpected monthly bill. This happened to a friend's friend I met on a party. And complained about charges that her provider sent her. It was not really clear when she told about her additional charges but I am already suspecting data excess.

I've inspected her phone, an iPhone4S and here are the things I found out that suspected to contribute to the shocking bill.

1. Email was on "push" mode

I did not checked how many email accounts were receiving push notifications, but this is clearly one of the contributors to data wastage. When in the "push" mode, your phone notifies you the moment an email reached your email server, thus your email data allowance starts to tick. I've told her to put it into manual mode bypassing the push and the fetch method (where you can set an interval for email notification) to conserve network data charges.

You can set your email push notification to manual by tapping the home screen, settings, mail contacts calen.., Fetch New Data, and choosing manually.

2. Facebook push notification is also on

This is worst than email, specially when you have many friends in your network that update their status everytime. You can turn this into manual mode by going to settings, scroll down to facebook, tap push notifications, and turn off all push notifications.

3. She watches videos and browses pictures on social networking sites

It's so tempting to watch videos sent by friends, especially from social networking sites. As you just need to tap the screen. But remember that videos contain a lot of data and depending on your bandwidth, especially when you're on 3G or HSPDA, you may have been viewing the video version on higher resolution. This means more data bite on your allowance. The same with viewing on photos that are on social networks. Your phone needs to download it first before you can see the image and in the process uses your data allowance.

If you can't help watching a clip or looking at pictures, you can turn off 3G and automatically your phone will use EDGE or GPRS connection. This will be automatically detected by the audio and video servers and will realise that you have a lower bandwidth available and stream you a lower quality and smaller data media files, therefore saving you on your data bundle.

Or better, just watch movies when you are within wifi range.

4. Location services is on

There are native applications and downloadable apps that always tracking the location where your device is. To do this, the apps either use GPS or mobile network to get and send data according to your location. To check which applications are using your location services, tap settings, general, location services. You can tell the application that has requested your location within th last 24 hours by the location icon next to it's name. The native application Maps require constant internet access, this can be downloading data all the time while updating it's location. Applications like the ones to guide you to where you park your car behave this way as well. If you can't help to use it, turn it off when you have marked your location and turn it on when you're going to where you have parked your car specially when you plan to leave your car for sometime.

There are also unnecessary  Data waster ay iPhone4S systems location services like diagnostics and usage. This application send to apple automatically,how and where you use your iphone. Other data wasters are location based i-Ads, Setting Time Zone, and Traffic. To save on data, turn these off.

And remember next time you install an application, take a note at the end of the installation as some apps will ask your permission to enable push notification. You need to choose NO.

The surest way to avoid unnecessary data use is to turn off the cellular data button, if you do not like this idea then the surest way not to spend beyond your data limit is to upgrade your data tariff into unlimited internet!

But if upgrading your tariff is not possible then using wifi is the best option when using skype and other type of voip communication, watching movies and clips, listening to streaming music and any other bandwidth hungry online activities.

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