We all want to optimise our data use and there are some simple little tricks that can help you do this. Cultivate these 10 great data habits, and save yourself some megabytes.
1. Do an app spring clean every now and then.
If you don’t use it, lose it - even unused apps will update, using unnecessary data.
2. Regularly check your apps' data usage.
Your apps could be using your data without you even knowing about it. Some apps (like email and Facebook) constantly refresh in the background, checking to see if there are any new posts or mails for you. If you can do without the latest news every time you glance at your phone, turn Background App Refresh off. You can also choose to set some apps so they can't use mobile data at all. Check these settings regularly, whenever you download new apps.
3. Check your auto updates.
Updates can be huge, especially when getting the latest version of Android or iOS. Make sure your phone can’t update any apps or software automatically. Keep an eye on your App Store or Google Play store, and Settings menu for update notifications, as you'll now have to do updates manually.
4. Turn off Wifi Assist on iPhones, or Smart Network Switch on Android
Android and Apple phones both have features that allow the phone to automatically use cell data when Wifi signal is weak or disappears. Make sure you have this option turned off, or your phone could be gobbling data without you even realising it.
5. Turn off the Autoplay feature in your social media apps
If you scroll through your social media timeline, and videos start playing automatically, then you’ve got Autoplay activated. You don’t want to use your data watching every random video on your timeline, so make sure to turn that off in each platform - Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
6. Check how your phone backs up
Of course it’s vital to back up the information on your phone. When you upgrade, or if you lose your phone, you’ll be really glad you did. But if your phone is constantly backing up to the cloud, you’ll use a huge amount of data. After all, one photo is usually well over 1MB, and you probably took 20 on your last night out!
Check your cloud backup settings – look for apps like Google Photos, Dropbox, iCloud, OneDrive, etc, and ensure they aren’t enabled to use mobile data to automatically backup.
7. Check your streaming habits
Can’t stop streaming the new Ed Sheeran song? Have you watched Tali’s Wedding Diary four times? Get into the habit of downloading content you may want to watch or listen to more than once. Deezer, Showmax and most other streaming services allow you to download content to watch later - and as many times as you like. Even better, buy a dedicated data bundle for Showmax or DStv Now and stream more for less.
8. Use Night Owl data
Night Owl data bundles are for use between 12:00am and 5:00am. They're available to prepaid and Top Up/uChoose customers, and they're great for downloading content for watching later (see point 7!). 1GB of Night Owl data costs just R49, and it's valid for seven days, so you can download and surf to your heart's content. Read more about Night Owl data in our article, and on the Vodacom website.
9. Avoid surfing out of bundle
This is the most important data habit you can cultivate! If you’re using out-of-bundle data, you’re not paying the best-value rates. Make sure you always have some available data in your bundle. Keep an eye on your data by downloading the My Vodacom App (tip: you don’t need data to access the app - it’s zero-rated!). Here are ten ways the My Vodacom App can help you optimise your data use.
10. Regularly buy data bundles
Buy data whenever you need it, or set up a recurring data bundle buy. The easiest way to buy data is via the My Vodacom App. Download it here.